Money Management for New Parents

How to deal with the financial strain that new parents face.

It's not unusual for new parents to experience sticker shock. Who knew a being so tiny could run up such a bill? Experts estimate that new parents shell out about $7,000 in the first two years of a child's life, funding everything from nursery furniture to diapers to medical care and child care.

This outlay of cash can lead to parental money quarrels. Parents may disagree on issues of spending and saving. What can you do to navigate this trap? Experts offer this advice:

  • Discuss your spending priorities. And try to do it in a calm setting -- not while standing at the checkout aisle with baby in tow. If you can't come to any common ground on spending priorities, consider setting up an appointment with a reputable financial advisor. A neutral third party may be able to help you find a compromise.
  • Draw up a family budget. Track your monthly expenses and then go over them together, charting your saving and spending course. This can take some of the pressure off day-to-day spending.
  • Don't let money/power issues fester. Often, if one spouse has given up a career to stay home with a new baby, financial debates can be tied up in power struggles. A mom who has left an office life for full-time motherhood may feel guilty about spending money since she no longer brings home a paycheck. Or resentful that somehow the money is not "hers." A new father, now the sole wage earner, may feel the additional pressure of his responsibility. Discuss these issues together and be honest about your feelings.

Source: The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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