Bun in the Oven? Baby Proof Your Finances In 5 Easy Steps
Let's face it, times are still rough and there's no baby bailout package coming to help you pay for all the expenses that come with a new bundle of joy. And just like you commit to a proper diet during pregnancy so you can have a healthy baby, you can change up your money habits so you can be in a healthy financial state when the baby arrives. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do during pregnancy to shore up your finances.
1. Self Evaluation: What are your desires and goals? Are you looking to save some extra money to extend your maternity leave? Are you craving a "babymoon" getaway? Write out your goals to find your motivation.
2. Track Your Spending: Here's a fun exercise. For one week, write down everything you have spent, from your morning decaf latte fix to the treat from the vending machine. You'll probably be surprised at all the money are you spending on unnecessary things. When you find your spending holes, plug them up.Think about cutting back to basic cable or brown bagging your lunch a few days a week to save money to put toward paying down debt or boosting your savings.
3. Become a Cash Queen: If you can't buy it with cash, then you really can't afford it. Put those credit cards away and live on what you have budgeted for each month.
4. Attack Debt: Pay down high interest credit cards first, putting in more than the monthly minimum, and then work your way down with all the other cards.
5. Do the tough stuff. Increase your life insurance and get a will. No one wants to think of the worst with so much joy on the way, but as a responsible parent, it's your job to be prepared. A recent survey said that fewer than half of American households have enough life insurance. Typically you need five to ten times your annual income. The insurance you get from your job is often not enough. You can compare rates on term life insurance at sites like Insure.com or talk to your current insurance provider about uppping your coverage.
And, I don't want to kill your pregnancy buzz, but you need a will. It basically lays out where your assets are to go if the unthinkable happens to you or your spouse. It should also state who should take care of your child and his or her finances. And remember, "godmother" is not a legal designation -- these things have to be laid out on paper.
Once you've done the tough work of shoring up your finances and preparing for the future, you can rest easy now, knowing that your business is in order. What a great way to bring a new life into the world!