Mommy + Money: Preparing for a Baby – The Basics

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This is a guest contribution from Rebecca Eve, founder of Financial Fitness with Rebecca Eve. She helps empower women to take control of their finances. We are collaborating so that she can share some of her favorite tips and strategies for being a rockin’ mommy with money!

This series of posts is all about planning financially for an upcoming baby. This week we’re going to talk basics, and then in upcoming weeks get into specifics!

There are two basic steps to preparing financially for a new little person in your life: the emotional side and the practical side.

Step 1: Emotional.

Money is a very emotionally charged subject. There’s just no way around it. The good news is, how you relate to money is not part of your personality. Rather, it is rooted in habits that have formed over time… and habits can be broken! Creating new habits, the ones YOU want in place, before you have your baby will make it much easier to keep them up once you’re waking up every night at 3 am. So if there are conversations that need to be had or mental muck that needs to be slogged through when it comes to money, now – while you’re still getting a reasonable amount of sleep – is the time to do it!

Some questions to help guide you: How did money feel in your household growing up? How did your parents handle money? Do you consider your parents to be role models? Do you want to be nothing like them? Or do you fall somewhere in the middle?

If you can, take some time to really think through these and write down your answers, and then talk them over with your partner. Bonus points if he journals about them, too. :)

Step 2: Practical.

Once you’ve decided how you want to feel about money, it’s time to get your financial ducks in a row! To get started, this involves asking yourself (and your husband) a few more important questions. Like…

How will you merge your finances and make financial decisions?

If you’re married, you have already figured out, at least to some extent, how you and your husband will share your income, expenses, investments and credit cards. Will that system still work for you when you have a baby? If not, what needs to change? Do you want to be more/less involved than you are now? Does your husband want to be more/less involved than he is now?

Who do you want on your team?

I recommend finding and working with three people, whom I like to call your A-Team: Accountant, Attorney and Advisor. A good accountant will help make sure your taxes are filed correctly so that you’re keeping the max amount of money for your family. An attorney will help you with your estate plans, so you get to decide how things go down in the event the unthinkable happens. And a financial advisor can help you manage risk and plan for the future so that you have the maximum amount of flexibility and choice when it comes to building wealth and making big investments.

The more time you can give yourself to create these systems and find these people before the baby is born, the better – that way you can try things out and really find people who are a good fit for your family.

I always say, if you work to earn money, you are playing the money game… you may as well play to win. When you have a little one on the way, this is even more important because now your relationship with money affects not only you and your husband BUT the life of your new baby as well.

If you haven’t even THOUGHT about any of this, DO NOT WORRY. We will be breaking it down more in future weeks. Just start where you are and think about where you want to go – and most importantly, never be afraid to ask for help when you need it (financial or otherwise)!

Until next time!

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Please, Don't Call My Son Smart
if only time stood still

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