Whether you are preparing for the birth of your first child or already have two or three, having children is a life-changing event. Very few of life’s seminal moments can match the intensity and pace of change.
Parents must continually adjust to change in their finances. Many studies have attempted to estimate the approximate cost of raising a child in Canada to age 18. Their projections vary widely. The costs involved contain some big-ticket items, such as the cost of housing, day care and the cost of saving for your child’s post-secondary education. Add them all up and raising a child can easily reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars…per child.
It’s not a surprise that many families in Canada feel financially squeezed. So, what can you do to prepare for the financial realities of being a parent? For one, try to save six to twelve months of anticipated living expenses prior to the birth of your child. This saving will help with the initial transition, especially if you and your spouse are planning on taking parental leave.
Ensure you claim all child tax credits and deductions to which you’re entitled. You may also be entitled to certain child benefits, like the Canada Child Tax Benefit and the expanded Universal Child Care Benefit. With regards to risk management and estate planning, review your insurance needs and update your beneficiary designations, your will and your power of attorney. You should also review the considerations in the sections that follow.