How to Determine if You're Financially Fit to Be a Parent

There are so many benefits to being a parent, and we can't even put them all into words. But it's not really a job for everyone. There are a few things you should ideally have together before you decide to become a parent. Financial fitness is one of those things.


Why? Well, kids are expensive.


With that said, the best parents are those who love and spend time with their kids. You can be a great parent and have small savings or a lot of debt. The difference is that you and your kids will be more comfortable when you're financially fit.


So if you're at the point where you're thinking about whether you're ready for kids, your financial status is going to be a consideration.


In this post, we're going to help you determine whether you're financially fit to be a parent right now.

Emergency savings

At the very least, before you decide to have children, you want to have an emergency savings fund that will cover you in the event of job loss or illness. That fund should have enough money to cover three to six months of expenses. This is in addition to any savings you may have for retirement, vacation, or any other future plans. Unlike a savings account, this isn't an account you expect to change often. Once you have enough money in your emergency savings account, you only really need to add whenever you remove funds.


Are you in a position where you can save a significant amount of your earnings? This may change when you have a child, but you should shoot for at least twenty percent of your after-tax earnings. If you're comfortable enough with your income to save this much and have an emergency fund, you will probably be financially fit enough to be a parent. However, if you're a single parent or if you or your spouse is planning to become a stay-at-home parent, you're going to need more in savings.


Home Ownership

If you own a home, you may think you're financially fit enough to be a parent, but that's not always the case. A home can be a great asset, but it can also be a liability. If you are upside down on your mortgage or need a lot of expensive repairs on your home, it may not be the best time to start a family. On the other hand, you may think you need to own a home before having kids, and that's not necessarily true. If you have adequate savings and emergency fund, home ownership doesn't matter as much as you might think. In fact, homeownership poses many risks and unexpected expenses that can put pressure on anyone's financial situation.


You can certainly procreate without a dollar in the bank, and you can even become amazing parents, but financial fitness is important. And it's especially important if you want to explore alternative options for starting your family. Surrogacy or adoption is an option, but only if your finances are in order.


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