Before the baby gets here...

BY PENDA HONEYGHAN

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

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THE moment a woman discovers that she is pregnant, sometimes even before, she creates a checklist of essentials. And anything from diapers to several pieces of baby gear that her baby may never use makes this list. Unfortunately, the excitement of making our babies cute can sometimes get in the way of us being truly baby-ready.

Can't think of anything you may be missing? The checklist below might make things a bit clearer:

1. Get life insurance

Let's face it, life is unpredictable. So just in case life takes an unexpected turn and one or both parents should die, at least one parent will not have to shoulder all the financial responsibilities alone.

When getting life insurance, financial adviser Granville Knight says that you should also opt for a savings component as well. This way you can save some money tax-free and you will have this money to fall back on should there be a family emergency.

2. Start a college fund

Instead of buying a rocker for US$300, how about one that is not as expensive and put the difference in a college fund for your child? Saving consistently and diligently is just one way that we can ensure our children are able to access higher education without having to borrow money at high interest rates, or not going to college at all. And since tertiary education is expensive, the earlier you start the better it will be for your child.

3. Write a will

There is a misconception that only elderly people write wills - it is far from the truth. In fact, even if you don't have a lot of assets you should still prepare a will so that your child can benefit from whatever it is that you would have left behind. In addition to this, in writing a will you will also be able to communicate who you would prefer to assume guardianship of your child(ren) in the event that you should pass.

4. Childproof your home

Sometimes we check to make sure the toys are fine and the crib is safe, but as our little ones get older and start to explore we will have to make sure that our homes are safe spaces for them to explore. You will need to go through each section of your house to identify potential hazards and do your best to fix all of them. Some common safety measures parents may have to take include making sure paint used in the house is free of lead, installing safety gates if you have stairs, covering electrical outlets, covering sharp furniture with safety padding, bolting furniture to the wall, and keeping the door of the medicine cabinet closed.

5. Set up an emergency fund

Babies get sick and sometimes often, because their little bodies are still developing and as such they are more susceptible to illnesses than older persons. Even if you have insurance, you may end up having to fork out top dollars for your child, especially if you go to a private facility. An emergency fund will provide a financial buffer for you during a challenging period.


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