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How Having a Second Born Can Change Your Finances in Your 30s
How Having a Second Born Can Change Your Finances in Your 30s
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How Having a Second Born Can Change Your Finances in Your 30s

Money254
Farah Nurow
October 19, 2022

If you have learned anything from parenthood thus far, it is the impact a baby can have on your personal finance. They’ll force you to change everything from how you spend to how you invest for the future. And when you decide to have a second child, additional changes are inevitable.

If you had always planned on having a second baby, you must have kept some of the baby stuff your firstborn used. This will significantly cut your expenses, but there is only much your secondborn can inherit. You will still be required to buy formula, other baby essentials, diapers, and pay for daycare.

A second child will come with its own demands and a fair share of new and different surprises. To ensure you are ready to adapt to these changes, it is vital that you make proper preparations that keep you on top of your finances.

This article will look into the changes a second child will bring and cover some steps you can take to ensure you stay in control of your finances.

Also Read: How to Budget For All the Newborn Child Expenses

The Cost of Having a Second Born 

You cannot practically plan for a second child unless you understand all the expenses you'll have to settle. If you can borrow from past experience, you know some of these costs are inescapable. They are primarily one-time costs and are often expensive. They require enough preparation, including saving for them in advance to avoid borrowing from your other goal savings account.

Two of the most significant expenses you'll have to plan for are:

Pre and Postnatal Care: The mother and the baby will need care from the onset of pregnancy until the child is born. They'll make constant trips to the clinic for medical checkups to ensure they're both healthy. This will likely increase your family's health budget, but it can be lowered if your medical insurance covers it. But you will still have to pay for transport, among other expenses.

For mothers, since you will likely be working through at least the first two trimesters, your productivity at work might be affected. This can lead to reduced earnings, especially if you are self-employed or a gig worker. If you are traditionally employed, you might also be forced to take an early unpaid leave if you won't be able to perform optimally.

Delivery Costs: How much you will be spending on delivery will be dictated by whether you have a normal or C-section delivery. There's no guarantee the costs will stay the same, and you should be financially ready when things take an unexpected route.

Consider the case of the Odungas, a Nairobi-based couple. They had complications during their second pregnancy and spent over Ksh100,000 on cesarean delivery. They had initially planned to spend almost sixty thousand less, thinking they'll have a normal delivery as they had done two years earlier. Luckily, they had enough emergency savings to cater to the unforeseeable expenses.

Read Also: How Much Emergency Money Should a Family Have In 2022

Financial Changes that Second Borns Bring

The best way to be financially ready for a second child is to understand where all the cost increments will happen. This will help you decide how to budget and revamp your finances to ensure they align with your current situation. And if you’re yet to decide if you should have a baby, this is the stage that will shape your decision.

Here are some changes you should be ready for:

Housing: With a fourth member joining your family, it might be time to move to a bigger house. Your kids will need more indoor playing space, and the extra baby stuff will need more storage. More space will mean increasing your housing budget.

Childcare: You will need someone to take care of your kids when you return to work, and that can be expensive no matter what option you take. If you have been spending Ksh10,000 per month on daycare, expect that budget to almost double. And if you choose to hire a live-in nanny, the more the children, the more they’ll charge you, and young children will cost more. Weigh all your childcare options and pick the one that will work well for you financially.

Education Planning: You will need to start saving and investing for your secondborn’s future as soon as they’re born; it is the best way to secure their future. This means you will need to cut your expenses on some fronts or increase your income to ensure you meet your new obligation.

Also Read: Step-By-Step Approach to Planning Your Child's Education

Other recurring expenses: Most of your other ongoing expenses will increase. You will need to spend more on food, clothing, health care, etc. Be ready to pay more for family vacations since you will have a new member joining the gang.

Avoiding Money Wastage after the Birth of your Second Born

The first step to ensuring you don't waste money is to create a solid budget you can use once your second child is born. Since your expenses will increase, you need to ensure your collective family income is enough to cater to all changes without completely affecting your lifestyle and saving goals.

