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Financial tips I wish I got when I became a parent

Children are a blessing from God. Many desire to have children but many are not granted the wish. But children come with financial expenses. When you are blessed to have a child it is inevitable that there will be financial changes in your life necessary for the upkeep of your child.

Tip One Live within a budget
Definitely the cost of being a parent is higher than when one is single. Consider additional costs such as diapers, food, clothes, medical costs when a new baby arrives. As our children grow they will need more foods, clothes, school fees and other associated costs, as well as money for their leisure and hobbies. Before my son was born, life went by and easy without a nanny but now a nanny is not a luxury but an additional financial cost necessary in my life to enable me to do other things for my child.

As a parent I have had to be more frugal with my financial resources, get more cost effective alternatives that will allow me to spend on something else necessary for my child’s well being.

If possible begin financial planning for your children even before they are born.

Three Include your children in your health insurance plan
The first few years involve a lot of medical visits to check growth of the little tots and since their immunity has not grown yet, many childhood infections. This costs money. Ensure that your child is covered in your health insurance plan if you have one and if you do not have one consider getting one. If a citizen and resident of Kenya consider beginning with the local NHIF cover.

Get Insurance Cover
If you have children dependants whose financial well being and existence depends on you get an insurance cover that shields your loved ones in the case of worst case eventualities or that boosts you financially in the children’s formative and learning years. Examples of such covers include; life insurance plans, disability covers if you are involved in high risk jobs, endowment plans.

Create a will and name beneficiaries to all that you own
In a will you clearly express who will get what of your assets in the sad event of your passing on. Here one can cushion ones children by appointing a guardian to rear growing children and appoint a trustee of ones financial assets until the children become of age to manage them on their own. Remember by the laws of Kenya children whether born by marriage or out of marriage all are entitled to the portion of their married parent’s wealth who has passed on.

Have an emergency fund
If you can, try and have money available equivalent to three months to one year of living expenses. This is especially so in single parent homes which are dependant on one source of income of one parent.

Begin saving and investing for retirement and your children’s college education
If told to choose one over the other begin saving or investing for your retirement over college education for your children; this will cushion one from being a financial burden to their children in their senior years, freeing them to accumulate wealth of their own.

Reason being if push comes to shove there are different ways of financing college education eg loans, scholarships and grants but as a senior citizen there is noone who will finance your living expenses. The best case scenario being to begin saving for your retirement as well as your children’s college education.

As a parting shot,
Many who are raising children now find themselves in the sandwich generation, where we care for our aging parents as well as our growing children. The good news is honoring your father and mother is the only commandment that comes with a promise from above and the way our children see us treat our elderly parents shapes their attitudes towards us in later years. So do not tire of what may be myriad financial obligations.

In the same breath introduce to your children the concept of budgeting, working to earn some money for something they wish for in future. The concept of living frugal today for an anticipated joy in the future that is deferred gratification. Show them too the benefit of sharing with the less fortunate and to count their blessings of what they have today rather than feeling entitled because “Mummy or Daddy, will give me whatever I ask for whenever I want it”.

Spoil yourself every once in a while. I am going to say it again and louder for those in the back to hear – SPOIL YOURSELF! Yes it is true, we are parents and we have responsibilities, these children of ours will grow and leave our nests some day. I purpose not to lose myself in the parenting journey that I forget what defines Kwambie, what makes her happy and will from time to time splurge on myself.

On that note time to undo this jaded weave, time for a new look!

Mwanamke ni effort jameni.
(Translation A woman must put in effort in her physical appearance)
Wishing you our beloved reader financial wellness and health in days to come.

“Wacha niKwambie”
June 2021 – My money anew
On personal finances, financial wellness
© Kwambie Nyambane,
June 2021.