The post is part of the Baby Expenses Series. See the entire series here.
Once you have a baby then your life insurance needs will probably increase. Obviously you don’t need to have a baby before getting life insurance but it’s a pretty typical time for people to start thinking about it. I have a couple of posts planned on this topic which will go through the calculations that I went through for my own life insurance. I would suggest that you don’t delay getting this because it can take quite a while from the time you call an insurance company to the time you get covered – probably one month minimum. Just get term insurance, universal or whole life insurance is not worth it.
When – start working on it once you know you are pregnant. If Dad kicks the bucket before the baby is born then the need for life insurance is still there.
Cost – depends on how much you have and how long and how old you are and your health etc etc. For someone in good health in their 30’s you can get $250k for about $20/month.
Hospital rooms and parking:
At our hospital shared rooms cost $205 per night which was covered by my work benefits. Private rooms cost $45 more and we elected to pay the extra cost. Because it was fairly busy when we had our baby, there were no private rooms available the first night but for the second and third night we got a private room. Phone calls were $2 each and we just noticed that we got charged $16 for something called a “birth journal” which we never got.
Parking cost us around $18 per day which is quite a bit so you have to consider this as well. This might be dependent on the region, I was recently at a hospital in a smaller city and the parking was only $3 which is pretty insignificant. Another cost is food, our hospital had a fairly good cafeteria with reasonable prices but it’s probably more money then you would have spent on food at home.
One note on the room costs and parking – don’t assume you will be in the hospital for just one night. If you are planning a regular birth then they will probably tell you that it’s one night, however if anything changes or there are any kind of irregular readings then they will make you stay longer. I have several friends who ended up staying in the hospital for 5-7 nights because of irregular test results – the babies ended up not having anything wrong with them but the doctors are very cautious with newborns. In our case we ended up getting a C-Section which meant a mandatory three day stay. I have to say that I didn’t mind being in there for three days because you have the benefit of the nurses when you run into problems. Usually the first 24 hours, the baby is sleeping most of the time and relatively quiet and you will start thinking that this isn’t so hard. Then the screaming begins…
My wife and I took two courses – one was a course on the actual birthing experience (labour) and the other was about how to care for a newborn child. I had been told by numerous friends that these courses were a complete waste of time and sure enough they were. I don’t remember the exact costs but I think they were about $180 per couple for each course.
The birth course is a waste of time because your actual experience will probably not resemble the “normal” experience. The other thing is that when you have a baby, you don’t have to know anything – the doctors, nurses etc will tell you what to do and when to do it.
The child caring course was a bit better but the one thing I wanted to learn from it was how to change a diaper and they didn’t cover it.
Most expectant parents will buy a book or two and pregancy, labour and caring for a newborn. This is a worthwhile effort but I would suggest not reading too many books since (like finance books) they are often contradictory. Try to borrow books from friends or sign them out from the library. We read “What to Expect When Expecting” and thought it was pretty good.
Tomorrow I’ll finish off the baby theme week with a post about RESPs.