You may think that all you need is love, but there’s a lot more which goes into family planning than just that. While there are always debates over the perfect time to start a family, you probably think that you’re ready for whatever comes next. You’re young, in love, and eager to begin your life together. But have you considered things like life insurance, premiums, deductibles, medical expenses, and auto insurance?
It may all seem too dull to think about right now, but it’s actually the best time to be considering things like medical bills, post-pregnancy breast pumps, and auto insurance. Of course, you also get to focus on the fun stuff like decorating your living room and entryway, and picking color schemes and wall art for your new spaces. Here’s what else to think about before you begin your lives together.
1. Create a homely space.
It’s never too early to pick home décor for your new space together. Regardless of if you’re already homeowners or still renters, consider adding home accessories or wall art to make your place homier. If you’ve just bought a space and plan to start a family there, decorate accordingly. Pick a color scheme for your living room, or add some character to your blank walls. Obviously, choose décor that won’t break the bank, especially if you’re just starting your life together. Consider wall art for living room spaces or wall hangings for small spaces like bathrooms. You can even paint canvas art décor for your entryway or buy some new cushions for your sofa.
2. Budget with a family in mind.
From medical expenses and car insurance to grocery bills—the cost of everything increases when you start a family. Start to budget with a family in mind, so it doesn’t catch you by surprise later. If you’re planning to have children, include pregnancy expenses in your budget. Also, consider medical bills and maternity clothes; and prepare for post-pregnancy expenses.
You’ll need several things to support your new family member, but don’t forget the things a new mom will need. For example, you will need nurse bras, breast pumps, breast shields, or electric breast pumps. The right breast pump bra is a godsend for breastfeeding moms, so remember to do your research in advance, so that you can invest in the right one. Planning for your family before your new family member arrives is an invaluable family-planning tip for young couples.
3. Invest in legal services.
It’s exciting to buy a home or rent a new property together as a young couple. You may think it’s as easy as finding the right house and making an offer, but don’t forget to get good legal advice. Legal services from a reputable property lawyer can be a valuable asset for a new couple. Before you sign a lease, make an offer, or if you plan to invest in real estate, consult a law firm for legal representation. Good property law services usually help you navigate litigation issues, but they can also help with renters leases, loans, and mortgage documents. Having legal representation will also give you more financial protection than if you handle things by yourself.
4. Pick the right insurance plan.
How much do you know about auto policies and car insurance? Did you know that you need at least a Compulsory Third Party or Greenslip insurance before you drive a car? It’s essential to find out as much as you can about insurance coverage before starting a family together. You will need a new auto policy and proper coverage for everything; from bodily injury to property damage in case of an accident.
You may need a new type of collision coverage and auto insurance policy if you buy a new car together. Even if you have a license and a perfect driving record; if you don’t have your own car then you need to have the right car insurance to drive your partner’s. So, find out about comprehensive coverage, car insurance, the difference between road assistance for an at-fault accident versus car insurance, and how to get the best auto insurance quote. The best way to ensure that you get the best price on your car insurance is to compare auto insurance policies online before selecting one.
5. Combine your finances.
Have you thought about combining your finances? Some couples do this right away, while others wait for several years before they combine their finances. A good family planning tip is to start right away. There are many reasons why you should consider merging bank accounts, budget lists, and tax statements early on. Besides, financial issues can cause marital problems. So, if you’re thinking of starting a family, it’s best to discuss merging your financial accounts.
6. Get rid of outstanding debts.
You may be able to answer a personal information form about your partner, but do you know about all of their outstanding debts? From debit card to Hecs debt, there’s a lot to consider when you’re thinking of starting a family together. You may have coverage for property damage, excellent health and car insurance, and even a good investment plan, but debt can cut into the best budgets. Remember to focus first on paying off your debts, and then ensure that you stay out of them, so that your family has the most secure financial future possible.
7. Make use of technology.
You may usually be on top of paying your insurance policy premiums, credit card bills, and utilities. So, it makes sense if you haven’t already ditched the paperwork for automated payments and digital reminders. Once you start to build a family together, things get more hectic. To prevent missing home or car insurance payments—and for some peace of mind between busy days with the family—it’s a good idea to use technology to your advantage here.
8. Find a therapist.
Even if you’re still in the honeymoon phase, it’s a good idea for you to find someone to help you talk through your issues. You can find a counselor or a therapist, but you can also just ask a family member to help out. If it’s someone you know, make sure they’re just a phone call away and won’t have any conflicting interests with the two of you. Starting a family together is not always a smooth ride, but if you sort through your issues sooner rather than later, it’ll all be more manageable.
9. Have the hard conversations.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but many couples focus so much on small details like their living room sofa that they miss the big ones. Remember to have all the difficult conversations early on, so they don’t ruin your future relationship. Do you want to be renters or property owners? How many children do you want to have? Have you ever had legal issues, and do you have a bad driving record? Think of your marriage as a partnership and make sure you both want the same kind of life before starting a family together.
10. Spend time together as a couple.
Financial security, insurance policies, and excellent living room accessories can help you start a family, but they won’t help your relationship. Ensure you nurture your romantic relationship, so it doesn’t end up feeling like a business partnership as you start a family. The first few years can seem chaotic, and you will barely have any time to yourselves. So, ensure you make an effort to spend some together first.
Take a few days to travel somewhere as a couple, or have a romantic dinner by the fireplace in your living room. You can even have a date night in your bedroom or exchange romantic text messages through a busy day. However big or small the event, make sure it’s something that brings you closer together as a couple.