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    July 16, 2020
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Smart financial advice from local experts. Dollars & #ense Smart Money Choices for First-Time Parents Entering parenthood can be one of the mostexciting - and scary- times in life. The financial aspect of raising children is just one small piece to the parenting puzzle, but it's an important piece. We're here to help you make smart money choices you might not have thought of. 1. Re-think Your Budget Budgeting for two is completely different than budget- ing for a family of three. The list of supplies needed for a baby is long and continues to grow as the baby gets older. Sit down with your partner to map out a new and improved budget for when the baby arrives. Don't be surprised if the diapers and childcare expenses cut into your dining out or entertainment fund for a while! 2. Get Rid of Debt It's easier said than done, but if you're in debt, getting rid of it before your baby arrives wil be extremely beneficial. If you don't, you will not only have your current debt payments lingering, but you will also have the baby's expenses to pay for. And don't let the baby purchases add to your debt. Buy secondhand baby gear instead of brand new and sell what your baby grows out of to buy the next size up. If paying off your debt before baby's arival isn't feasible, talk to a Loan Officer about debt consolidation to reduce your interest rate and monthly payments. 3. Start a College Fund Although it may seem like you're getting ahead of yourself by saving for your newborn's college tuition already, your future self will be thankful. 18 years goes by faster than you think and the cost of college continues to rise. The sooner you start saving, even if it's a small amount, the less stressful paying for tuition will be down the road. 4. Don't Forget About Retirement Planning Just because a new member is joining the family doesn't mean you should put your future on the back burner. Keep your retirement fund a priority, too. Not only will this 'be of benefit to you, but it will take the financial stress off of the entire family's shoulders in the future. Grow your money with compound interest by starting sooner rather than later! 5. Increase Your Emergency Fund Just as your budget changes when you have a child, so should your emergency fund. With another person in the house comes more pos- sibilities for an emergency to happen, so you'll want to be prepared. Increase the emergency fund you currently have to enjoy greater peace of mind when disaster strikes. 6. Evaluate Your Life and Disability Insurance Needs With a larger family comes larger responsibilities. Nobody likes to think about what might happen if they should become disabled or pass away, but there is no doubt you would want your family taken care of financially. Consider what it would take for your partner and new child to adjust to life without your income, and adjust your insurance policies accordingly. Exciting times are ahead and with a new baby comes great joy. Be- coming a parent can be scary, but with some planning, you'll feel well prepared and excited. We hope this advice will benefit you and your growing family in the years ahead. Im - TARMERS & IlMERCHANTS BANK & TRUST O FDIC Mene Downtown Marinette 1644 Ludington St. 715-735-6617 Marinette Branch 2811 Roosevelt Rd. Crivitz Branch 114 $. Hwy 141 715-854-7445 715-732-4411 www.fmmarinette.com Smart financial advice from local experts. Dollars & #ense Smart Money Choices for First-Time Parents Entering parenthood can be one of the mostexciting - and scary- times in life. The financial aspect of raising children is just one small piece to the parenting puzzle, but it's an important piece. We're here to help you make smart money choices you might not have thought of. 1. Re-think Your Budget Budgeting for two is completely different than budget- ing for a family of three. The list of supplies needed for a baby is long and continues to grow as the baby gets older. Sit down with your partner to map out a new and improved budget for when the baby arrives. Don't be surprised if the diapers and childcare expenses cut into your dining out or entertainment fund for a while! 2. Get Rid of Debt It's easier said than done, but if you're in debt, getting rid of it before your baby arrives wil be extremely beneficial. If you don't, you will not only have your current debt payments lingering, but you will also have the baby's expenses to pay for. And don't let the baby purchases add to your debt. Buy secondhand baby gear instead of brand new and sell what your baby grows out of to buy the next size up. If paying off your debt before baby's arival isn't feasible, talk to a Loan Officer about debt consolidation to reduce your interest rate and monthly payments. 3. Start a College Fund Although it may seem like you're getting ahead of yourself by saving for your newborn's college tuition already, your future self will be thankful. 18 years goes by faster than you think and the cost of college continues to rise. The sooner you start saving, even if it's a small amount, the less stressful paying for tuition will be down the road. 4. Don't Forget About Retirement Planning Just because a new member is joining the family doesn't mean you should put your future on the back burner. Keep your retirement fund a priority, too. Not only will this 'be of benefit to you, but it will take the financial stress off of the entire family's shoulders in the future. Grow your money with compound interest by starting sooner rather than later! 5. Increase Your Emergency Fund Just as your budget changes when you have a child, so should your emergency fund. With another person in the house comes more pos- sibilities for an emergency to happen, so you'll want to be prepared. Increase the emergency fund you currently have to enjoy greater peace of mind when disaster strikes. 6. Evaluate Your Life and Disability Insurance Needs With a larger family comes larger responsibilities. Nobody likes to think about what might happen if they should become disabled or pass away, but there is no doubt you would want your family taken care of financially. Consider what it would take for your partner and new child to adjust to life without your income, and adjust your insurance policies accordingly. Exciting times are ahead and with a new baby comes great joy. Be- coming a parent can be scary, but with some planning, you'll feel well prepared and excited. We hope this advice will benefit you and your growing family in the years ahead. Im - TARMERS & IlMERCHANTS BANK & TRUST O FDIC Mene Downtown Marinette 1644 Ludington St. 715-735-6617 Marinette Branch 2811 Roosevelt Rd. Crivitz Branch 114 $. Hwy 141 715-854-7445 715-732-4411 www.fmmarinette.com