For most parents, the biggest money wastage typically happens when shopping for baby stuff and gear. However, using your experiences, you will know how to circumvent this. Taking steps to cut unnecessary spending will ensure you can raise your children well and efficiently plan for future expenses. 

When asked how she was able to stay on budget, Mercy, a second-time parent and city Lawyer, had this to say:

"After the birth of my firstborn, I went on a spending spree. I could buy everything and I was easily manipulated. I remember every time I'd log into Instagram, I'd be bombarded with baby stuff ads and I'd buy most of those expensive, yet unnecessary stuff. Back in real life, my friends were recommending all kinds of gear that were to make parenting easier. So I bought them too. By the time my daughter Joyce was three months old, I realised we were overspending and had completely forgotten about budgeting." 

Mercy learned from the avoidable mistakes she made, and after the birth of her secondborn, she adopted the following strategies to ensure she controlled her spending.

  1. She avoided the consumerism trap by ignoring baseless advice from friends on what to buy and avoided impulse shopping by thinking through every little purchase.
  2. She prioritised long-term goals by creating a habit of saving and investing before spending the collective family income.
  3. She embraced hand-me-downs from friends and family, did thrift shopping, and only bought essential baby gear.
  4. She bought formula, diapers, and other newborn items in bulk from wholesalers. This ensured she saved more and could save time by avoiding constant runs to supermarkets.
  5. She became future-oriented and shopped more smartly by buying baby gear and equipment her newborn would grow with. For example, her new baby car seat can adjust from toddler to school age and is set to last her at least until her child will be four years old.

Read Also: 6 Family Events That Mess With Your Finances in a Big Way

Impacts a Second Child Will have on your Careers

The transition from a one-child parent to a two-child parent can have significant effects on your career. Parenthood, as you know, is a demanding task and takes more than having to work to provide for your family. It requires balancing it with your career, which can be challenging in itself. And after the birth of your second kid, it will only get trickier with more complex decisions to make.

First, there's a second maternity and paternity leave you have to take. While this will traditionally have fewer effects on your career and earnings as it's paid, it's considerably short. In Kenya, it's three months for mothers and two weeks for fathers. This is obviously not enough to bond with your newborn, and you might want to extend it, especially if there were complications during delivery, and if you manage, the leave will be unpaid.

Not just your earnings will be affected. Missing work and taking such extended leaves within a few years apart can send the wrong message to your employers, who might use this chance to pass on you when promoting colleagues or giving yearly bonuses. But it shouldn't always be the case. Some parents tend to get more productive and command higher earnings as their family grows. The extra financial responsibilities force them to work harder.

Finally, a bigger family will also constrain your time. You will have less time to pursue professional goals as your free time will change to family time. This can prevent you from attending out-of-town work and networking events, pursuing higher education or sharpening your skills, taking extra duties at work that can help you earn promotions, etc. This will, in turn, put your career growth in limbo and affect your employability in case you lose your job. 

Read Also: 6 Smart Ways to Save Money on Daycare Costs as Career Parents

WRAPPING UP

Your best bet of ensuring you can handle all the changes a second child will bring should involve making financial preparations. A newborn will come with a list-long of responsibilities you'll need to tackle. And you can't do that blindly. Therefore, create a new budget, look for ways to cut expenses, and adopt strategies that will prevent you from burdening yourself and ensure you provide efficiently for your family.

Read Also: 6 Financial Mistakes New Parents Must Avoid to Save Money

Think of all the financial mistakes you made with your firstborn and learn from them. Go the extra mile of looking for ways to help you through your new situations, from talking to parents with bigger families or experts that can help you align your finances. Gaining valuable knowledge will put you in a better place to deal with emergencies and make smarter decisions. 

Good luck!

Farah Nurow is an experienced Content Writer who enjoys writing creative and educative articles meant to provoke readers' thoughts. He loves sunny weather and thick books. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

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