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Getting Your Finances Ready for Baby

So you are having a baby or maybe this is your second baby. While this is definitely one of the biggest changes of your life from an emotional and physical standpoint, it also impacts your finances. As if you don’t have enough to worry about! Just taking a few steps and making some financial preparations will only help you after the baby comes.

It’s never too early to start re-jiggering your spending plan and budget. Items are definitely going to cost more than you think they will. Who knew formula would be at least $22 a can and that a baby can go through 2-3 cans a week? Some additional items to think about when redoing your budget: medical insurance, childcare, food, furniture, clothing, and toys. Ask your friends with children what they are spending to get a rough idea of how much things cost in your area. Instead of thinking about how much you are going to give up, think instead about setting priorities on what is important to spend. So maybe you won’t be traveling as much but you still want to get your hair done. If your family is considering a loss of income, this is especially important! Go over your spending plan regularly, at least once a month.

There are a few key financial papers you need to think about, your will and life insurance. Updating (or creating a will) can be one of the toughest decisions you and your family will have to make. It’s not just about changing the beneficiary but deciding who would be the trustee in case anything happens to you. In addition to thinking about who would be the best person to raise your child, you have to decide who the most fiscally responsible person is too!

While life insurance isn’t the most exciting thing to think about it, it has to be done. Having a baby is one of those times to make sure you have enough life insurance. Schedule a few appointments with agents to make sure you getting the right type of life insurance (term or whole life) as well.

Finally, don’t forget about your retirement. With more and more women staying-at-home or working part-time, your retirement plan often gets forgotten with everything else going on. Next thing you know, you haven’t been saving for more than five years and you have been missing out on precious compound interest. You can always use the money for your child’s college education. Remember, children weren’t raised in a day and your finances can take a few months to iron out the kinks as well. Just take it month by month and enjoy the newest member of your household.

(Copyright Down-to-Earth Finance LLC 2006)

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