Effective money tips for parents to-be

You planned the baby shower and painted the nursery… but are your finances in order?

Whether it’s your first or fifth, having a baby requires a little financial planning. After all, you’re adding an extra member to your family. To make sure you’re ready to support your bundle of joy, check out these effective tips for organizing your finances:

Confirm your job’s leave policy

If you’re employed and plan to take time off for your newborn, check your company’s leave policy. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) grants all parents 12 weeks of leave, but not all employers offer compensation during this time. Find out if you can expect to receive a salary while you’re out, and plan accordingly.

Start saving now

The earlier you start saving, the better. In addition to a crib, stroller and diapers, you’ll also need money for food, toys, and, if you plan to go back to work, childcare.

Plus, you never know when an unexpected expense may surprise you, so you’ll want to avoid piling on credit card debt if possible.

Scope out discounts

When it comes to certain baby items, hand-me-downs may become your best friend. Start with the parents among your family and friends. Do they have any clothes or gear they no longer need?

Also, find out about parent groups in your community, and see if they have mom-to-mom sales. A gently used item might save you a bundle for your bundle.