Having and raising children is expensive, and I should know because I got a two for one special with my adorable boy-girl twins. In fact, by some counts the cost of raising a child to adulthood can be around $245,000 not including college! That’s insane!
Even though I don’t feel that raising a child actually costs that much for most families, mine included, having children is still a big financial burden if you aren’t adequately prepared for motherhood.
Because I’m a planner by nature and like to have things as organized as possible before I make any big, life-altering decisions, I approached motherhood with that same attitude.
I asked everyone I knew how to get prepared financially for motherhood and now that I’ve been through it myself, here are my top 4 ways to do so:
Research, Research, Research
As I said before, I like to be organized and prepared for any big decision in life. When I first found out I was pregnant, I did a lot of research about how much money I needed to set aside before the arrival of our twins and motherhood.
I asked my mom, my mother-in-law, and my friends who were already mothers to weigh in on this important topic. What I heard from them varied quite a bit, but it gave a good basis to get started prepping financially for motherhood. All in all I decided to save $10,000 before the twins came, $5,000 for each.
Set Up a Targeted Savings Account
Once I had a number in mind, I set up a targeted savings account and started socking money away. I set up my “baby fund” with Smarty Pig, but there are other banking institutions that allow you to create several targeted savings funds too.
A targeted savings account is key to save up for motherhood because it keeps this money separate from your other savings, like your emergency fund, a vacation fund, or whatever other savings you have set up.
This really reduces the temptation to raid the fund to pay for something else besides baby purchases. After all, if your savings account says “baby” on it, you’re much less likely to take away from it. (If you have questions about Smarty Pig feel free to e-mail me, and I can send you an invite!)
Consider Life Insurance
If you haven’t already thought about life insurance before getting pregnant, now is the time to do it. It might a bit morbid to think like this, but it’s especially important to have life insurance for yourself and your child’s father in case something were to happen to either of you.
As mentioned earlier, raising a child is very expensive and it would be all the more difficult to do it alone if something were to happen to either of the baby’s parents. Life insurance can help ease that burden at least a little bit, so it’s worth checking into if you haven’t already.
Get a Will
Again, a little morbid I know, but having legal documentation in place is all the more important once you have a child. Having a basic will drawn up on your behalf is fairly inexpensive and will provide a lot of peace of mind in case you or your child ever has to deal with a death in the family. During that time of grieving, the last thing you want to deal with are complicated estate laws, so a will help simplify that process.
How did you prep financially for motherhood?
Catherine Alford is the go-to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions, earn more, reach their goals, and take on a more active financial role in their families. She is also founder of www.BudgetBlonde.com and the innovator behind the web’s most comprehensive course on how to Get Paid to Write for Blogs.