On Wednesday October 17th, I will be joining a select roundtable of fellow bloggers along with financial experts John Tracy and Krystina Fraser from TD Canada Trust to discuss the financial realities of having children.
As a parent, you already know first hand that having children can be quite expensive, so the purpose of this discussion is to help TD Canada Trust help us, their customers, get a better understanding of the challenges parents face when preparing their personal finances for the arrival of their child(ren) and for parental leaves.
I was fortunate enough to take a paid parental leave to be home with my wife for the birth of our first two children. I took 9 months off with Linus and then 4 months off when Stewie was born. Since we planned on both being home we had to ensure our finances remained in order well in advance of their births in order to maintain our household expenses and current living style in addition to making sure I could continue to take courses when I was off (I completed my MBA).
Just like the discussion (when) to have children usually happens well in advance of the first child being born, so too should begin the discussion about how to best get your personal finances in order for when the child(ren) arrive and for any parental leave(s). All it takes to begin the discussion is a budget covering your current financial situation, followed by several mock budgets covering off life and expenses while pregnant, then in preparation for birth when the furniture needs to be purchased or borrowed, the car seat (possibly a new car as we had to do), a stroller, and clothes, etc., and then another budget for after baby comes which covers off the costs of items like diapers, baby toys, bigger clothes, nanny vs day care, programs, then schools… The budgets must be revisited whenever your financial situation changes in order to make sure everything remains on track.
It absolutely never ends which is why getting your finances in order ahead of time makes the most sense and if you plan really well you might even have some left over pocket change to begin a RESP.
Prior to the event, I would like to collect questions from you guys which I can table during the discussion and I will share the details after in a post. Hopefully you will want to also share some insight on how you prepared financially for the arrival of your child(ren), or if you didn’t, how you have handled your finances since the arrival of your child(ren).
You can also follow along the discussion on Twitter through #TDParentalLeave.
In addition, the great folks at TD Canada Trust have given me a $100.00 Indigo gift card which I will raffle off among those of you who “like” or comment on the post on my blog, Facebook page, LinkedIn, Google + or Twitter. This contest closes Wednesday at noon, Toronto-time so get moving on it right away.