Financial Wellness Checkup for New Moms

Financial Wellness Checkup For New Moms

5-minute read

Motherhood is an amazing journey, but let’s be honest — as rewarding as it is, you’re juggling a lot. It’s okay to stop, take a break and check in. Because you’ve got this.

One of the most important things you can do is to focus on the wellness of yourself and your family. And financial wellness plays a large role in that. Take the time to plan ahead so you can feel confident in the long term. These tips can help you prepare, save money and feel even more like the amazing mom you already are (or soon will be).

Create a Monthly Budget

Start by creating a budget based on your current household expenses — and finding areas to trim if needed. Next, account for upcoming expenses — both one-time and monthly expenses.

Medical: Kids and doctor visits go hand in hand. No matter what stage you’re in, it’s important to find out what insurance covers — so you can factor it into your budget. Consider things like prenatal care and delivery, postpartum care, pediatrician visits and other check-ups.

Big-ticket items: From cribs, to twin beds, to the “big girl bed” she’ll ask for down the road — expenses are inevitable as your family grows. Saving for these big-ticket items, browsing deals and sticking to budgets can help with your financial peace of mind.

Recurring expenses: Diapers, formula, food, clothes — anticipating recurring expenses, no matter what stage you’re in, can help you breathe easy.

And don’t forget to account for any upcoming changes in income. For example, if you decide to put your children in daycare, make sure your updated family budget reflects this. While this seems like a very obvious tidbit, it’s easy to overlook these types of things when you’re busy with the excitement of parenthood.

Looking for easy-to-use budgeting tools? Check out our calculator!1

Pay Down Debt

Another important step to tackle head-on is prioritizing any debt you may have — especially high-interest debt. Freeing up space in your budget can help provide financial peace of mind. However, this shouldn’t come at the expense of depleting your bank account.

Coming up with a goals-driven strategy that focuses on balance is key. And your updated budget will serve as your roadmap. If you only have space to make the minimum payments, so be it. You don’t have to do everything at once — just pointing yourself in the right direction is important.

Build an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is always important to have. Ideally, you want to shoot for three to six months’ worth of living expenses, but there are many factors that play into this, like job security, number of incomes, and debt — to name a few.

And while the end goal of this fund can seem daunting, starting small and adding several tactics to your repertoire can make it easier. 

Set Up Automatic Transfers

Having part of your paycheck automatically sent to your savings account is an efficient and effortless way to start building your fund. Whether it’s $50 or $500 a paycheck, that money will add up. 

Water Your Money With Interest — Watch It Grow

Putting your fund in a high-yield savings account is another great way to grow your money effortlessly. The longer it’s there, the more interest accrues — and the higher your returns.

Put Away Unexpected Money

While the thrill of treating yourself with that holiday bonus is tempting — it doesn’t beat the relief of being able to cover unexpected expenses. Treat your future self to financial security and stash away any windfalls.

Transfer Extra Money From Your Last Paycheck

This is a great method if you can comfortably do it. Whenever your new paycheck hits, transfer some or all of the remaining balance from your previous check into your emergency fund.

To learn more about these methods, check out our helpful article: 6 Simple and Creative Ways to Build Up Your Emergency Fund.

Review Your Health Insurance

Set yourself up for success by finding out what your insurance will cover. Even with a robust plan, you can still pay a lot in out-of-pocket costs for prenatal care, delivery, postpartum care, braces, wisdom teeth removal — you get the picture. And getting an estimate for these costs and factoring them into your budget can help you move forward with a plan.

When your bundle of joy arrives, don’t forget to add them to your or your partner’s plan. You typically have a 30-day window to do this, but get the ball rolling as early as possible and figure out what you need to do prior to their arrival. From day 1, until your child’s on their own plan, anticipating their health needs will be important as your family switches health plans.

If you or your partner are taking parental leave, consider the insurance implications. Make sure you’re covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act. This guarantees you keep your insurance policy for up to 12 weeks while out of work. The FMLA can also protect you and your family during other medical leaves.

Also, think about opening or contributing more to a pre-tax health savings account (HSA). This can cover a vast amount of healthcare costs that come with motherhood, regardless of where you are in your journey:

  • OB/GYN visits
  • Dental treatment
  • Braces
  • Vision care

Take Advantage of Tax Breaks

Consult your tax preparer for the following credits you may qualify for:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Child and Dependent Care Credit
  • Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Adoption Tax Credit

Start Saving for College

It’s never too soon, or too late, to start putting away money for future education — especially with a 529 college savings plan. This is a tax-advantaged savings account used for secondary education and comes with benefits like tax-deferred growth, tax deductions, and tax-free withdrawals for money used toward educational expenses or qualified tuition.

When you’re ready to open a 529 account, we’re ready to help.

529 plans aren’t the end-all, be-all for tuition costs, either. Some people tend to go with a general savings account instead. Unlike 529s, this account lets them use the money for non-educational expenses too, penalty-free.

Much like your emergency fund, you may also consider investing your secondary education funds. At United Bank, we have a variety of investment options — and Financial Advisors who can help you choose the one that’s best for you.2

Tip: While you have a lot to save for, don’t let your retirement savings suffer! 

Motherhood is a joyous, fulfilling journey. You’ve probably already amazed yourself countless times as far as what you’re capable of. There’s no doubt you’re ready to care for the financial wellness of yourself and your family. And if you ever need help, remember: We're here for you every step of your financial journey.

1 Any educational tools, calculators, guides and other content available on this site are for informational purposes only. These materials are not intended to provide personalized legal, investment or financial advice for your unique circumstances. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.
2 United Brokerage Services, Inc., a registered broker-dealer is a subsidiary of United Bankshares, Inc., the issuer of UBSI stock. The investments offered through United Brokerage Services, with the exception of brokerage certificates of deposit, are not bank deposits and are not obligations of, or guaranteed by, any bank. These products are not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC. Investments are subject to risk including possible loss of principal. This information is not legal or tax advice and past performance is no guarantee of future performance.
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