It is always exciting to have a baby and, as the adage goes, nothing can quite prepare you for the changes this will bring into your life. However you can sort out your finances in order not to get any unwanted surprises.
The first thing to consider is if there will be any changes to the family income, especially if any of the partners decides to stop working to look after the baby. This drop in income will come at a time when more money is needed to cater for the new family member!
It is therefore important to start a new budget which takes into consideration the new circumstances. Since it might be difficult to know all the expenses involved, it might be ideal to get some advice from family and friends who have previous experience on what is exactly involved. These expenses might typically include nappies, baby food, nursery equipment and medical fees. You should always priorities on these items and focus only on the things you really need and afford.
It is important not to get blinded by commercials and adverts of new shiny baby gadgets and clothing. Most of these will only be used for a couple of months and children grow fast! To keep costs under control, you can look for second-hand items which family members may have used and may lend you (hand-me-downs).
There are also a number of government incentives which may vary depending on your income. These may include children allowance, tax break for working parents and other non-monetary assistance such as maternity leave. You should consult your employer and social security department to check if you are entitled for any benefits. More information can be obtained from https://secure3.gov.mt/socialpolicy/SocProt/social_benefits/children/child_info.aspx.