Starting a family
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Starting a family

Preparing to raise a child is one of the best – and biggest – challenges in life. It’s important to plan your finances around this milestone, so we’ve put together some ideas to get you started.

Welcoming the newest member to your family

Starting a family is a pivotal moment in your life. Now is a great time to review your plans and think about how you’ll provide for your growing family. 

Create a family budget

There’s no doubt about it – having a baby will change your spending habits. Creating a family budget can be a helpful way to track money coming in and money going out. 

Determine what you spend

Make a list of your monthly costs. You’ll probably have a good idea of regular expenses such as housing costs, bills and the weekly grocery shop. It’s the little things that can go unnoticed, such as takeaway coffee, lunch at work and entertainment. When your baby comes along, you’ll have to factor in new costs, such as nappies, clothing and furniture. You might also find yourself spending less on entertainment and holidays (at least for the first few years). 

Compare your spending to what you have coming in

Once you’ve worked out your expenses, compare it against what you’ll be receiving - your ongoing income.

A key consideration is whether you or your partner will be taking time off to look after your baby and for how long. Most likely one of you (the primary carer) will be eligible for Parental Leave Pay where you can receive payment for up to 18 weeks. Learn more about Parental Leave Pay here.

There’s also Dad and Partner Pay where you can be paid for up to 2 weeks while you care for your new child. To learn more about Dad and Partner Pay visit here

Additional expenses to consider

Health insurance

In Australia, care in a public hospital or birth centre is free because it’s covered by Medicare. However, if you want private obstetric care in either a private or public hospital, you’ll either need to pay for it yourself or take out private health insurance.  

To learn more and compare options visit the Australian Government’s PrivateHealth website.

Child care

Depending on your circumstances, you might plan to put your child into care at some point. Many providers recommend putting your child on a waiting list as places can fill up quickly. You might also be eligible for government subsidies to help pay for it. To find a child care provider that’s right for you, or to see what type of subsidies you might be eligible for, visit Child Care Finder.

Baby items 

Babies typically need a lot of things such as a pram, cot, toys and clothes that they grow out of quickly! The costs can add up before you know it. To save money, check out second-hand places where you can find great deals, like Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree.  

Once you’ve worked out your income, compare it to your expenses. If your income will be less than your expenses, it might be worthwhile planning out a budget. 

MoneySmart has some great tools and calculators to help you.

How super can help

Australian women retire with an average of 35% less savings than men1. While there’s no single reason for this, there’s no doubt that more women take time out of work to raise children, which impacts their super balance at retirement. 

If you’ve taken time off work and you have a spouse who’s still earning an income, there’s a way to help lessen this impact. It’s called contributions splitting. 

Contributions splitting

Before-tax super contributions can be split between you and your partner – this means that if you’re not working but your partner is, they can give you some of the super they’ve earned during the year (or vice versa).

It’s easy to do. Simply download this form, provide all the details needed, and send it to us.

Things to know

Your employer makes contributions to your super throughout the year, but you can only make one contribution split per financial year.

You must lodge your application to split your contributions either: 

  • in the financial year immediately after the financial year in which the contributions were made, or
  • in the financial year the contributions were made only if you close your account before the end of that financial year.

For full eligibility criteria, please visit here.

There are other types of contributions that could help grow your or your partner’s super, including spouse and government co-contributions. Learn more about different types of contributions here.

Checklist

Things to consider before you start a family

  1. Buying on a budget

    Take advantage of other parents selling their second-hand baby items. You can try Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree.
     
  2. Consider health care

    If you want private health insurance, be aware that some providers have a 12-month waiting period before you can claim any benefits related to pregnancy and birth. To compare options visit the Australian Government’s PrivateHealth website.
     
  3. Contributions splitting

    Split super contributions between yourself and your partner to keep your balances relatively even.
    Contributions Splitting Form
  4. Create a budget

    Compare your income to your expenses. You can use tools on MoneySmart to help you.
     
  5. Decide who’ll stay home and for how long

    Find out more about parental leave or partner pay.
     
  6. Plan for child care

    Sometimes providers have long waiting lists so it can be worth registering your interest even before your baby is born. Search for child care.
     

Do you have questions about contributions splitting or other types of extra contributions?

Speak to one of our experienced financial advisers at no extra cost to you.

Request a callback

Advice about your super is included as part of your membership.

1 Gender Indicators, Australia, Nov 2019

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