5 Financial Tips for New Moms & Dads
Posted by Gail | Filed under Money & Family
If you’ve spent the last few days staring into your beautiful new baby’s face, you know you’re now the proud Momma and Poppa of a huge responsibility. It’s easy to let the mundane money minutia slip by unnoticed. Who wants to bother balancing a budget when you can sit counting those beautiful fingers and toes? But letting things slide won’t feel so warm and fuzzy when the collection calls start coming. And this is no time to put your family at risk simply because you’ve got the best excuse ever to ignore your money. Here are 5 tips to help keep you on track.
Make/Revise Your Budget. Shopping for Baby can be fun, but if you let your hormones drive your spending, you’ll be sorry. Before you lay out a cent, make a budget that shows how you’re going to deal with the changes in your financial landscape. If you’re living on maternity benefits and your income has fallen, adjust your budget so you don’t end up using credit to fill the gap. And there’s a whack of new expenses that you’ll need to work into your spending plan.
Shop with a List. Everything baby-sized is cute. The USDA says that families with an income of $70,000+ spend more than of $15,000 in the first two years of a baby’s life. No doubt you’ll want new and shiny for your sweet and beautiful. But if you leave the house without a shopping list, every time you go into a store you’ll have the word “sucker” flashing on your forehead. Impulse shopping is no way to stay on budget. Make a list before you head out the door. If it isn’t on the list, don’t buy it. You can always add it to your list for your next shop if you really need it.
Get Some Insurance. As responsible new parents, you will want to protect your baby’s future. That means ensuring there’s enough money to see the family through whatever may happen. Life insurance for both parents is no longer a nice-to-have. Disability insurance is a must. Skip insurance on baby; it’s not necessary.
Set Up an Educational Savings Plan. Do it from the get go. Wait five years to start and you’ll have to sock away a whole lot more to make sure Baby isn’t saddled with a ton of student debt. Start early and as little as $100 a month will do the job.
Make a Will. It’s easy to let this slip. Thinking about your own demise just when you’ve brought new hope into your world is yucky! But if you don’t have a Will and a Guardianship Appointment, you’re leaving it up to the system to make those decisions for you should the worst happen. Now that’s yucky!