Tips to find the right balance between work and family life
Combining family and work commitments is a challenge at the best of times. Yet it’s particularly stressful when you’re returning to work after a adding new child to the family.
The reality is that in most Australian families, the children’s primary care-giver will be working at least part-time. The juggling act between time and money is real.
In this news post, the Henderson Matusch team take a look at some of the issues to consider, when you’re weighing up whether or not to return to work after having a baby.
Choosing and funding childcare
If you’ve decided to return to work, finding suitable childcare is probably one of the first challenges you’ll face. Unless you’re lucky enough to have family to help you care for your new arrival full-time, that means you’ll be incurring a new expense in your budget.
Even if you qualify for assistance through the government’s Child Care Subsidy, childcare still comes at a considerable cost to the family budget.
Of course, it’s not just the cost of childcare that will be top-of-mind. Finding the right childcare centre will also be a priority.
It’s a good idea to place your child on several waiting lists, even if you have your heart set on one close to home or work. Stay in contact with the centres and check regularly to see if they have any vacancies.
Dealing with higher expenses and lower income
Going back to work part-time, along with the increased costs of caring for a child, will inevitably impact your family’s finances. To adjust to these changes, it’s important that you review your budget and look for any areas where you can reduce and control your spending.
You may also find that you can update some of your accounts, loans, and investments to further help with balancing the budget. Just remember to seek professional advice before you make any key changes.
Consider the benefits of returning to work
It’s understandable if the cost of childcare leads you to rethink whether it makes sense to return to the workforce at all. Yet employment does bring benefits to consider, beyond the immediate impact on your cash flow:
- By working you’ll continue to accumulate savings in your superannuation nest egg
- Childcare doesn’t last forever. You will see the benefits of your income at some point!
- You’ll continue to gain skills, relationships, and knowledge in your chosen industry
Make the best use of any extra income
If you’ve delayed your return to work until after your children have started school, you may be increasing your overall household income.
If this is the case, think carefully about the best way to use your additional funds. You might choose to:
- Contribute more to your superannuation
- Start saving separately for your child’s education expenses
- Increase your home loan repayments
- Pay out credit card or similar debt
If your household budget allows it, it might also be a good time to start a longer-term investment strategy outside of your super.
Other things to think about when returning to work
Returning to work after having a child is a good time to check in on some other key areas of your household financial plan, such as:
- Ensuring you have enough insurance in place to look after your family if anything should happen to you
- Updating your Will to reflect your changed circumstances
- Confirming the beneficiaries for your superannuation account
Need help with planning your return to work? Talk to HM
If you’d like advice on the best way to adjust your family finances to cope with a new arrival, talking with a financial adviser can help.
For your complimentary no-obligation chat, call us on 07 3229 3688 or use the simple contact form here.