One of the most sure-fire ways to guarantee wealth and security is to pay attention to your personal finance situation. The more you know about personal finance the more money you will save. You’ll also make better financial decisions in general. I recently came across a great resource that lists the best personal finance blogs of 2016. Here’s the link to the article. The list was actually voted on by readers, so the top site, Cash Cow Couple, is a site that a lot of readers recommend. There are many other sites on the list that are worth checking out too like Dough Roller and Mr. Money Mustache. All of the sites on the list are great for inspiring you to manage your money better.
One of the most important things you can do before your baby is born is prepare a financial checklist. Raising a child is expensive, so the more preparation you do the easier the experience will be. You’ll also save more money than you would have without a plan. Below are some of the top financial tips that new parents should use when creating a checklist.
Research Health Insurance
Even with health insurance, the fees associated with baby care can add up. Do research so you know what sort of fees to expect with labor, delivery, and prenatal visit. If you estimate how much the medical bills will cost, you won’t be surprised by the final bill.
Maternity and Paternity Leave
Does your company offer maternity or paternity leave? Do you know how many days you are allowed to take? Do you get paid during the entire period? These are the type of important questions you need to ask. If you take off for an extended period of time, and your company doesn’t provide payment, your finances can be seriously impacted.
Prepare A Baby Budget
After you estimate healthcare costs and understand your leave situation, make a budget. Your budget will guide you as you purchase necessary items. It can also help prevent you from purchasing unnecessary items. If you’re particularly budget-conscious, don’t hesitate to purchase used items. Your budget should also include estimates for the monthly costs associated with diapers, food, etc. The more budget planning you do before your baby is born, the better.
Find A Pediatrician
In order to save money, it’s important to choose a pediatrician that’s within your insurance network. Ask friends and family members for recommendations. Also, don’t be afraid to interview potential candidates.
Start An Emergency Fund
Whether you’re a parent or not, emergency funds are a financial necessity. However, they’re especially important for parents since children are prone to accidents. As a parent, you never know when you’ll need extra funds to pay for an unexpected expense.
Health Insurance For Your Child
Add your child to your health insurance as soon as possible. Most health insurance policies give parents thirty days to add their child to a policy. The last situation you want is for your child to be sick and uninsured, so take care of this step right away.
Start Saving For Education
Every year the price of college tuition rises, so it’s never too early to start saving for your child’s education. Consider starting a 529 plan. It will allow you to save money and avoid taxes.
With the new year approaching, what better way to kick things off then by getting back to financial basics. The basics are easy to let slip and lose control of if you’re not mindful of them. In order to get back to stable financial ground in the new year, check out the following items and see how you’re stacking up.
Kick things off on the right foot by setting up a financial calendar. Set reminders for monthly payments, pulling credit reports, and any other money to-do’s that too often fall through the cracks. Setting reminders keeps your finances in check and gives you the opportunity to look at the year ahead of you. There’s nothing better than being prepared!
Tracking Net Worth
Periodically, it’s a good idea to check in on your overall net worth. Keeping an eye on your net worth is the best indicator of your financial footing. It also will put into perspective your debt versus your assets. If you owe more money than you’d like, tracking your net worth will help you see progress towards your goals in either direction.
Reevaluating and creating new goals is an excellent way to get back to the basics. Financial goals, big and small, are great ways to get you where you want to be. Identify what you need to accomplish and plan how to attain it. Solidifying goals will give you something to work towards.
Becoming Money Savvy
Finally, take the time to become money savvy overall. You can do this by practicing smart spending, learning new ways to save, and staying on top of finance trends. You can also work on sticking to a budget in order to keep your finances in tip-top shape! No matter what you do, work on improving the way you think and interact with your finances.