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How To Incorporate Kids Into Your Financial Plan

When you choose to have children you are embarking on one of the greatest adventures of your life. Children change you: they change your habits, routines, priorities, and even the way you see the world.

There are many tasks that consume the lives of new parents from diaper changes to lost stuffed animals to piles of unfolded laundry. Adjusting to your lives as new parents will not be easy and one place where you will notice a significant change is in your finances.

Your financial plan should reflect the needs of your growing family, so you will have to take another look at the plan you have in place and modify it to fit your new goals.

Reassess Financial Goals

It is important to take a look at your financial goals on a regular basis because things change. Financial planning for families takes on a whole new meaning when you bring kids into the picture. Take some time to evaluate your current financial goals and the ways they may need to change to accommodate your new lifestyle.

  • Your house
    • Growing families often need more space: green areas for the kids to run around, enough bathrooms to keep everyone sane, and a place in a good school district. This wishlist may require moving.
  • Saving for college
    • New parents often want to help save for their children’s educational future. When you are new parents, you might consider opening a 529 savings account so that you can prioritize this goal. Remember, you should not sacrifice your retirement saving strategy for your child’s education. But the earlier you can start saving, the better!
  • Increased emergency savings
    • When you become new parents, it is important to increase the amount you have in your emergency savings account. A family will require more monthly expenses, therefore it is important to be prepared. You will need more capital in the event of an unexpected move, loss of a job, or illness.
  • Insurance and health
    • Take a look at your health care and insurance coverage when you become a new parent. Now that you have a family to take care of, you will need to add dependents to your health plan and ensure that you have enough coverage. You might also consider opening a health savings account or HSA to help save for medical-related expenses.
  • Additional saving needs
    • When you have kids you will need to save more for vacations and time away. You will notice a huge price difference going from a family of 2 to a family of 4. You may also want to start saving for your child’s future wedding expenses. Whatever you save for, just make sure that it is important to you and your family.

Family-Friendly Budget

Once you have a family, it becomes time to change your budget and figure out your new monthly expenses. Just remember, your expenses will go up, so you may also need to find places in your current lifestyle to cut back on.

For example, you will need to factor in childcare supplies like diapers, clothes, food, etc. These expenses may seem tiny but they add up! A 2018 study by Care.com found that childcare for a new baby costs anywhere from $200 to $500 per week leading to about $10,500 to $26,000 per year or more depending on your location. You will need to make a realistic plan with your spouse to decide how you want to navigate these new costs and responsibilities.

In order to help you feel better about these increased expenses, find places in your current budget to cut such as eating out or entertainment. When you are crafting this new budget, don’t forget to base it off of the financial goals you thought about from the previous section. When your budget is rooted in your goals and values, it will make the transition much easier. It is important that your money is aligned with your changing and growing family.

Get the Kids Involved

Who says that kids can’t be involved in the finances? You are a family now, bring the kids in on the family budget as you are ready! Studies show that talking about money and teaching financial values will help kids develop healthy, positive relationships with money.

So many people in the world struggle with their relationships with money, and by involving the whole family in the finances, you will be giving them practical and logical skills such as saving, budgeting, and why those things are important.

Money conversations can also bring your family closer together, with each person contributing when and where they are able.

Talk With A Financial Advisor

There are so many aspects of your life that change when you have kids. The new responsibilities can feel overwhelming, especially navigating your new financial landscape. With our team, you will never have to go through it alone. We are here to offer you advice based on your goals, values, and vision for your finances.

A family is one of the most important things in life. As one of my key values, I would love the opportunity to get to know yours and help you chart the best course for your finances. Give us a call!

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