Having a child is one of the most important things you’ll ever do, and it takes a significant amount of personal planning. You’ll have to worry about getting their room organized, buying clothes, baby-proofing the house, and how you’ll cope with the lack of sleep.
There are also monetary considerations because children are costly to feed, clothe, shelter, and entertain. It’s important for any expecting parents to do some financial planning to assess their money situation and look at their long-term goals. They will then be able to lay out some strategies for achieving those goals with their existing income.
Throwing a baby into the mix could change those goals, of course, and will undoubtedly alter expenses. It’s crucial, then, for expecting parents to develop a new financial plan with their dependents in mind to ensure they still have a clear path to financial freedom. This guide will take you through some critical aspects of financial planning for a baby and how you can handle the job.
Why You Need to Get Serious About Financial Planning for a Baby
It feels like everything nowadays is expensive, and making a major purchase or developing a retirement strategy will take some thought. The plan can quickly change when there’s a baby involved. Adjusting your approach based on your new addition and the accompanying expenses has some clear benefits, including:
A Decision-Making Guide
Your new financial plan can act as a decision-making guide moving forward. You can now afford that vacation or new vehicle without sacrificing some of the baby’s needs. Having a financial plan in place will let you know the best decision to make for the child’s future.
There’s a lot of stress involved with raising a child, particularly if finances become an issue. There’s an immense emotional and mental health benefit to having a financial plan in place because you’ll always know where you stand. The result is greater peace of mind and a clear understanding of where you are economically.
Reach Financial Goals
Creating a financial plan with your baby on the way is also essential to achieving your financial goals. You don’t have to give up on all of your dreams just because you have a child, but you might need to alter them. Your financial plan will show you the steps you’ll need to take to get there while giving your child what it needs to thrive.
Having a baby is sure to cost you some money and could slow you down as you reach your goals, but it’s still possible to get there. Following a few tips along the way also makes it more likely that your plans are attainable.
6 Tips for Financial Planning for a Baby
Your life changes the second you find out you’re expecting a baby, and it never returns to normal. You’ll have to alter your financial thinking and integrate some new concepts into your plan to make it all work.
1. Look at Insurance Options
Health insurance is a critical part of raising a child, of course, but you might think about life and disability insurance for yourself as well. That will provide the baby some financial support, even if you can no longer provide it. An insurance payout will be highly beneficial if unforeseen events occur in your life.
2. Have Emergency Cash on Hand
A rainy day fund is always a good idea, but it’s even more critical when ensuring your child always has shelter and food. Keep in mind that a traditional emergency fund will have three to six months of living expenses, but your costs will be far higher because of the kids. Many parents keep this money in an interest-bearing account or market so it grows when not in use.
3. Learn About Tax Breaks
One way becoming a parent can help you financially is through the available tax breaks. You might be eligible for the Child and Dependent Care Credit, which covers 20% to 35% of certain expenses related to raising a child. Your employer might also sponsor a flexible spending account (FSA), which allows you to put aside up to $5,000 of tax-fee money for childcare each year.
4. Create a Retirement Plan
Retirement might be the last thing on your mind as a new parent, but the day will eventually come, and you want to be sure you’re ready. It’s never too early to prepare for retirement, so your financial plan should include some savings options. Your last day of work is coming sooner than you think, and having a retirement fund can make this possibility a reality.
5. Think About College
College is expensive today, and barring any unforeseen changes in the way we educate our children, it’ll cost even more 18 years from now. The earlier you begin the savings process, the longer the interest will compound, making it more likely that you’ll have enough to put your child through school.
6. Write a Will
Even if you don’t have much in the way of assets, putting a will together is a vital part of financial planning for a baby. It will determine crucial details such as who takes care of the baby if something happens to you and your partner. The will also informs the courts of your beneficiaries.
The more you plan, the less stressful you’ll find your nights as a new parent. You won’t be getting any sleep, of course, but at least it’ll be the baby keeping you awake rather than your finances.
Speak With a Financial Planning Expert
Financial planning is a complicated process, but it’s easier when you have the guidance of professionals. Bogart Wealth offers financial planning and wealth management services with the client-first approach you get from a fiduciary. Feel free to contact us today with any questions you have about financial planning for a baby or any other wealth management needs.