Financially preparing for baby
There’s no better time to get financially fit than when you are expecting.
Bringing a new baby into the world is a huge amount of responsibility, both personally and financially. With just a few quick steps, future parents can save a lot of money and get in the right financial mindset before bringing home their bundle of joy.
How to financially prepare for a baby tips:
- Find or buy used products first. Whenever we told anyone we were having a baby within seconds they were practically begging us to take their old clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, etc. Old baby stuff clutters up people's homes and sits in their basements, so 99.9 percent of the time they can't wait to give it away. Garage sales and thrift stores are another great way to find used items. My in-laws are masters of garage saling, they find practically brand new toys and clothes with the tags still on them all the time. Give these items a quick trip through the washing machine and they're good as new.
- Buy necessities, but wait on the rest. Obviously things like diapers, car seats and clothes are things you must have right away, but there are also a LOT of products out there that are nice, but completely unnecessary. Things like wipe warmers and diaper genies are great products, but totally not necessary if you need to save money and put it towards something more important. Fortunately my wife and I have siblings with young children so they were a great source of information about what not to buy. If you aren't sure you will use something ask a friend, family member or co-worker if they actually used one before you buy it. If you find that you still think you need it you can always buy it later.
- Find rebates, coupons and freebies. Companies that make baby products are dying to get you hooked on their brands, and to do that they will frequently give you free samples, coupons and rebates on all of their products. Seek out these deals and use them. My wife found a great rebate program through Similac that gives her $5 rebate checks all the time. Trust me baby products are expensive… take all the savings you can get!
- Budget for things health insurance doesn't cover. Even if you have a good health insurance be prepared to cover any surprise expenses along the way because some insurance plans cover better than others. We got a bill for around $1,000 dollars for the delivery about two months after we brought our son home. Fortunately we had socked away a little money for it because my wife's co-worker got a similar "surprise" in the mail. Co-workers who have had children are a great resource here.
- Open up a college savings account. Financial experts estimate that the cost of college could amount to $200,000 or more in 2030 and if you're anything like me you probably wont have that much money lying around so getting started now is key. A state sponsored 529 account is a great way to put money aside, and most states offer a nice tax advantage on the money as well. Even a small amount of money can grow in to a nice sum with 18 years of compounding interest.
- Get life insurance and a will. Ok, this one is a downer I know… none of us want to face our own mortality but now that you're responsible for more than just you it's time to step up to the plate and do the right thing. Having life insurance and a will, will help make sure your children will be taken care of should the unthinkable happen. Term life insurance isn't terribly expensive if you're in reasonable health, and it's well worth the money. There are tons of great resources out there to help you compare quotes and setting up a policy should only take a few days.
Adaptu <https://www.adaptu.com/> , a free online financial life planning and management service where users can create a personalized view of their financial life, has partnered with financial author Jeffery Williamson to develop six tips on how to financially prepare for a baby.