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Monday, June 19, 2017

Planning your finances before the stork arrives

Written by Shiv Nandan Negi -

Appeared on Daily News & Analysis-11-May-2017

Finding out that you are expecting a baby is the most memorable day of your life. Women start thinking about the cute little baby clothes and diapers. But what most women forget to take into consideration are the expenses that would follow this joyous news. There are some major pre- and post-birth expenses that you need to take into account and budget for, before you go on your maternity leave. Here are some tips to ensure a relaxed and peaceful maternity leave.
Medical expenses and hospital fees : The doctor's fee and the hospital bill will be your biggest expense. Talk to your doctor and find out what bill amount to expect in case of a natural birth or a C-section. Take into account the cost of a few ultrasounds, various blood tests and prenatal tests during these nine months.

Talk to HR : Find out about your company's maternity leave and insurance policy. Check what all maternity expenses and how much of your hospital bill will be covered by the insurance policy.
Spend wisely : Save money to make necessary expenditure later like BPA free feeding bottles, bowls, cutlery and toys, hypo allergic skin care products and diapers. Look out for any sale or discounts in the market to get lucrative deals.

Delay your maternity leave: Contrary to what women do, the maternity leave span is more crucial after the baby arrives. So, don't be in a rush to avail your maternity leave, and use it cherish the moments with your baby instead. This can also help in case you have less than 26 weeks of maternity leave or are just not yet ready to get back to work.
Budgeting after the baby has arrived
1) Baby birth is a time for gifts. Most of the time your family and friends will ask you what to gift the baby; use this opportunity to get items on your checklist to ease your financial burden. If you get double gifts then check with friends if they can be exchanged for something else that you need.
2) A lot of relatives and friends would give cash, use this money wisely to manage any unexpected expenses. You could also invest this money in a liquid fund so that it grows and is easily accessible when you need it.
3) If you live in a nuclear family, then you might want to check out day care options or hire a nanny to look after your baby when you get back to work. A few corporates offer day care facility to their employees, so find out if your company has any such facility.
Extended maternity leave : If you are still not ready to leave your baby then tap into your unused sick leaves, public holidays or any comp offs to buy in a few more days to spend with your baby. Check with your boss if you could work from home for a few weeks until you get back to work.
Extra income : Raising a baby is a physical, emotional and financial commitment and it is expensive. If you have any skills or are in a field that offers free lancing work, then you should take up those opportunities to earn an extra income. You would have to work three-four hours from the comfort of your home.
As the child grows so will your expenses. If you have already not started an SIP for your child's education and other expenses then please do so now. Invest in an equity and debt fund to diversify your investment and secure your child's future.
All in all, having a baby is a life changing experience which can be absolutely precious when well planned.

App download link - MintWalk

Co-Founded by private equity industry veterans and IIM alumni, Shiv Nandan Negi and Nikhil Banerjee, MintWalk ("GetClarity Fintech Services Pvt Ltd"), is a goal based Digital mutual investing platform.  It provides honest financial solutions, helping users fulfill their dreams (goals) in life through customized financial plans. 
Driving the concept of achieving our life’s goals and dreams, MintWalk provides a clean, immersive, non-intimidating user experience which is focused on decision making, and tracking the portfolio. MintWalk takes into consideration the user's goals, age, time period till Goal, tax bracket amongst multiple factors to customize the right plan. Algorithms work on artificial intelligence based systems which understand and anticipate needs better.  
A key feature that MintWalk provides is the periodic review of your investments, and based on progress, the App suggests course correction or modification of investments, thus ensuring that the user does not waver from their goal.
Mintwalk combines world class machine learning analytics with deep insight into behavioural sciences to create a platform  that anticipates user needs and provide a dynamic experience most relevant for the user. The app is now live on Google Play Store (iOS/web version work-in-progress).
MintWalk is registered with Association of Mutual Funds of India (AMFI) as a registered intermediary (ARN-107889) and is one of the very few firms in online and offline domain having a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) license issued by the regulator- SEBI.

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