Starting a family is something that everybody wants at a certain point in life. However, the thought of it can be daunting and overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what to do. If you are thinking of wanting to have a family of your own, you should prepare yourself to be able to provide your soon-to-be family with the best things in life.
Although it’s quite normal to get scared just by thinking about it, don’t forget that you can always ask for help. As such, here’s a checklist we compiled that will help you prepare to build a family of your own.
You Should Be Capable of Providing Their Basic Needs
The number one thing you should consider before starting a family is if you are already capable of providing your family with their basic needs. A human’s basic needs include food, clothing, and shelter. So, for example, you should ask yourself if you are already in a position where you can provide healthy food for your family.
It would be best if you also thought about the cost of renting or building your family home. If you prefer to have your own home over renting, you might want to look for the perfect home builder within your area and ask them how much it will cost to start building a home.
Aside from the basic needs, there are more things that your family will need like education, safety, healthy well-being, and the like.
Start Establishing a Savings and Emergency Fund
If you’re single, you will only worry about your needs. However, when you already have a family, especially when you start bearing kids, you need to provide for them. And once you have a family, your expenses will triple, and you will find saving money challenging. Therefore, starting saving money for your savings and emergency funds while you are single is highly recommended.
Your emergency fund should have at least six months’ worth of your expenses. The more, the better, especially if you want to start your own family. When it comes to your savings, the rule of thumb is to allocate 20% of your salary to your savings fund. Remember that emergency funds and savings funds are different. Savings is money you set aside for various purposes or goals like a vacation or a new car. Meanwhile, emergency funds are kept for emergency purposes only.
In fact, one emergency fund isn’t enough for people from immigrant and first-generation families. Of course, everyone will wish to provide for their family in the event of a sudden financial necessity, irrespective of their background. So, you should ensure that you have solid savings and emergency funds before you start a family.
Look Into Family Leave
For women, if you get pregnant, you will need to take some time off when you give birth. Men should also be allowed to take a leave when their wives give birth. It is why you should first look into your company’s family leave policy to understand your options better when the time comes. A family leave includes paternal, maternal, parental, and adoption leaves.
You need to study your rights for family leave. First, check out the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to know your rights as an employee in taking a family leave. In addition to FMLA, some states established their own family leave act, which aims to cover more employees and better benefits than the law enacted by the federal government.
Plan a Childcare Strategy
Planning about what childcare strategy you will use when you start your own family and have a child is crucial. Your family leaves at work will end eventually, and you will need to think of a way to take care of your child.
Caring for children, especially if they are still at a young age, should be done by parents. Therefore it is highly advised that you work with your partner on creating a strategy on how both of you can take care of the child without leaving your career.
You can talk about taking turns in caring for the child. It is also best for one of you to change career and opt for a home-based position instead. If that setup isn’t possible and you have your parents in town, you can ask them to watch over the child while working.
If all other options are exhausted, then you can opt for childcare services. Although you’re going to have to pay a monthly fee, you can be sure of the services that they can provide you with.
Are You Ready to Start a Family?
Starting a family is a decision that will affect your life forever. Therefore, you should prepare and plan it properly to ensure that you will become a responsible partner and parent. So, start planning your future family using this checklist as a guide to ensure that you will do the right things.