Having your first child can be a joyful but overwhelming experience. Besides dealing with sleep deprivation, crying outbursts and diaper duty, moms and dads also have to navigate a completely new financial reality.
"Becoming a new parent is an exciting time, but it also brings to light the financial challenges you may face when you start a family," says Laura Knolle, a certified financial planner for Ballou Plum Wealth Advisors in Lafayette, California. "Now in addition to saving for retirement, home projects and vacations, you have new expenses for your little bundle of joy."
Although financial planning is probably the last thing you feel like thinking about when caring for an infant, money experts say it's best to get your ducks in a row as soon as possible to help manage costs and prepare for your child's future. In fact, new parents should start discussing and evaluating their finances as soon as they find out they're expecting (or better yet, before they even begin trying to get pregnant).
From understanding which doctor's visits will be covered to taking advantage of generous tax breaks, here are six essential money tips for new parents.