Having a family

Don’t let finances be the reason for your sleepless nights

4 min read

The day I brought my son home from the hospital I was immediately struck by the magnitude of his arrival. Those first few days in the hospital with midwives at my beck and call hadn’t quite prepared me for the “Now what am I supposed to do with you?” moment I had in my living room. There’s a lot to get your head around in those first few weeks and months, but once you’re out of that new born fog, it might be time to get a few pieces of financial housekeeping sorted. Your baby should be the reason you’re awake at 3am, not your finances.

Add your child to your health insurance policy

New Zealand's public health system is reported as overloaded so you might not get the prompt attention your child needs. Even if you qualify for a public specialist consultation, it may be more than six months before the first appointment. If you have private health insurance, the sooner you can get your son or daughter added to your policy the better. As a new born they have no (or very few) pre-existing conditions so it should be easy to get them cover.

If you don’t have health insurance but are interested in getting cover, check out the benefits here and get in touch with one of our qualified advisors.

Make a will

Many people assume their assets would automatically pass to their partner or children upon their death, but this isn’t always the case. If you don’t make a will the State has the power to make decisions on your behalf and your property and savings will pass to your next of kin, as determined by the law.

It’s not just your house, car or savings that a will protects – now you have a baby, your most valuable possession is a person, and your will can confirm who would look after your child in the event of your death.

Add your child as a beneficiary of your life insurance

If you have life insurance for yourself or your partner you may want to consider adding your child as another beneficiary. A will or trust can ensure your child could only access the money at an age pre-determined by you. Many parents choose 18 or 21 as a suitable age, just in time for university or their OE.

Start planning for childcare

If you think you’ll be returning to work when your parental leave comes to an end it’s never too soon to start seriously considering your childcare options. Finding the right nanny or kindergarten can take weeks, and many pre-schools have surprisingly-long waiting lists. You’ll probably need to visit a few to get an idea of what you like, and of course, your child’s personality will contribute to your decision. The cost between child care options can vary greatly as discussed in my article 'Know what to expect before you're expecting' and this will play a role in where you ultimately decide is best for you child, but also your family as a whole.

Saving for education

Your baby might only be a few months old, but one day they’re going to be all grown up and then there could be some major expenses coming your way. Fees for an undergraduate degree in New Zealand can cost between $6,000 - $8,000 per year (with medicine costing a whopping $15,000). Once you add on accommodation costs, food, and books it can seem financially overwhelming but you can make it more manageable by starting to save early.

BNZ has a range of savings accounts to match your style of saving and help make it easier for you to reach your goals. Our online banking platform lets you track your progress and stay motivated over the long term.

Keep saving for your retirement

It’s all too easy to get swept up in what’s happening with your baby to remember to look after your personal finances. Don’t forget about your retirement plans, even if you can’t contribute as much as you have been while at work, a little bit often will add up to big savings in the long run.

What happens to my KiwiSaver while I’m on parental leave?

  • If you’re on paid parental leave and you're still being paid by your employer, then your KiwiSaver contributions will continue and your employer will continue to make compulsory employer contributions. 
  • If you’re not receiving any payments from your employer, then your KiwiSaver contributions will stop automatically but you can keep them going by contacting Inland Revenue - otherwise your contributions will start again when you're back at work.

You deserve to be looked after

As a Plunket family, we'd like to offer you special deals from BNZ with our Plunket Baby Bundle Offer.

Find out more