7 Ways to Prepare For Your Baby’s Financial Future

I’ve partnered with Fidelity & MEFA in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Expecting or a new parent? Here are 7 ways for you to prepare for their financial future and give your baby a great star in life #parenting #ad #UFundDreams

Eight years ago now, I was pregnant with my firstborn, Scarlet, and looking forward to the warmth and light of spring. This was our first winter in New England after moving from California. The winter was particularly icy, cold, and treacherous, and we were in the process of moving into a condo and setting up a nursery. I was registering for baby classes and touring the birth hospital. All I could think about was what it would be like to meet her and to hold her in my arms.

parenting

Before she was born, I could only think about the birth – like the last lap and then finish line. Quite like how we think about our weddings, sometimes more than the actual marriage after the events, the hard/rewarding part is always still to come to you. The hard work, the sleepless nights, the changes, and the unimaginably wonderful/scary years are still in your future.

You may get released from the hospital, look at each other, and then say, “Now, what??” (we did)

baby registry

Like many first-time parents, I was blown away by parenting. And like many second-time parents, I was blown away by parenting my second born, Desmond, and how his pregnancy, labor, birth, and infancy were so different from Scarlet’s. If there’s a third? I’ll be blown away by him/her as well. It’s all about adjustments, transitions, and heart-grabbing love. It’s about the challenges and the joys, and how to plan ahead to give them the best future (and present, of course) imaginable!

Here are 7 Ways to Prepare For Your Baby’s Financial Future:

1 – Get into the habit of saving early. Although the future is unpredictable, assume your children will need help down the road for college, a car, a wedding, or even a down payment to mortgage their first home. It’s not too early to start.

2 – Have a life insurance plan for yourself. This was hard for me to fathom, but if something should ever happen, a life insurance policy will provide financial support to your family. There are various policies and terms to consider.

3 – Create a written will. This will implore you to think about your assets and where they will go.

4 – Involve your loved ones. I’m one of five kids, and we had a lot of relatives who helped us plan for our futures. Although birthday gifts of savings accounts, bonds, and life insurance policies in my name didn’t seem like fun gifts at the time, I now understand the gravity of help. When we planned birthdays, Bat Mitzvahs, graduations, and more, my parents sometimes asked relatives to make financial contributions to our futures in lieu of more toys.

5 – Teach your kids the value of money on an age-appropriate basis. Babies won’t understand anything yet, but young children can learn about earning and saving money. My son got three piggy banks as gift when he was a baby! Use them.

6 – Worry about yourself first. I know that seems to go against everything you feel about having a baby, but make sure you have your own emergency fund/retirement savings before starting with your kids. It will help EVERYONE in the long run.

7 – Open a college savings account for your baby. You can find out more here. MEFA’s U.Fund College Investing Plan, the Massachusetts 529 college savings plan, offers you control and flexibility as you save for your baby’s college education. You can open it up with $50 or as little as $15 if you set up automatic monthly payments. They can be used at any accredited college, and are managed by Fidelity Investments. It’s never too soon to start.

The 2017 U. Fund Dreams Tour:

There will be fun events in or around Boston where you can get information on different options available to families. The U. Fund Dreams Tour is about making college planning & savings knowledge accessible to parents in various stages of the planning process. I have always wished for more resources to rely on for information throughout this process. No matter how old your children are, saving for their educational financial futures is a big undertaking. Are you ready to find out more?

Expecting or a new parent? Here are 7 ways for you to prepare for their financial future and give your baby a great star in life #parenting #ad #UFundDreams

These events will be taking place between May and October of 2017 and they look GOOD. My family attended a few U. Fund Dreams Tour events in 2016 and had a blast. The events will all have a large “Dreams Tent” filled with engaging discovery activities for kids to have fun with and connect. There are discovery activities intended to help parents better understand the challenges of saving for college, and they are also there to be fun and interactive for the kids. The U. Fund Dreams Tour is a fun and interactive chance to connect. It aims to bring awareness to the importance of saving for college, to offer viable solutions, and to help you on this journey of helping your children achieve their dreams.

U. Fund Dreams Tour

MEFA’s U.Fund College Investing Plan, the Massachusetts 529 college-investing plan, is a tax-advantaged college savings plan professionally managed by Fidelity. MEFA is a non-profit state authority that works to make higher education more accessible & affordable.

So, how do you prepare for your baby’s financial future?

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28 Comments

  1. I remember when we wrote our first will. It was scary, but it really is important. Not that we have many assets, but….. Great tips as usual Miss. Tamara 🙂

  2. Fabulous post, Tamara. This is such an important topic. It isn’t always college our kids need help funding. It’s life things as you mention, a wedding, a first home down payment. We don’t want to get caught unprepared financially and the time sure flies.

    1. And life just keeps happening. I remember thinking we’d get to a quiet, safe space and Cassidy said, “Nope! Doesn’t happen.”

  3. Honestly great advice in planning ahead. I still can’t believe it was almost 8 years ago that I had Emma here. Just feels like I blinked and here I am. But you definitely brought me back on this one for sure!! 😉

  4. Excellent advice! I invested with Fidelity for several years. Did pretty well initially then there were some market corrections that took back a chunk of my gains. They are a decent place to invest if you do your research first. Always like the Contra fund. It fit my personality 🙂

  5. yes, great reminders! so essential to have a will and life insurance. i made that all happen pre-birth. i don’t put anything into a 529 or allocate savings specifically geared towards college, but i do save as much as i can…for everyone’s well-being.

  6. Great planning tips! I remember going on deployment and having to get a will, life insurance, etc. and it was very scary, but so necessary. Now with planning for college I wish I would have prepared a little more in that area…another scary thing to face in life 🙂

  7. Financial planning is the biggest reason why I’ve waited so long to have kids and settle down. I know everyone always says you are never ready but I would like to be a little more financially secure. Thanks for all of tips Tamara 🙂

  8. These are all great financial advice and ones that I myself have thought of. You never know what can happen so it’s always best to be financially prepared.

    1. Exactly. We used to be so surprised when we got a big hit like the a/c broke or the car needed new tires. Now we are prepared.

  9. SO much important info here. College feels far away when your kids are little, but trust me, it gets here before you know it!

  10. Such great advice, Tamara. I agree, getting financial gifts isn’t really “fun” when you’re little, but neither is a toy that loses its novelty. And I love that fun photobooth you guys did! Adorable 🙂

    I love that you are teaching the kids financial responsibility at a young age–it can be fun and rewarding for them!

    1. And there were five of us, so the relatives weren’t handing out the big bonds and checks to all of us, ya know?
      The photobooth was my favorite!

  11. Great tips on planning ahead. I’ve learned it is never too early. Most people tend to put off decisions like drafting a will, trust or electing guardians for their children, but it is crucial to address these matters.

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