This week, another article about parenting in Laeti's Tribe.
Suzie Wilson gives us amazing tips about finances as new parents.
We don’t always realise all the things we can do to have a serene mind and ensure that the family will thrive over the years and challenges.
Keeping in mind the big picture to set up goals makes success easier...
This post was written by Suzie Wilson.
Suzie Wilson lives in San Francisco (USA), she’s an interior designer with more than 20 years of experience. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter.
Becoming a parent can change your life for the better, but having a child can quickly make running a household even more expensive! That’s why parents can’t put their finances on the backburner when their new baby arrives. Money management is a common source of stress and conflict for many couples, and when you welcome your new baby into the world, you’ll have to factor additional expenses into your budget.
When you have a new mouth to feed, you’ll need to develop a new approach to handling your family’s finances. Here are some tips on how to prioritize saving and plan ahead for your child’s future.
Build an Emergency Fund
New parents are often surprised at how frequently they have to deal with unexpected emergencies, like surprise visits to the doctor. You might be tempted to simply put these expenses on a credit card and pay it off later, but establishing an emergency fund is a more fiscally responsible solution. If you don’t already have a designated savings account to serve as your emergency fund, it’s time to open one and start contributing. Experts recommend figuring out how much you spend each month and then aiming to save up between three to six months of living expenses for your emergency fund.
Already have a small emergency fund? Now is a good time to start making larger contributions on a regular basis so that you’ll be prepared no matter what comes your family’s way.
Consider a Home Warranty
Home repairs, ranging from plumbing to electrical, can easily end up costing you a lot of money. And while you can put together an emergency fund to cover these situations, you can prepare yourself (and your household budget) by looking into a home warranty. These warranties can cover plumbing and electrical repairs, as well as HVAC and appliance repair. However, with any purchase, you need to do some research before signing any agreements. Look for home warranty reviews to ensure you’re getting a good deal from a company you can trust. This will help protect both your home and your personal finances.
Prepare Your Estate Plan
You just brought your new bundle of joy into the world — the last thing you want to think about is your own passing. However, considering your own mortality and what you would leave your child with in the event of your death is an essential part of financial planning as a parent. For example, you should definitely either write or update your will to decide what your child will inherit. When creating your will, take stock of your assets and their value, including how much your home is worth.
Furthermore, you should take out a term life insurance policy. Why is it so important for new parents to have term life insurance? It’s a guarantee that your child will have a safety net after you’re gone; for instance, life insurance can cover expenses like funeral costs and unpaid bills. It can even help cover lost income and college tuition.
Update Your Health Insurance
Quality healthcare can be expensive, so new parents need to ensure that their current health insurance policy will suit their family’s growing needs. Whether you have employer-sponsored insurance or purchase insurance through the individual marketplace, having a child counts as a qualifying life event, which means you can switch to a new policy if necessary.
According to Credit Karma, you should consider the costs of premiums, deductibles, and prescription drugs before enrolling in a particular plan. If you choose a high-deductible plan, you can also open a tax-advantaged Health Savings Account for your family’s medical expenses.
Start Saving for College
A college degree is still an asset, but there’s no denying that higher education comes with a hefty price tag. That’s why parents should start saving for their child’s future as soon as they are able. The best way to begin saving for those tuition fees is by opening a 529 savings account. The growth of your contributions will not be taxed, and the tax-free withdrawals can be used to cover your child’s educational expenses when they head off to college.
New parents are busy juggling so many responsibilities that it becomes easy to ignore financial planning. You might feel like you’re too exhausted to crunch numbers. However, if you sit down to evaluate your portfolio, find new ways to save, and ensure that your child will be financially stable even if you can no longer provide for them, you’ll be secure in the knowledge that you’re giving your child the best life possible.
Welcome to Laeti's Tribe with my first guest, Emily Graham, who brings us a very interesting topic this week.
