Congratulations on your pregnancy! Babies are just the cutest, am I right? By the way, how are you going to handle your expenses when the baby comes?

Finding out you're going to be a parent can bring out a huge range of emotions to the table. You feel exhilarated that there's going to be a mini version of you and your partner running around the place in no time. Without the right planning, the happiness of having a baby in just 9 months can be short-lived if you realize that you don't have a grip on how this will impact the major aspects of your life — social, professional, and financial.

There's no need to panic, we've got your back! Depending on whether you get a reality check on the matter, you may well have 9 months ahead of you to prepare.

Now, there's no need to chart out the next 18 years, because who knows what the future has in store. But let's start with a manageable immediate time horizon — three years.

Three steps to financially prepare for your bundle of joy

  1. Map out a detailed 3-year baby roadmap

Discuss with your partner the budget needed to accommodate your newborn. Consider the one-offs, such as buying baby gear (a pram, stroller, or even a car seat) as well as the recurring ones (diapers, clothes, etc). Consider expenses that will come up over time (e.g. nursery) and note down the date that you expect to incur each of these expenses. You now can anticipate how much to spend, and by when.

  1. Identify how to fund the first 3 years

Babies can't take care of themselves, and sometimes one member of the parenting couple makes a decision to stay at home more, which may impact their career — and subsequently their income. If there is an income being sacrificed, then the household income can be impacted too if said income is accounted for in budgeting.

Other times, it makes financial sense to hire help to take care of the baby whilst both parents are off working and earning financially. In the Middle East, live-in help is often opted for, but nurseries often make for a good alternative as well.

  1. Adjust your household budget to accommodate the new expenses while still saving

Create a new budget that you and your partner agree on that will cover the payments to come. The financial decisions you set with your partner are tentative to change, of course, but it's better to go into this new phase of your life with a base plan than to go with the flow and get cornered later.

The best way to go about ensuring that you're sticking with your plan is to track your spending against your budget. Now, nobody's got time to do this manually (with a baby and all) so consider downloading a digital FinTech app that can help you track your spending.

Along the way, discuss what experiences you want your kid to have when they're newborns, in kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school — so that you can anticipate the future years to come. You can consider re-doing a family budget every few years (every three years or so, for example) — but there's no need to stress over college financing now... the real stress is when your baby becomes a teenager!