Many moms and expectant moms are not prepared for the mounting financial obligations that come with having babies, and are often stunned when their maternity salary or savings come up short against the hidden costs of motherhood
Rachel Kolisi is a supermom of four, media influencer, career woman and wife of Springbok rugby star/ Stormer’s captain, Siya Kolisi, so she juggles multiple roles. Having recently had another baby, she’s well-versed in both the hidden expenses of raising a child and how to curb these.
She recently spoke to Capitec Bank about some of her top tips for balancing the books at home. Here’s what she recommends adding to your budget so that there aren’t any nasty surprises:
- Maxed out medical aid: A sickly baby can max out a medical aid within a few months (a visit to the paediatrician is around R500 to R1 000). And not all medical aid plans even cover doctor visits.
- Gym: Exercise is a perfect way to release endorphins, and exercise classes have been shown to combat postnatal depression. Most moms don’t budget for a gym membership, which can be anything from R300 to R900 a month.
- Formula: If you don’t breastfeed or struggle with the process, you will need to buy formula, which costs about R100 to R500 for an average 800g tin.
- Car seats: Unfortunately, kids do outgrow their car seats – sometimes, after only one year of use – and these cost anything from R600 to R6 000 to replace. Rachel has three of them!
- Babysitters: We are lucky to have relatively affordable childcare options in SA, but a nanny is pricey, costing around R4 000 to R10 000 a month. Babysitters charge anything from R60 to R200 per hour.
On the flip side, Kolisi and her friends crowd sourced some smart supermom life-hacks to save a buck or three:
- Start a baby fund: Francois Viviers, Exec Marketing and Communications at Capitec Bank, and new father agrees, “It is important to review your financial situation as soon as you find out you’re expecting, so you can adequately plan ahead. Begin with opening savings accounts to align with your new financial goals and responsibilities: like future school fees, an emergency fund or a nursery decoration fund. Link these to your main account so you can easily transfer funds across and capitalise on interest.
- Cut small costs when you can: Find out what you’re paying in bank fees for example, and shop around for a bank with low fees, one where you only pay for what you use, where you can earn up to 4,8 % interest on a positive bank balance.
- Shop in bulk: Shop in bulk online to avoid excessive delivery fees. Also, compare prices between shops before you buy. Stick to buying necessities and capitalise on sale items when you can.
- Buy quality second-hand items: Shop around on reputable sites for secondhand travel systems, prams or cots. Invest in high-quality, well looked-after items.
- Have your doctor on speed dial: New moms tend to rush baby to the doctor at the slightest sniffle. This is completely understandable, but also costly. If it doesn’t seem serious, phone your paediatrician. She may also be able to fax a script directly to your pharmacy.
- Form a playgroup/ babysitters club: Use Facebook groups to locate nearby moms for regular meet-ups. See if any moms are interested in forming a babysitting club. You can take it in turns to look after the kids on a rotational basis to cut down on babysitting costs. This is also a great way to network if you’re thinking of starting a business: moms tend to support other moms.
- Keep track via an app: Use your bank’s app to keep track of your spending and easily transact online when you’re too busy to go into a branch. Examine your bank statements to check your current expenditure then revise your budget with an online budgeting tool – especially while you’re on a reduced budget, as the UIF doesn’t pay a full salary during your maternity leave.