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Whether you’re already a parent or plan on having a family one day, it’s important to have a financial roadmap for your future. Having a wedding, planning for children, and preparing for other milestones takes some time and effort. A good financial plan also has the flexibility to change when life inevitably throws a few surprises at you. Below, find out what you can do now to set your family up for financial success in the future.

Budgeting for Your Big Day

If you are planning a wedding in the coming months, you know how expensive it is to tie the knot and how important a budget is. It can be hard to keep spending in check, but Mint offers a few tips for prioritizing what’s really important. There are also countless wedding apps to keep you on track both with your budget and your to-do list.

Preparing for a Child Together

If you have children together or each has kids of your own, you know how expensive it is to have a family. Having a new baby can affect not only the amount you spend but the amount of income you earn as well. When going over finances, it’s important to think about how a new child might affect whether you want to reduce your hours at work, switch to a new job, or even quit your job altogether. For that reason, some personal finance experts recommend drafting a budget around your future income, not what you earn right now.

Planning for Your Children’s Future

Raising a child to adulthood is expensive enough when budgeting for the essentials alone. However, many parents want to set their kids up for a bright educational future once they leave home as well. It’s never a bad idea to set aside a little money each month for a college fund.

Of course, every parent wants to imagine themselves living through each milestone in their children’s lives. Even when hoping for the best, it’s always important to prepare for the unexpected. Many parents put off making a will or naming a guardian to take care of their children in a worst-case scenario. It’s challenging on many levels to put your last wishes in writing. However, NOLO offers tips for naming the best possible guardian for your children.

Getting Your Insurance in Order

Having children affects your insurance policies in many different ways. You have probably already taken your kids into account when it comes to health insurance. However, it’s important that you don’t overlook life insurance and other types of coverage.

There are a lot of different factors to consider when choosing how much coverage you need. Not only do you want your policy to cover living expenses for your family, but it should also take care of debts and bills. You may also want to consider burial insurance, which covers your funeral expenses. In some cases, burial insurance can also help cover other costs as well, including any medical bills or lingering debt.

Talking with Your Kids About Finances

One mistake many parents make is to exclude their children from discussions about money. Many people feel that money is a taboo subject to discuss, especially when debt is in the picture. However, one of the best ways to raise financially literate children is to guide them through the process of earning, saving, and using money responsibly.

Kids usually understand the value of a dollar at a pretty early age, but some financial topics are harder to grasp than others. Good Housekeeping has a few good tips on which money topics are appropriate to discuss at different ages.

No matter what stage of life your family is at, it’s important to be on top of your finances. A good financial plan sets your family up for success both now and in the future. You can’t plan for everything, but standing on solid financial ground will give everyone more peace of mind.

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