Even if I believe that everybody should have the choice of their own life, sometimes, circumstances force you to embrace a more difficult path that stretches out your limitations & reveal your incredible potential.
And dads are more capable than they think they are to raise amazing children...
Emily Graham is the creator of Mighty Moms. She believes being a mom is one of the hardest jobs around and wanted to create a support system for moms from all walks of life. On her site, she offers a wide range of info tailored for busy moms -- from how to reduce stress to creative ways to spend time together as a family.
One of the most difficult challenges for a single father is relating to a daughter who’s going through puberty. It’s an uncomfortable subject for many dads, whether they’re single or married. Without a mother to guide her through it, a young girl will struggle to understand what’s happening to her body if Dad isn’t up to the job.
Everyone understands that menstruation and the physiological changes that occur during puberty are perfectly natural and needn’t be a source of awkwardness and embarrassment. But single fathers sometimes are just too uncomfortable to talk about it openly. What’s needed is a fresh perspective, an open mind, and an honest approach to what can be a very difficult subject.
Here are the following tips (from a woman’s perspective) that every single dad needs to know.
Don’t put it off
Delaying the conversation is how many single fathers cope with the situation, but it’s one of the worst things you can do. By waiting, you may traumatize your daughter, who doesn’t know what to expect or what to do when her body starts changing. Putting it off also sends the wrong message, giving your daughter the impression that puberty and menstruation are taboo subjects that should be avoided.
Begin a dialogue early on so your child understands that it’s normal and healthy when her body begins to change. Explain to her that nothing is wrong when her breasts begin to develop or if she needs to use deodorant. Be open and direct about what will happen when she gets her first period, but in a healthy and reassuring context. Remember that your daughter’s less likely to be frightened if she knows what to expect.
Often, single fathers lose sight of the fact that young girls are insecure about their bodies, and that even the slightest details can make them anxious and emotional. It’s important to know the difference between a young lady with a healthy body image and one who may be struggling with a serious issue like an eating disorder. As a man, your instinct may be to tell her she’s just being silly, that she should forget about whatever is making her feel imperfect. You don’t want to invalidate the way she’s feeling or confuse her. Instead, reassure her that all’s well and that girls develop at their own pace and in different ways. The more supportive you can be, the easier it’ll be for her to accept her appearance and the changes that she’s experiencing.
Don’t force the conversation
When you’re a single dad with a daughter, a little tact and sensitivity goes a very long way. Talking about menstruation in front of her friends or in public may not scar her for life, but it’ll certainly be upsetting and may erode her trust in you. A private, comfortable and non-threatening setting, one that’s free of things that could cause stress, is best, whether it’s in her room or wherever she’s most comfortable. If there are siblings running around (especially boys), be careful to keep your conversation out of earshot.
Don’t force the conversation on her. If she’s not ready to talk about it, she’ll let you know. Also, use body language (the way she places her arms, the position of her head, etc.) to look for non-verbal clues of discomfort.
Be honest with her about everything, even about how the subject makes you feel. If you’re uncomfortable, admit it. Your daughter will appreciate your openness, and she’s more likely to respond positively.
The ‘D’ word
For many parents, drug use is a more uncomfortable subject than menstruation or sex. Parents are often reluctant to bring up drug and alcohol use for fear that it’ll pique their child’s curiosity, or because they might find out that their son or daughter is already involved with illegal substances. But it’s a crucial subject, one that needs to be raised even if it’s only to begin a dialogue and stress the importance of making good decisions when it comes to avoiding drugs and alcohol. Like any other sensitive subject, drug use is something that’s best discussed confidentially and in private. Let your daughter know that you won’t share anything she tells you.
Raising a daughter as a single father can be a difficult job. Communication is essential. Talk to your daughter even if she’s reluctant. Let her know you’re willing to have a conversation anytime she’s ready. Remember, patience and an open mind are your best allies!
On this blog, I welcome articles from guests, friends, coaches and mentors who talk about topics that interest me and that you will love!