Getting (financially) ready for baby

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by Tami Hoey

azfamily.com

Posted on July 23, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 24 at 12:18 PM

PHOENIX -- With all the world buzzing about William and Kate's royal newborn, lots of folks seem to have babies on the brain.

A newborn forever changes a couple, royal or otherwise. But for those without a royal title, better financial planning may be in order when baby makes three.

A little bundle of joy means a big shift in the way a couple spends, saves and plans for the future. The most recent government figures find the average cost of raising a child from infancy through young adulthood in the U.S. adds up to about $235 thousand.

That's not including college. Those added expenses begin immediately, from the car seat parents need to take a child from the hospital, to the crib where baby will sleep.

Experts say the time to adjust a household budget is before baby's arrival, especially if one parent will be taking time away from work for child care.

Make sure to reassess insurance needs. In addition to having health coverage for pregnancy and delivery, make sure a little one is covered from birth for visits to the pediatrician and prescriptions.

New parents may also consider disability or life insurance policies, to keep a family financially secure in the event of something unexpected. And estate planning is another must-do, a will or trust appointing a guardian in case of a tragedy.

And it's never too early to start saving for college, since cost of college only keeps climbing. Starting a tuition fund now puts money in the bank that can also earn interest. Consider asking family and friends who would like to give gifts upon a little one's arrival to skip the teddy bears, and instead contribute to an account.

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