family at beach

Financial fitness check

Look after my family

1. Have you budgeted for changes to your income and the added expense of life with children?

Yes, I constantly rework our budget

Good work – you want to enjoy being a parent without being distracted by money problems.


Even if you’ve been through it before it’s always a good idea to consider changes to your income and new family-related expenses.

If you’re growing your family make sure you also factor in the paid parental leave you or your partner may be eligible to receive. Contact the IRD to learn more about paid parental leave and if you’re eligible, add it to your budget and revisit it when it runs out.

Other situations that might impact your budget if you're growing your family could include whether the primary caregiver will go back to work? And if so, when will they return and will it be full or part time? And how much will childcare cost once that happens?

Our 'Sort my Finances' Check is a great starting point and has some handy resources - and the IRD is the best place to find information on paid parental leave.

I haven't thought about changes to our situation

Budgets don’t take very long to conquer – you can get there.

It's not just yours or your partner's income that are about to change.

Your expenses will increase. Big ticket items like setting up a nursery or upsizing your car. Small ticket consumables like nappies, bottles, formula and clothes.

As your child grows, so will the expenses. You'll need to consider the cost of childcare and education.


Create a plan to tackle the big and small stuff and try the 'Sort my Finances' Check for some help getting started with your budgeting.

2. Have you protected your children with health insurance?  

Yes, the children are on our insurance policies

You’re doing a great job of looking after your children if you’ve protected them with health insurance.


If you have a trauma insurance policy you could also check if it has, or offers, free trauma insurance for your children. Another options is to take out a standalone children's trauma policy, which will typically cover more children-specific conditions.

Where trauma cover is in place, a lump sum payment is made if your child is diagnosed with or suffers from one of the conditions set out in the policy. Although it's a difficult topic, it's important to think about the time off you'll need to look after them if they fall seriously ill and how you’re going to cover any income gap.

Did you know that under the Ministry of Health’s current Well Child schedule, every child is entitled to eight free health checks? Five are done in the baby’s first 12 months. These are usually done by a Plunket nurse or your local general practitioner (GP).

In addition to looking after your children's health, you can also contribute to their future with a life insurance policy and by specifying what happens when you're not around with an up to date Will.

Not yet, do I need to?

There are a number of reasons why you'd consider health insurance for your children, including:

Avoid public waiting and surgical lists.
Protect your budget.


Most insurers will allow your baby to be added to health insurance policies without any medical questions asked, provided you apply to include your baby within 3 months from the day your baby was born (this is normally subject to the general, congenital and chronic conditions within your policy document - please read your policy for full details). Children can be added to your policy later but you may need to provide medical details in an application prior to the health Insurer considering the acceptance to include your baby.

One longer term advantage of adding them to your policy is that if your children graduate to their own policies, most Insurers will continue to insure your child's existing conditions.

Did you know that under the Ministry of Health’s current Well Child schedule, every child is entitled to eight free health checks. Five are done in the baby’s first 12 months. These are usually done by a Plunket nurse or your local general practitioner (GP).

3. Have you set up an education fund for your children?


Nice. It might seem a fair way off now, but that time will come around surprisingly quickly.


Your kids can benefit from an education fund in more ways than one – as it’s a great way to teach them about savings.

A survey of about 300 students aged 16 to 19 by Massey University, found students rated poorly in questions about budgeting, financial management, saving and investing 1.

Teaching your children to be smarter with money could be just as valuable as the money you leave them. Use the education fund you've set up to teach them about the effect of compounding, budgeting, student loans and other financial principles.

1 is an excellent source of information for you and a great website to introduce your children to when they get older.


School and university fees can be expensive - and it might be hard to find the money when your other bills are piling up.

But, if you start an education fund or savings plan for your child early, you can reduce the burden of taking on debt later on in life.


A small amount today could have a big impact on your children's future tomorrow. Make a commitment, whatever you can afford, and start putting some money aside.

Watch it grow and then give an incredible gift –regardless of whether it’s used chasing a degree or chasing the sun.

There are plenty of options to set up an education fund. It's important you consider the pros and cons of the different options and how the money can be accessed when the time comes.

A financial adviser can help you decide.

Chat with an Adviser

If you’re ready to get some help for your financial tomorrow, talk to a financial Adviser today. They can help you plan for retirement, choose an investment strategy that’s right for you and help protect you and your family financially.

Try our other financial fitness checks

The generic questions asked in this Financial Fitness Check aim to identify ways that you could improve your finances. The questions don’t take into account your financial knowledge or your actual financial situation.  
The results and suggestions given in the Financial Fitness Check are of a general nature and are not intended to constitute or replace financial or other professional advice.  To the extent that the information constitutes advice, it is class advice only.  You should consider whether the suggestions offered are appropriate for you before acting on them, and we recommend that you speak to a financial Adviser and read any relevant product information carefully.
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