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What to Expect (Financially) When You’re Expecting

What to Expect (Financially) When You’re Expecting

No matter how many pregnancy and parenting books you read, nothing can truly prepare you for becoming a parent. But one thing you can do is get your finances in order.

As part one of our two-part series on preparing for a new baby, here's a guide to what to expect (financially) when you're expecting.​

These are the costs of kitting out your nursery with the basics: a cot, mattress, linen, change table and nappies. You'll also want to factor in maternity and breastfeeding clothes, baby clothes, nappies and linen. A pram, car seat and baby carrier can also be costly investments.

“Naturally, how much you budget for these items depends on many factors, including your individual taste, how much you want to spend. You may also consider buying good quality second hand items”, says Tony Pereira, Father of 3, Owner and Principal Financial Planner at Lake Macquarie Financial Planning.

Your insurances (particularly health and life insurance) are also likely to become more expensive as your family grows.

Medical costs will depend on your health insurance policy, whether you plan to have your baby in a private or public hospital, and the individual circumstances around the birth.

“When it comes to child birth, there are no guarantees everything will go exactly as planned” says Tony, the father of three boys, all born via c-section.

There may be unexpected costs associated with complications, a medical condition that requires you to stop work early, or the baby arriving early.

That said, the major expenses you can expect with all pregnancies are doctors' fees, hospital bills, tests and ultrasounds.

“To avoid unexpected expenses, check what Medicare and your insurer cover you for. You can also request estimates from healthcare providers,” advises Tony.

You should also expect additional pharmacy and medical costs within the first year – for you and the baby – including check-ups and immunisations.

The time that Mum and Dad take off work – be it a few weeks, or a few years – can amount to a significant initial cost in terms of foregone income and superannuation.

That may be offset if you're eligible to receive 18 weeks' federal government paid parental leave, or if your employer offers a paid parental leave policy.


Research suggests it costs a middle-income family at least $812,000 to raise two children to the age of 24, or over $1 million for high-income families1.

Big cost components are child care, education, housing and transport.


For a child born in 2018, the average Australian school education of 12-13 years will cost between $40,000 and $500,0002 – depending on whether they go to a public or private school.

“Public education is not free. While fees are minimal, there are additional expenses that add up quickly – school uniforms, books, transport and extra-curricular activities,” says Tony.


The federal government's New Child Care Package (coming into effect on 2 July 2018) will allow parents to pay child care providers a gap fee.

The federal government's New Child Care Package (coming into effect on 2 July 2018) will allow parents to pay child care providers a gap fee.

The federal government's New Child Care Package (coming into effect on 2 July 2018) will allow parents to pay child care providers a gap fee.

For eligible low-income working families, the average assistance will cover 85% of actual fees charged. The subsidy will taper back to nothing for families on $350,000 or more.

For more information, see this article.


Aside from the energy and maintenance costs of keeping your family home and car up and running, a growing family can have a big impact on upgrade costs.

“As your family grows you may need to upsize your house and your car. Are you driving a Golf when you may need a Carnival?”, Tony prompts.


In part two of our series on what to expect (financially) when you're expecting, we will walk you through the steps you can take to prepare to meet these new expenses.

These will include budgeting and saving, reassessing your goals, exploring available financial supports and superannuation options.


  • maternity clothes, pre-natal vitamins
  • physiotherapy or pre-natal classes
  • ultrasound, hospital, doctor and specialist costs
  • fitting out a nursey
  • baby items such as blankets, clothes, pram and car seat
  • updating private health cover to include pregnancy and obstetrics (generally needs to be done 12 months prior to falling pregnant)
  • bottles and formula
  • nappies (can cost over $3,000 per child)3
  • child care
  • education
  • home and transport upgrades

Copyright © 2020 Lake Macquarie Financial Planning

The Trustee for Pereira Family Trust (ABN 25 467 180 446), trading as Lake Macquarie Financial Planning is an authorised 

representative of Charter Financial Planning Limited, Australian Financial Services Licensee.

This website contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. 

You need to consider you financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information.