New parents have a lot going on between the sleepless nights, dirty diapers and piles of laundry. This isn’t all that new parents must consider either, as financial considerations necessarily change as soon as a new child is brought home.
Bringing Home Baby
Many new parents begin paying for their children even before they bring baby home. In addition to buying things for the nursery and lots of baby gear, parents have probably also begun paying for the medical care the mother receives during pregnancy. Even those with insurance have a deductible to hit! Depending on the insurance plan and the care a pregnant woman receives, new parents may pay anywhere from just a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand for an uncomplicated pregnancy and birth. Those who adopt also face considerable costs as they apply to an adoption agency, get a home study and pay legal or attorney fees that are often prohibitive.
Create a Budget
Some people think the word “budget” is a bad word. In truth, a budget is not a list of rules limiting your fun but is a simple plan for how you will spend your money. When new parents sit down and lay out all of their income and expenses, they will identify areas of flexibility they may be able to control as they work to fit a new baby into their financial plan. Budgets are for both those with limited income and those who are financially stable. Some websites even have simple budget worksheets to help you develop one.
Plan for the Future
New parents also have to think about how expenses will fluctuate in the years to come. Those who can afford it are encouraged to begin saving for college. Savings accounts can work, but investing in a 529 plan seems to be the best bet as you will see a return on your investment that a simple savings account won’t be able to offer. Almost everyone, no matter how small the income, should also take out a life insurance policy on a new child. Life insurance on children is incredibly affordable and can ease the financial burden should a tragedy occur later on.
Use Your Resources
Single parents may face additional challenges as they grow their families. It is important that anyone offering finance tips for single moms consider how a single parent dynamic can affect a family’s ability to save, plan for emergencies and pay for quality childcare and extracurricular activities. Often, the state offers resources that can help offset some of these costs for those at or near the poverty level, and there are many agencies or organizations that offer additional aid.
The most important thing new parents should remember is to stay in control of their financial situation as much as possible. Children bring new expenses, but many of these expenses can be planned for, and there are lots of ways to save as well. Shopping consignment sales or thrift stores is a good start, and many brands offer loyalty savings and coupons to offset expenses. Buying in bulk provides its own savings as well. Whatever the added cost children bring, they add joy and love to our families, and that is priceless.