While deciding the right time to have children, a lot of aspects come into picture. Age, finances, relationship with your spouse, career objectives, health and family size are all important considerations. These factors are further linked with several probabilities, which make the difficult decision even more complicated. In terms of emotional, relationship and financial readiness, you might decide to delay the “perfect time” to have a child in your life. The desire to bring a child into the world is one of the natural and munificent urges we have. Under certain circumstances, however, this same pulse can be juvenile and imprudent. When planning to have a child, sometimes we get so caught up in excitement that we forget about the things we need to have in place, so we are ready when our precious little one arrives.
Here are some of the financial reasons that might drive you to join “child-free by choice” camp:
1. When you have lesser Financial Savings/ Reserves: One thing that children need the most is your absolute love. But at the same time, they do need other things also, that cost money. According to a study by Economic Times in 2011, the cost of raising a child from birth to his/her 21st birthday in India could exceed Rs.54.75 lacs for middle income families. Refer this link to see the details http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/photo.cms?msid=7998976 .You don’t have to be wealthy to be a good parent, but the cost associated with parenthood are substantial. Being in relatively good financial shape before having the baby will spare you from unnecessary stress. You can start your savings plan as soon as you get married or even before getting married. This will help you build a financial reserve that can be used for meeting your financial goals and getting prepared for a child. Or, you can put off having children until you have saved money for a new baby, including starting an education fund for your child.
2. When you have higher Financial Goals: You might think of delaying your plans of having a child so as to fulfill your pre-planned financial goals well in time. Many people consider asset creation, including buying a home an important milestone for achieving your financial goals. You might have plans of international travel with your spouse or buying a right car as per your choice before you are ready for a child. It is a fair thought to fulfill your dreams of buying a car or a home, and get stable with the added financial expenses like monthly EMIs. And then plan to welcome the newcomer in your life.
|Expert Advice: A child should be wanted, not needed. Don’t give a child a job before they’re even born — the job of saving your marriage, of living out your unfulfilled dreams, to be a support in your old age etc. It is okay to delay your plans of having a child until you are ready for the responsibility..|
3. When you want to ensure a Professional and Financial Security:Due to rising cost of living and due to change in lifestyle, both the partners prefer to work. If you or your spouse is not planning to leave your job, and striving to obtain a professional stability, then there is no harm in waiting to be ready for a child. If you are not financially stable, then getting a child can be a costly affair especially if you do not have a health insurance that covers all the maternity expenses.
4. When you are Pre-loaded with Financial Obligations: You might have availed an Education loan for your higher studies abroad, or personal loan for your wedding ceremony, or a Home loan. You might plan to repay a part of your loans or might want to get stable with the monthly EMIs and then start planning for a child. It is useful to wait until you pay off your education loan and personal loans as these are the loans with relatively lesser tenor. However, you can plan to get stable with your home loan monthly EMI as the Home Loan tenor is generally very long and it might not make sense to postpone your plans for this reason. Reducing the debt helps to relieve the financial stress and enables you to start saving early for emergency fund for any contingency requirements.
5. Savings for Emergency Fund: Apart from regular savings, it is very important to have a reserve for any contingency/ emergency needs. An emergency fund is an account that is used for saving for an emergency like loss of job, an illness or any other major expense. The purpose of this fund is to improve financial security by creating a safety net of funds that can be used to meet emergency expenses as well as reduce the need to use high interest debt, such as Credit Cards, as a last resort. Expert usually advice to set a target for minimum emergency fund and aim to reach the level as soon as possible. Usually an emergency fund of your 6 months expense is recommended.
6. Complete Financial Planning: The Financial Experts always counsel to start Financial Planning after one month of starting your career. This includes the complete plan for your savings, investments, insurance needs etc. They also advise that sooner you start your financial planning, the better it is for your future. If you are delayed in your plans, and believe that “someone without children will have more disposable income than someone with children at the same salary”. Then you are not wrong! There is no harm in waiting until putting an infallible Financial Plan in place, for you and your family, so that you can completely enjoy with the neonate without any financial worry.
A baby has a special way of adding joy in every single day. However, “planning a child at the right time” is not selfish but it is a good financial sense. It allows your precious little one to relish all the services that you planned for him/ her.