Deciding to have a baby is one of the biggest life-changing decisions that you and your partner will make. Bringing up your bundle of joy can be fulfilling and fun, but you must also be prepared for financial challenges that comes along with it. From pre-natal care to nursery, here’s a financial guide to get you ready for parenthood.
Review your insurance coverage
Waiting for your first child to arrive will be an exciting journey for sure. But before that, there will be periodic medical check-ups for both mother and baby (such as ultrasound and blood test).
So how do you budget for these? The cost for each check-up differs from clinic to clinic, but it can be up to RM250 per visit at a private clinic. For a cheaper option, you can look at goverment clinics as well – but alas, some of them do not offer ultrasound check-ups.
Before you know it, your baby is here! Some employers do provide maternity coverage but you may still have to budget for the cost of medical or delivery complications. As an estimate, a private hospital delivery can cost upwards of RM20,000*. So it’s important to review your insurance policies and check the delivery cost of your preferred hospital.
The good news is that Malaysia provides free vaccinations for your baby under the National Immunisation Programme (NIP)*. But it is best to set aside some healthcare funds for your child – especially if they are not covered under your healthcare benefits.
Keeping up with baby supplies
Preparing for your first child can be overwhelming and you might be tempted to spend on all the latest contraptions. However, take some time to put together a practical checklist before spending – such as clothes, baby tub, bibs and feeding necessities. To start, you can check out the checklist here.
The checklist can help to determine how much to set aside and what to buy each month. For example, you can buy a crib 3 months before arrival and purchase clothes a month before. This will also give you time to look for baby fair and sales events. Also, don’t forget to check discount or cash back deals on your cards.
Survey childcare options
Employees in the private sector will enjoy 90 days of maternity leave beginning 2021 and some companies do offer leave days and flexible work arrangement for new fathers. But once that is over, working parents need to think of alternative arrangement if staying at home isn’t at option.
Childcare and daycare services, however, do not come cheap and can range from RM500 to RM1,200 per month** in urban areas. Try looking into workplace childcare or child benefits provided by your employer to save some cost.
To help parents, the government has increased tax relief on daycare expenditure from RM1,000 to RM2,000*** in Budget 2020 with plans to establish more daycare centres****.
Setting up your baby’s future
Having a baby will change the way you budget your finances. For one, their education will be the biggest expense you will have to pay. Remember that the sooner you start to save for it, the better. Sun EduSmart for example is a unique plan that combines protection and education savings for your child.
As you’re planning for your child’s future however, don’t neglect your own retirement goals – stay on top of your plan and include a long-term investment plan such as PRS.
This article is brought to you by CIMB as part of our ongoing efforts to raise the level of financial literacy among Malaysians. Financial knowledge and understanding are key to making well-informed and meaningful financial decisions that will improve all our well-being. This, in turn, achieves CIMB’s purpose of advancing customers and society.