Aug 18

Financial Planning for Parents: How to Get Started

Financial Planning for Parents

Financial Planning for Parents

Planning for your financial future can be one of the most stressful things you’ll do in your adult life, simply because there are few guarantees. You never know what life will throw at you or when, and if you are a parent—or are planning on having kids—it’s essential that you start making preparations for at least the next five or ten years. Having kids is costly—over $245,000 over the course of a lifetime, according to one study—and so is owning a home and vehicles. It’s also important to start thinking about retirement, even if you’re only in your 20s or 30s, since your cost of living will likely go up in the future.

Fortunately, there are several simple things you can do now to plan for your family’s future. From setting up a college fund to learning easy ways to save money, preparing for your financial needs now will save you a lot of time and grief down the road and will ensure that your children are taken care of.

Keep reading for some great tips on how to get started with financial planning.


Calculate your assets

One of the first important steps in figuring out what your financial needs will be is calculating your current assets. Your home, vehicles, savings accounts, and any major investments will need to be counted. Talk to a financial advisor and find out how much your home is worth first, since it’s likely to be your largest investment.


Create a budget

Creating a budget will help you start saving money quickly, so sit down with your spouse or partner and go over your weekly and monthly spending. Look at your income and think about which bills could be eliminated or reduced, such as swapping cable for a streaming service. This is also a good time to think about whether your family would be comfortable on just one income if you’re planning to have a baby and one parent wants to stay home. Don’t slash too much from your expenses when creating a budget because you’ll want your budget to be realistic so it’ll be easier to stick to.


Build up your savings

It’s important to have some savings, whether you want to have a nest egg or just a household maintenance cushion. Start building up the amount you put away every payday, and open a savings account that won’t be touched until you absolutely need it. You can also start thinking about a college fund for your child, even if you are still expecting. Schooling can be very expensive, so it’s never too early to start planning.


Appoint a guardian or executor

Once you become a parent, it’s imperative to create a will that contains your last wishes, including the names of those who will take responsibility for your child or children after you’re gone. It’s also a good idea to name someone to take over the duties of your estate. Think about your beneficiaries and how you’ll divide up your estate. While it’s not something that anyone wants to think about, it will go a long way toward giving you peace of mind now.

Planning for the future can be frustrating and stressful if you don’t have a good plan. Sit down with a financial planner or an accountant to go over your preparations, keep communication open with your spouse or partner, and think about what your family will need down the road, not just in the present. With the right preparations, you can ensure that you and your loved ones will be well taken care of no matter what life throws at you.

Aug 18

Tips for Finding a Marriage Counselor

Finding a Marriage Counselor

Finding a Marriage Counselor

Your marriage is important, and if you and your spouse are facing some difficult situations, it may be a good idea for you to find a marriage counselor and try to resolve your issues. However, while there are a variety of marriage counselors out there, it’s very important for you and your spouse to find one that works well for both of you. After all, this is supposed to be a joint arrangement, so you both need to be comfortable with your decision and the person you choose to help you. Be sure to use the below tips to try and find a marriage counselor.


Do your research.

Like anything else you’re looking into, it’s important for you to do your research on marriage counselors in your area. This can be done by researching different people online or by asking friends or family members for recommendations. Be sure you and your spouse do research and then compare what you find. This will allow you both to have an input on who you choose to help salvage your marriage in the best possible way.


Look at credentials.

When doing your research, be sure to look at the therapist’s credentials. Since your marriage is very important, you want to ensure the marriage counselor you choose is experienced and educated enough to help you. By law, these individuals are required to provide you with their credentials, so be sure to look when researching. If you can’t find anything, then be sure to ask the therapist about it.


Have a meeting.

You and your spouse need to be comfortable with your decision, and many therapists understand this, which is why they offer consultations for people looking for their services. Once you have come up with a list of potential therapists, be sure to set up consultations with those you like best. During these consultations, be sure to ask the therapist any question you may have and pay attention to how you feel when with them. If you and your spouse are both comfortable, then you may have found your therapist. However, if there is something that makes you uncomfortable, trust your gut and move on. Therapy is supposed to be very emotional and open, and if you are uncomfortable, it will only dissuade you from being open and honest during your sessions.


Factor in your specific needs.

While you need to put a strong emphasis on your dedication to saving your marriage, you also need to be fully aware of your specific needs and find someone who can help with this. For instance, if you and your spouse both work full-time jobs, you’ll need to find a therapist that has extended hours and can meet you in the evenings. You also need to know how long sessions will be and ensure you can make them fit into your schedule. Finally, you need to think about your specific situation and the therapist’s experience with it. For instance, if your marriage is suffering because of a substance abuse, physical/emotional abuse, infidelity, or any other issue, you want to know the therapist has experience in helping couples cope with the same situation.


Be willing to work.

You and your spouse will be responsible for working hard during your sessions to be open and honest, and most therapists will send you home with “homework” assignments to work on. If you are not willing to do any of this, you can rest assured your therapy sessions will not work in your favor and you may end up filing for divorce.


Finding the right therapist is important to help you salvage your marriage. Be sure to take your time and find the right one that works for each of you, and then be sure to take it seriously to get the best results.