How To Financially Navigate Life as a New Parent

mom calculating with baby

One of the most exciting times during the process of creating a family is experiencing the birth of a child for the first time. Taking home a new bundle of joy alters your life in a significant way that’s unlike any other occurrence one could go through. However, stress is bound to kick in, as there are many things that need to be done once you have a baby. Baby proofing, setting up a nursery, and structuring a schedule are all common examples, however, many people don’t think about the financial impact of having a child. Get your finances in shape while caring for your new baby with these helpful tips!

Squish Your Debt and Create a Safety Net

One of the most important things to do when you have had a new baby is to take a deep dive into your current financial situation. Knowing how much debt you carry is important, as starting a family can be an expensive endeavor. Once you take the time to go through the costs that are piling up your debt that is needed to be paid off, make sure that you create a plan in order to repay your debts as quickly as possible. After designing your debt repayment plan, the next order of business is to form a safety net. A safety net is fairly simple to create and can be as easy as putting five dollars a week into an envelope or having a small portion of your paycheck deposited into its own savings account.

Plan for Child Care

Finding a child care expert is something that is imperative to think about soon after you have a child.  This is one of the most expensive things that could be considered when building a family. Plan for child care by beginning your research process early on, and networking with other people who have had to find reliable, caring and cost-friendly individuals in the past. There are also a variety of mobile applications that allow you to research child care right from your smartphone. If you know the price and place where you want to send your child well in advance, you’ll have more time to prepare your finances through saving as much as you can and controlling your spending tendencies.

After you’ve completed all of your necessary research and found the ideal place or person for your child’s care, the next step is to start putting aside money so you can afford it in the long run. One of the best ways to start saving, is by opening a spending account that is dedicated to just child care and putting money towards the expense consistently. Depending on what financial provider you use or plan to use, look into the additional costs that are associated with that service. It is important to find an account without monthly fees to make sure you’re building your savings as efficiently as possible. This way you can make sure that you aren’t losing money through overdraft and having a minimal balance. Using a budgeting tool to help you determine the exact amount of money you should save each week is another great way to help you cover the future costs of child care.

Plan for Your Baby’s Future

Lastly, it is never too early to start planning for your child’s future, whether it’s thinking about their college education or wanting to set them up for financial success for the early adulthood stage. You can begin allocating money into a fund as early as you want, but don’t delay this too long, as this financial plan for your child is highly important. If part of your plan is to send your child off to college with as much financial support as possible, looking into creating a 529 plan will be one of the first steps you’ll want to take as a new parent. If a 529 plan isn’t for you, even just creating a simple savings account dedicated to the new baby is a great way to help them in the long run.

Discuss financial matters with your family and partner, and make it a priority to plan ahead. Starting a family and having your first child is such a fun and exciting time, however, it is equally important to both baby proof your home and your financial strategy.

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Caryn is a content creator who writes articles about topics in lifestyle and parenting. The primary focus of her articles is to help provide readers with insights on personal finance, while adjusting to life changes.

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