When the time comes that you think you're ready to have kids, you'll need to ask yourself a few very important questions. Having kids will mean many big changes in your life, and it's important to make sure you're ready to face those changes head on. Ask yourself if you are financially ready to have kids, and look for these 5 signs that you may not be. Remember, you want your life with kids to be joyful and fulfilling.
At least one partner in your relationship must have a sense of security in their employment. One parent will most likely have to stay at home with the newborn during the early days, and the mother will generally need time off from work after giving birth. Make sure that your employers can accommodate these needs. If there is no certain job security between you and your partner, you may want to consider holding off on having kids for some time. It will be much better for you in the end.
Go over your household budget, accounting for all of your income and expenses. If money is tight, or if you have no budget plan at all in place, then you are probably not ready to have kids. Make no mistake about it--babies are expensive. Your newborn is going to tear through several diapers a day, and will need lots of clothes, food, strollers, car seats, and a multitude of other things. Factor into this the fact that up to half of your household income may be suspended indefinitely. If money is tight now, it's going to be impossible when you have kids in the picture.
Maintaining a positive credit rating is extremely important in today's world, especially for first time parents. You may need help financing various things in life after the birth of your kids, and a good credit score is going to make that infinitely easier. When you need loans, mortgages, or any other kind of financing, your credit is going to make or break your prospects. If your credit is in the hole, you should consider taking some time to improve your rating before having kids.
Heavy DebtDebt can really drag you down, and it can turn things from bad to worse when you have kids. When your family grows, you're not going to be able to make the same regular payments on your debts, so they're going to grow and grow, possibly for several years. If you're dealing with a heavy debt burden now, having kids will tie some difficult knots in your family cord. Consider waiting until your debt burden is relieved.
You Don't Have a Plan
Finally, if you don't have a financial plan for the next few years, you are probably not ready to have kids. Take some time to sit down and plan out your financial future--this alone will show you whether or not you're ready to have kids. Be realistic and totally honest with yourself about your financial plan. Having kids is a huge responsibility, and you need to make sure that you're completely ready before you take the plunge.