If you're pregnant (or planning to be) it's not just your health and well-being that needs to be front of mind, paying close attention to your finances is critical too. We're guessing that, unlike fellow expectant mum Beyonce, you don't have millions to support you through your pregnancy costs - and the many years of expenses that follow. So follow these simple steps to ensure your parental finances are on point.Prep for a pay cut
The reality is, these days most parents work, so having a baby means taking time off work and as a result, earning less income. The sooner you start planning and living on a reduced income the better. This is as easy as setting up a simple budget. Be sure you plan to pay off high-interest credit card debt up front, and put a little aside for baby indulgences (you won't be able to help yourself!). You can access an easy-to-use budgeting tool here (https://www.sorted.org.nz/tools/budgeting-tool/welcome), or alternatively get in touch with your Prosper adviser for some more personalised advice.Make sure you get what you deserve
To help cover working mothers' loss of income when taking leave to care for a new baby (or an adopted child under six) the government provides Paid-Parental Leave payments for up to 18 weeks. And it's not just for mums, in some cases you can transfer all or part of the entitlement to partners. In cases when you're not eligible for paid parental leave there is a parental tax credit available for the first eight weeks.Get protection
If you've got life insurance, it's a good idea to check the policy and make sure your newborn will be covered. If you're yet to see the value in life insurance, having a baby may encourage you to have a rethink. What would happen to your child if you or your partner were to die? Would your family have the financial security to cope? With a new baby on the horizon now's also a good time to consider other types of insurance; income protection is certainly worth exploring! So get in touch and find out how this could benefit you and your growing family. And, if you haven't already written or updated your will, now's the time to take action. It's awful to think about, but it's important to nominate a legal guardian for your child in the event of your death.Don't fret about finances
While the idea of reduced income, all sorts of baby expenses and a fundamental lifestyle shift may seem daunting, you'll be surprised at how well you'll naturally adapt. In fact, many find that staying home with a baby is a great way to save your pennies - after all, who wants to take an unpredictable newborn out for dinner?
If you do want a little extra financial security talk to your Prosper adviser, we're here to help tailor an approach to suit.