Whether that day is coming next week or in a couple of years, it’s never too early (or too late) to start financially planning for children. Kids aren’t cheap, but worth all the money you’ll spend.
You’ll want to start planning for the short-term of having a kid. All the supplies like diapers, bottles, a crib and toys. What about income changes? Will one parent be on family leave and how much of their income do they retain while off? You want to ensure your financial situation can withstand all the additional costs of your upcoming baby.
But have you included long-term plans for your children? There may be child care, after-school activities (things like hockey and dance are not cheap) and even post-secondary education. Although you can save for those items throughout a child’s life, it is something to keep in mind while you prepare.
When you lay everything out, it can become overwhelming very quickly. But if you start preparing your finances now, it may save you a few headaches down the road. Here are a few ways to help financially prepare for children.
Prepare for Health Costs
One thing that can easily get overlooked during the excitement of planning for a baby is the health costs. There’s prenatal care (including any vitamins and medication), hospital bills for labor and delivery and the eventual doctor checkups for your new little one.
Don’t let yourself be caught off-guard with hospital bills. Start setting aside money now that can be used specifically for any medical bills down the road.
If you haven’t started a budget just for yourself, now is that time to get one going. Once a child is in the picture, money will quickly disappear. If you don’t know where it is all going, it will be hard to keep it under control and organized.
Keep track of what you are spending and put it into specific categories within your budget. If you notice your expenses are more than your income, start trimming down certain areas. Remember, you are going to need to include more categories for your children, so some things will need to be cut.
Child Investment Plans
This should be an ongoing long-term plan. Look at different investment and savings opportunities to start putting money away for your children. Look into accounts for retirement savings and college plans. There are many options available. A financial advisor can help you decide which investment or savings path is best for your family.
Protect Your Family’s Future
Protecting your family’s future isn’t something parents will think of the moment they hold their baby. Nor is it something you even want to feel. But It’s critical to consider a life insurance policy to help protect your baby’s future if something happens to either you or your spouse. Name either your spouse or your children as the beneficiary. Your policy can help cover the costs of your funeral and help provide a cushion for them to continue with life.
Don’t let the financial worries overtake the joy of starting a new family. Prepare as early as you can, in every way that you can. Start budgeting now for children and don’t forget to include unexpected hospital bills. Look into life insurance policies for the entire family to help protect them financially down the road.
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