Having a baby is a very expensive business, but the most expensive problem is not formula or nappies but something you may not notice for quite a few years. The superannuation that a parent who takes parental leave from their workplace misses out compounds over a lifetime to tens of thousands of dollars depending on your salary (try this calculator to see what the 'baby making' effect might be on your superannuation balance)

Spouse superannuation

If your spouse is working the spousal superannuation contribution benefit can be an effective way to add up to $3000 to your superannuation in a way that provides a $540 tax offset to your spouses tax bill. They can often organise this through their super fund and deposit lump sums or regular payments. This can be done for any year you are not working.

This is a great way for the partner who is still at work to show their appreciation for all of the work their partner is putting into raising and caring for their child day to day.

After tax payments

If you find that your immediate costs are quite as high as you expect, perhaps from the lower amounts you end up spending each week on entertainment and dry cleaning or other work related expenses. While having a baby comes with a lot of new expenses, many people often find that they end up spending less money after the baby arrives due to lower expenses such as entertaining at home rather than out of home.

Any extra amounts you receive including parenting payments, family tax benefits or a larger than expected tax return can also be channelled back into your superannuation (at least in part!).

Low-income superannuation contribution

If you elect to go back to work part time after your baby is born and earn less that $37,000, you may qualify for the low-income super contribution. The ATO will automatically add payments of up to $500 if you qualify for the low-income super contribution. It's a great reason to get your tax return in nice and early!

Compound interest has been described as the eighth wonder of the world. Making contributions to superannuation in your twenties, thirties and forties can lead to a much larger payment and more comfortable retirement in your sixties. Make sure to discuss your superannuation balance with your accountant to see what the best options are for your family to maximise your superannuation balance.