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Baby or Bust: Financial Planning for New Parents and Parents-to-be


Your bundle of joy comes with a bundle of financial considerations — everything from managing the mortgage on one income to paying for your child’s education. So from the moment you decide to start a family it’s worth taking the important step of getting financially fit for parenthood.

Mother-of-four and personal finance journalist Nicola Field takes parents and parents-to-be on a step-by-step journey that covers every aspect of funding a family. Baby or Bust tackles the key issues faced by parents today, including:

  • deciding when to have children
  • managing the extra costs
  • living well on one income
  • taking parental leave
  • working out which government benefits you are entitled to
  • saving for your child’s education.

With lots of easy-to-follow tips and plenty of good, sound money advice, this entertaining and informative book is a must-read for anyone about to start a family. You may not be able to stop the baby from waking at 3 am but at least you won’t be lying awake worrying about the family finances!

A journalist for more than eight years, and a former chartered accountant, Nicola Field is a regular contributor to a number of successful magazines, including Money Magazine and Real Living. Nicola lives and works from home in the Upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales with her partner, four children and a growing assortment of horses.
About the author iv

Acknowledgements v

Foreword vii

1 Ready or not? Knowing the right time 1

2 Can we afford a baby? 15

3 Forward planning 33

4 Nine months … and counting 61

5 Paying for everything 81

6 Maternity leave and beyond 93

7 Penny-wise parenting — surviving on one income 109

8 Living well on a budget 127

9 Bibs, bottles, briefcase 139

10 Saving for schooling 159

Notes 177

Index 181