You have no idea how fast life moves until you have a baby. One day, they’re small enough to fit in the crook of your arm. You blink, and they’re running off to school, and you’re wondering what happened to that newborn who needed you every minute of every day.
Because you know how swiftly things can change, you want to make sure that you and your family have a solid plan for the future. This means preparing for the good and bad that can happen, steps that can be daunting but will ultimately give you peace of mind. No matter what, your babies will be taken care of — and that’s all you could ever want, as a parent.
To get you started on that task, here are XX of the best ways to plan for your future.
1. Save an Emergency Fund
You’ve probably earned the basics of budgeting now that you have children. You can manage your paychecks well, but the question remains: are you saving money each month?
We’re going to talk quite a bit about saving on this list. But your first order of business should be to save a sizable emergency fund. Some experts even suggest putting this cash aside before you pay off your debt — it’s that important.
You should save enough to cover six months’ worth of expenses for your family, just in case something unexpected happens. Perhaps you lose your job or otherwise find yourself unable to work. This cash will come in handy and keep your family afloat until you find something new to do.
2. Build a Retirement Fund
On that note, you should start adding money to your retirement savings, as well. You don’t want the burden of your housing and care to fall on your kids. And you want to make sure that you’ve saved enough to live a comfortable lifestyle after your working and parenting days are done.
So, check with your employer to see if they have any retirement savings plans that you can join. A 401-K will enhance your savings, and some companies match what their employees put in. That essentially means that you’ll get free money toward retirement, if your employer will match and funnel their cash into your account.
Whatever you do, it’s imperative to start saving for retirement now. Your future financial stability will play a direct role in your children’s lives and financial stability, too.
3. Consider College Savings, Too
Here’s another place to save your money with the future in mind. You might want to think about setting some of your earnings aside in an account that will fund your child’s education in the future.
It’s no secret that college tuition is exorbitantly expensive, and it would put a huge financial burden on your son or daughter to take out loans to cover it all. So, if you start saving now — there are many ways of doing so, too — you could help lighten that load.
If you don’t have the income to cover all of the above, then focus on padding your rainy day fund first. Next, funnel your money into your retirement fund, and then start to save up for your child’s education.
4. Prepare Your Will
It’s daunting to think of preparing a will, especially if you have young children running around. You don’t want to think about missing out on their future, so you might be too scared to write a will. But it’s a must-do if you want to protect them and their interests if something does happen.
Your will can delineate how you want your property split after you pass away. It will also explain how you want your children to be cared for, and by whom. This is different from a trust, which you might also want to set up in your child’s name. Someone would manage the trust until your child is of age to take over the property or funds they have inherited from you.
Again, it can be scary to sit down and write out what you’d want to happen to your property and who would care for your children if you passed away. But it’s important to go through these what-if scenarios to ensure that, no matter what, your children remain in caring hands.
Prepare For the Future Now
A new baby brings so much joy and hope for the future. But just because they’re new to the world doesn’t mean you have a lot of time to prepare for what’s ahead.
Start saving and preparing for the future now to give your family security, both financially and emotionally. That way, you can continue to live in the moment and enjoy every second of parenthood — that’s what it’s all about, in the end.