Finances For Having a Baby

Summer brings more than just warm weather… it brings new life. More babies are born in July and August than in any other months of the year. Bringing a baby into the world can be one of the most fulfilling and exciting times for a family but, in the midst of the joy and excitement, don’t forget about the financial responsibilities that go along with parenthood.

Here are some things new parents should do to ensure a sound financial future for themselves and their families.

1. Budget for your baby. Having a baby means a whole new financial plan has to be made. Hospital bills, taking leave from work, new furniture, and a bevy of baby necessities will soon put a big dent in your wallet. So, plan your spending accordingly. Will both parents work? Who will stay home? Will one income be enough? Ask yourself these questions and be sure of what your income will be.

2. Make a will. This allows you to designate not only how your possessions and finances are handled, but also who will be the guardian of your child in the event of your death. There are a number of online resources to help you with finances and planning, but it’s best to consult with a lawyer.

3. Get life insurance. In the same vein as the will, you want to have something to leave your family if something should happen to you. You generally want to have enough to cover about 5 times your annual income. Depending on your job, you may also want to consider disability insurance.

4. Save for retirement before college. Some would think that the kid’s college fund is more important. There are loans and scholarships to help with college tuition, but not for retirement. You can put your kid through college, but he or she may end up bearing the burden of your elder care because you’ll be broke. You can still save for their college, but try to put 10% of your income towards retirement first and any extra money can go into the college fund. If necessary, you can withdraw money from a Roth IRA with no tax penalties if the money is used for college expenses.

Having a child will change your life. It will be a joy and, if not properly prepared, a financial burden. If your stork is on her way, now is the time to put a plan in place so that when your bundle of joy joins your family, you are financially prepared. A little planning for your family finances goes a long way.

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