Latest In

News

Becoming A Financially Responsible Parent: 6 Tips To Get Started

Supporting your family can mean lots of different things to different people. There are multiple options and ways to support your family, from emotional to practical support to financial support.

Author:Habiba Ashton
Reviewer:Frazer Pugh
Jun 29, 2023
9.1K Shares
144.4K Views
Supporting your family can mean lots of different things to different people. There are multiple options and ways to support your family, from emotional to practical support to financial support.
Many parents or soon-to-be parents worry about becoming a parent and providing a loving and safe home for their children while also nurturing them and being present. In fact, according to pregnancybabybirth.com.au, money worries and financial stability are some of the most significant concerns parents, and soon-to-be parents have when it comes to raising a family.
Surveys by various countries cite that one of the main reasons many childless couples remain so is largely down to the cost of having a baby and the cost of living crisis. With one in five millennial women being childless, 80% said circumstances, not fertility issues, prevented them from becoming parents. And the US primarily has seen a massive rise in the "one and done" family model, with couples sticking to one child primarily due to the rising costs of childcare on top of the cost of giving birth, which can range from $14 00 to $27,000 depending on the type of birth you have (for those with insurance the out of pocket expenses can exceed $3,000).
So in a time when finances are squeezed from every angle, how can you support your family and make sure they are taken care of?
The first step is to be financially responsible.This post looks at different ways parents can be financially accountable and cover the cost of raising a family.

Be Budget Savvy

Raising kids comes with a lot of expenses. Everyone knows this; however, there is also no perfect time to start a family, and waiting until you are financially secure isn't always a reality for many people. But it doesn't matter where you are on your parenting journey; you need to be able to account for your income and expenses and know you are making the best financial decisions possible.
Sit down with a calculator and look at everything you have coming in as a family unit and what you need to pay for. This will give you a better idea of where you stand and where your income is going.
Then address all of your musts for living expenses. This will be your utilities, mortgage or rent payments, taxes, food, and child expenses, if applicable. From here, you can work through all of your excess income and start to look at dividing it up to make it work for you.
Try to stick to the 50/30/20 rule when it comes to your budget. That is 50% of necessities, 30% of discretionary items, and 20% of savings.

Pay Down Debt

If you have a lot of debt or are struggling with high debts, you need to address this as soon as possible. Your creditors will be more willing to accept payment arrangements if you contact them early enough and put something in place.
This is where point number one comes into play. Your budget will allow you to see how much you can realistically afford to pay off your debts without struggling, and avoiding using further credit will help you to get back from the red and into the black.
If you cannot manage your debts personally, talk to a debt help charity;debt.orgcan be an excellent resource for you to get support and guidance to pay down your debts.
Try looking at your debt-to-income ratio for the long term and aiming to keep it under 43%, which is 43% of your total income going towards debts, including your mortgage.

Talk To A Financial Advisor

Getting expert advice about your family finances and what are the best financial decisions to make for your circumstances can go a long way in helping you to make better choices for your family in the long run. Whether you need help filing your taxes as first-time parents or a newly married couple, or you need advice on the best savings and investments for college funds or retirement, getting advice from an expert can help you to see your options and make responsible decisions that will work for your family and your budget going forward.
Even just getting yourself back on an even keel regarding spending is possible once someone lays it out in front of you. Whatever the reason, it can be in your best interest to talk to a financial advisor when you become a new parent.

Insurance

Insurance can be a fail-safe for many families. Life insurance is typically a must for everyone but especially parents. But knowing which type of insurance coverage you need can be tricky, and it will all depend on your circumstances. For example, if you are a veteran, then choosing burial insurance for veteransto top up what the VA will pay can help you eliminate the worry of leaving your family to cover funeral expenses should you pass away unexpectedly (funeral insurance is available for nonveterans too). In contrast, disability cover will protect you should you suffer a workplace injury that leaves you unable to work for any period of time or permanently.
The following insurance covers are all great topics to consider getting;
  • Life Insurance
  • Auto Insurance
  • Income Protection Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Buildings and Contents Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Umbrella Insurance
  • Accidental Death Insurance
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Workers Compensation
  • Accident Insurance
  • Medicare
  • Earthquake/Flood Insurance
While not exhaustive, these give you an insight into the different policies available for families to consider purchasing. It is worth noting that the cost of these premiums can be expensive, with the average person paying just shy of $600 per month of healthcare coverage per person, not family, so before you take out any insurance, you need to weigh up the cost of taking it out compared to the expected payouts.
Make sure to read the small print to desire. You are covered for the reason you take out the policy and any exclusions that might apply. This can help you avoid making mistakes and paying for something you cannot claim on.

