Baby on the way?
Make sure your finances are ready for it, too
Having a child doesn't just turn your world upside down – it does the same to your wallet, too. The clever people at Statistics Netherlands (CBS) have calculated that a child costs 17% of the net family income. It's a good thing, then, that you effectively get a group discount: two children cost around 26% of the family income, while three children are even more cost-effective, coming in at 33% of your net family income.
Starting on a financial plan early is useful when it comes to avoiding unpleasant surprises. What's more, it's a good idea to build in an extra buffer for any unforeseen costs, giving you an overview of what you can't afford to lose sight of.
What is repaid?
Being pregnant or having a baby involves a lot of medical costs. Fortunately, most of these costs will be covered by your health insurance fund. By way of example, you'll only pay €8.63 for your NIPT (non-invasive pre-natal testing; a blood test that can detect the most common chromosome aberrations). You'll also be entitled to have three ultrasounds paid for during your pregnancy. The costs for an approved midwife will be covered in full, as will part of the costs for a visit to the gynaecologist. Please consult your health insurance fund's website for a complete list, as benefits vary from fund to fund.
Tip: If you have good supplementary health insurance, you'll find that even more costs are covered. Check what is repaid in advance.
Work and benefits
Part of your budget will depend on how long you continue to work. You are obliged to take 15 weeks' maternity leave, and expectant mothers often choose to take six weeks before and nine weeks after the birth. During this period, you'll receive benefit payments. The amount of the benefit will depend on your work situation. If you stop working earlier on your doctor's advice, you'll also be entitled to a benefit payment. Fathers and married co-parents are entitled to 10 days' parental leave in the four months following the birth. Adoptive parents each receive six weeks' leave and one week that they may share amongst themselves.
If you and/or your partner are thinking about working less, you need to work out in advance how much less you'll receive as a net amount.
Tip: Slightly different rules apply to self-employed people than employees; please check which regulations apply in your case.
Things you'll need for your little one
For one parent, making sure you've got everything you'll need for your baby is a blessing, for another it's a curse. Whether you like the idea of getting these things or not, your child will need a room, clothes and toys. And doing so will be one of the highest costs you'll face before your little one arrives. That's why it's important to get started early. Take the time to acquire furniture, clothes and toys from friends and acquaintances or from second-hand shops or websites. Doing so will help you save a significant amount of money, as if you buy everything new, you'll easily be €5,000 to €10,000 worse off.
Tip: Make a baby wish list at a baby store so you don't get tempted by cool gadgets. Think carefully about you will and will not be able to use.
Parenting: the major costs
The major costs don't just start after you've given birth: (a change in) nutrition, care products, healthcare, and more – you may well have to do more shopping and your water and energy bills will go up. Here, too, the social security system will try to give you a helping hand. From 2019, the birth allowance, child benefit and school benefit have been combined to form the growth package (in Flanders), meaning you only need to submit one application. Wallonia and Brussels have a different system.
Tip: Don't forget to register your child with your health insurance fund and add them to your health insurance.
This article does not contain any investment advice or recommendation, nor a financial analysis. Nothing in this article may be construed as information with a contractual value of any sort whatsoever. This article is intended for information only and does not constitute in any way a commercialization of financial products. Keytrade Bank cannot be held liable for any decision made based on the information contained in this article, nor for its use by third parties. Every investment entails risks such as a possible loss of capital. Before investing in financial instruments, please inform yourself properly and read carefully the document "Overview of the principal characteristics and risks of financial instruments" that you can find in the Document centre.