1. Bump up Health Savings Account & Savings contributions
If your employer offers a Health Savings Account (HSA), now is a great time to bump up your contribution!
The money goes into your HSA account tax-free, meaning your dollar goes further than your after-tax income would. For example, if you contribute $200 to your HSA, it will probably only feel like you are missing $150 from your paycheck.
It wouldn’t hurt to plan on saving at least the amount of your deductible. If you don’t need all the money in your HSA for baby, the money is still yours forever and can be used for any medical related expenses.
It is also a good time to review your savings account or emergency fund. Do you realistically have enough saved now that you have another person to be responsible for?
2. Review your health care plan
You have nine months to prepare for this baby.
If your employer’s open enrollment for health care falls during this time, review your plan to ensure that you are getting the most out of the benefits for this new season. If you’re normally a pretty healthy person and have a high deductible/low cost plan, evaluate the other options to determine if you would save money going with a different plan.
Chances are, you are going to meet your deductible in the coming months even if it’s a higher amount!
3. Create a mock “baby” budget
Babies are expensive. There is no way around it.
To give yourself some peace of mind, create a mock budget with your estimated expenses once the baby arrives – include things like diapers and other baby supplies, increase your “miscellaneous” line item for all of the unexpected things come up, etc.
Don’t forget to include your partner in this and discuss what life is realistically going to look like.
What is the first thing to fall to the wayside when you both are tired? For example, my husband and I have taken our normal “eating out” expense and doubled it because we know neither of us are going to feel like cooking!