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Being Baby Ready: Planning Financially For a Baby

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

Moving to the next phase your life, you may decide that now is the perfect time to start thinking about children. Having a baby is a major life change, of course, as anyone could already guess. Being a parent means a drastically different lifestyle; changing your sleeping habits, how you spend your free time, and your life habits at home. Another important change that needs to be taken into consideration, and prepared for, is a change in fiscal needs and habits. By preparing early on you’ll be able to minimize the burden and stress, financially, of being a new parent.

To start, you will want to move forward into parenthood with as much of a cash cushion as possible. Although we’d all prefer for our lives to run smoothly, without a single bump in the path, we can never foresee when there will be a hiccup in the future. Start budgeting yourself early on, cutting back on as many unnecessary costs as possible now. This will help allow wiggle room in the future for new necessary costs, as well as giving additional funds to sock away now. The extra money will help carry you through leave time and any unexpected challenges that you may come against.

Start discussing your future working prospects once the baby has arrived. Thinking again of lifestyle changes, one major modification may need to be your work schedule. The long work hours, which you became accustomed to, may not be in your favor once the baby has arrived. With no one at home, daycare becomes a consideration. Like most other businesses, daycare providers typically follow usual business hours, meaning that you will need to available at closing to pick up your child. Even if you find a daycare with extended evening hours you usually need to pay extra for the overage. This is when it will become a battle of whether or not the costs outweigh the means.

You will need to start considering the long term, as well, when you start planning for a baby. You will need to look into updating your life insurance policy, if not acquiring it all together. With a child to take care of, you will want your spouse to have the means necessary should anything happen in the future. You will also need to consider who will care for your child in case both parents pass unexpectedly. Speak with your loved ones and discuss who will be the best equipped to handle the situation if it should arise. That way you can be comfortable in knowing your child will always be cared for.

Preparing for the baby ahead of time can be just as costly as when the baby arrives. With all of the new furniture, clothing, and items that you will need once the baby arrives, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and spend beyond your means. For some items you may want to consider buying used from consignment or borrowing from friends or family members. See if your parents/family still have pieces of furniture in their attics or storage; you may be able to save a little money and start a new family tradition/heirloom. Also, try waiting until your shower before going purchase happy. You will usually receive a ton of clothing, along with many other necessities. See what you receive before making a list of what you will need to purchase.

Long Island Money & Careers Articles > Being Baby Ready: Planning Financially For a Baby

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