For many new parents, bringing home baby means a mix of excitement, happiness and uncertainty. This life-changing event can at times be overwhelming and exhausting — and it’s easy to feel like there are more questions than answers.
#1: Analyze your budget
- Get a good handle on your finances by setting up a new family budget. There are lots of online tools (many free) that can help you get started.
- Be sure to check out parenting websites, which can give you great tips on parenting — and help you understand how much baby-related essentials such as diapers, wipes, and formula will cost you.
- If you don’t already have one, start an emergency fund.
#2: Keep your baby healthy
Be sure to add your new son or daughter to your health insurance plan(s) right away. Most insurance companies require that your baby be added to your medical plan within 30 days of birth. In the midst of all of the changes, it’s something that can easily be overlooked, but not easily corrected.
#3: It’s all in the name…
Be sure to update your beneficiaries on any employer-sponsored benefits you may have, such as group life insurance or retirement accounts. Beneficiary designations must be made through your employer or your company’s insurance carrier. Consult your legal adviser to discuss your wills or any trusts you need or that should be updated. Be sure to tell your attorney whom you wish to designate as the legal guardian of your children. That way if an unforeseen event occurs, the decision is not left in someone else’s hands.
#4: Keep your family’s finances healthy Once you’ve become a parent, it’s more important than ever to make sure your family members are covered in case the unexpected should happen. While these are difficult things to think about, as a parent, you need to plan for the unforeseen events that could have a financial impact on your family. Consult a financial professional and make sure that you understand how you can help protect your family’s lifestyle in the event the unexpected happens.