Do you have a little bundle of joy on the way? Your life is probably filled with new tasks: outfitting the nursery, buying baby clothes, baby-proofing the home, and all those last-minute details that rear up in the final weeks before the little one is due. There’s another necessary factor to consider as the due date draws near—the important financial moves every new parent should make. Check out this list of the essential financial steps to take before and after you add a new little member to your happy family.
Money Moves to Make When You Have Your First Child
Refine Your Budget
When you first find out a baby is on the way, the first financial step you should take is creating a new budget. First, take a look at what your current monthly budget allows for. Then, pull records of your expenditures from the past six months. This will allow you the opportunity to hone in on the expenses you now deem unnecessary, and help you locate funds that can now be allocated to baby-related expenditures. This will help you bolster your current savings account and provide you more money for spending on those unforeseen costs that rear their head when children are involved. Consider using a financial advisor from a certified company like Edelman Financial.
Consider Life Insurance Plans
Once you have dependents, it’s important to look into life insurance. These plans will keep your loved ones financially secure even if the worst is to happen, and will help with costs they may not have been able to handle on their own otherwise. It’s all about helping your spouse and children maintain their quality of life even should a tragic unexpected event occur in your family. Check out the affordable life insurance plans at MetLife.com.
Get Out of Debt
If you’re living under a huge pile of debt, do everything in your power to create a solid plan to work your way out from underneath it. It might be picking up an easy online job that you can perform while the baby is napping or feeding, or it could be cutting out luxury expenditures for at least a little while. If you’re in debt with the IRS, it’s even more pertinent to pay off the money owed as soon as possible. Check out Community Tax payment plans and get professional guidance on the best ways to work with the IRS and avoid the scary consequences of tax liens and levies.
Retirement might seem far off, but the time to start saving for the golden years is now. While a new baby brings expenses and costs that may offset your original financial plans, it’s important to stay committed to contributing money to your retirement account. Whether that means upping the amount you contribute to our employer’s 401k in order to receive company matching, or opening an IRA that will allow you to live the comfortable lifestyle you imagine for your later years in life, make it a priority to save for retirement.
Check out 529 College Savings Plans
For most parents, starting a college savings plan for their new little one is top financial priority. If this is true for you, start saving in a 529 College Savings Plan immediately. This account will allow you to garner complete control over the funds it contains, and all the growth in these types of account are tax-free, so long as the funds are used for higher education as intended. If down the road your first child decides to skip college, or receives a scholarship, you can then transfer this money to your next child’s higher education spending, without any penalties. The sooner you start this account, the more it will garner in growth, so time is definitely of the essence.
Practicing smart financial strategies and enforcing wise monetary habits means setting a great example for your children, and sets them up well for a healthy financial future. As you receive a new member of the family, be sure to keep these money moves in mind and put them to good use.