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Welcoming a new child into your family is an exciting and joyous event – but it’s also an expensive one. However, by taking the right steps, you can accommodate the added costs without jeopardizing your financial security.
How much will you need to spend once you bring a child home? The average cost of the first year of a new child’s life is about $13,000, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Clearly, all those receipts for diapers, food, clothing, toys, furniture, childcare and other expenditures can really add up.
Probably one of the most important moves you can make to cope with the costs of a new child is to track your spending. An app might be one avenue to pursue. Apart from providing basic budgeting capabilities, there are some good – and free – financial apps that offer things like debt payoff and goal tracking features. Plus, you can receive alerts when you go over your budget.
You might also want to consider pre-made spreadsheets, though sources such as Microsoft Office and Google Drive. These spreadsheets can be used for monthly personal budgets, monthly family budgets, household expense budgets, and more.
These tools can make it easy for you to track your money, but the technology ultimately can’t hold you accountable. You – and your spouse or partner if you have one – must “own” your choices. And that means you need to communicate with each other on what you must spend and what you can do without. For example, if you buy a “venti”-sized drink from Starbucks every workday, you could end up spending more than $25 a week – or $100 per month. These are the types of discretionary purchases you’ll need to scrutinize.
While it’s important to gain control of your spending and establish a workable budget, you also need to consider other financial moves to reflect the addition of a child to your family. Here are just a few:
To learn more about which financial moves you should explore upon the arrival of a new child, contact an Edward Jones financial advisor. You might also want to look at our Growing Your Family checklist.
Welcoming a new child into your home can be a thrilling experience. And the more financially prepared you are, the happier the experience will be.
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