Financial Planning Before You Have a Baby
Hearing that biological clock ticking but aren't sure if your financial plan jibes with your baby-making plans? Before you take the plunge into parenting, it's a good idea to make sure your finances are in tip-top shape! Here are some financial things to handle before you have a baby:
Get Insurance Medical insurance is super-important when you're having a baby. Prenatal care can run several thousand G's and health coverage for the baby is a must. Also, don't forget all that unsexy stuff like life insurance and disability insurance for you and your mate. Create a Will We know, totally morbid. But it's important to have a will when you're a parent, so just get it out of the way and feel better knowing it's done. Be sure to pick a guardian, in case something happens to you and your partner. If you don't name someone on paper, the state'll do it for you and nobody wants that. Make a Budget If you don't have one already, create a budget! It's important to know how much moolah is coming in and how much is going out each month. Of course, before you have the baby, you can't be sure of exactly what it's going to cost you, but it's a good idea to make a post-baby budget so you aren't surprised when that bundle of (expensive) joy arrives! Investigate Child-Care Options Child care is a huge expense to consider. Research your options (Day-care center? Nanny? Small in-home care provider? Tag-team parenting? Grandparents?) and get on waiting lists for popular day-care centers early so you aren't left in a lurch. Evaluate Your Work Sitch Even if you think both you and your baby daddy plan to return to work after baby comes, it's a good idea to consider your financial picture with one of you home. Odds are you're going to want to take some time to bond with baby, so you'll want to know ahead of time how much time you can afford to take off. Start a College Savings Plan Just in case junior doesn't get a full ride to the Ivy League, you can never start saving for educational expenses too soon. Look into a 529 college savings plan and consider making even the smallest contributions as soon as baby is born.