Savings

As mentioned in the first point, 20% of your income should ideally go into a savings plan. This includes your 401K if you have one or just a general high-interest savings account.
If you don't already have a savings account, it can be a good idea to open up and get into the habit of saving. It might be that you cannot put 20% of your income away, but any small amount is worth doing as it will give you a nest egg for the future or emergencies. In fact, you can even divide up your income to help with your saving towards other expenses. These are called sinking funds and are pots designed to pay for out-of-the-ordinary costs, such as broken-down appliances, car repairs, birthdays, vacations, and holidays. This will also help you avoid overspending and dipping into your primary savings fund.
It is aso a good idea to pay the maximum applicable for your 401K via your employer if possible. Not only does your employer need to match contributions you make (up to a certain threshold depending on amounts and company obligations and criteria), but it is also deducted pre-tax. Ending these deductions can move you to a lower tax bracket, offering you enhanced benefits on your income too.

Be Resourceful

Any parents will tell you the value of getting more bang for your buck. Maximizing your budget means being savvy with your income and spending habits and taking advantage of things like tax breaks. This is where talking to a financial advisor or accountant can be beneficial. Parents will qualify for different tax breaks, and knowing exactly what you can claim for can help you to save money at tax time. So always double-check before you file to make sure you aren't partying out too much.
Check your premiums and work-related benefits too. Are you entitled to free yearly dental checkups on your family healthcare plan? Book them in; preventative dental care is cheaper than emergency treatment, which you might not be covered for. Are you able to take advantage of screenings once you reach a certain age? Do those too. Does your employer offer perks such as discounts on services, a gym pass, or daycare funding, for example, that you can use to make your money stretch further? Check out what perks you are entitled to for doing what you are doing as a parent, then look around for the best deals on more frivolous activities, such as kids eating free meals, cut-price vacations, and attraction visits during term time (ideal for younger males and homeschoolers) and look for free activities in your local area to help you save money and still get the most from life.

Conclusion

Raising a family is expensive; there is no denying that. But there are ways you can make it work and become more financially responsible as a parent to help you support your family in the best way possible.
Jump to
Habiba Ashton

Habiba Ashton

Author
Habiba Ashton, an esteemed professional in Digital Marketing and Business, brings over 10 years of experience to the table. She holds a Master's degree in Marketing Management from Stanford University and is a certified Digital Marketing strategist. Habiba has authored numerous articles on SEO, Social Media Marketing, and Branding, published across reputable platforms. Her impactful projects have consistently driven growth and visibility for businesses, earning her accolades from clients and industry peers alike. One notable achievement includes leading a digital marketing campaign that resulted in a 30% increase in online sales for a major retail client. Looking ahead, Habiba is committed to pioneering ethical digital marketing practices that prioritize customer trust and engagement. Her vision is to lead initiatives that foster a transparent and sustainable digital ecosystem for businesses and consumers alike. In her free time, she enjoys cycling, stargazing, and staying updated on digital entertainment trends.
Frazer Pugh

Frazer Pugh

Reviewer
Frazer Pugh is a distinguished expert in finance and business, boasting over 6 years of experience. Holding an MBA in Finance from Stanford University, Frazer's credentials underscore his authority and expertise in the field. With a successful track record in executive roles and as a published author of influential articles on financial strategy, his insights are both deep and practical. Beyond his professional life, Frazer is an avid traveler and culinary enthusiast, drawing inspiration from diverse cultures and cuisines. His commitment in delivering trustworthy analysis and actionable advice reflects his dedication to shaping the world of finance and business, making a significant impact through his work.
Latest Articles
Popular Articles