1. Start a 529 college savings plan-

As soon as you begin thinking about having a baby or once you conceive, start up a college savings plan. Since the benefactor of a 529 college savings plan will need a Social Security number, you will need to select a trusted individual to “serve as a place holder” until your child is born and assigned a Social Security number. By starting early, your child will have so much more savings when the time comes.

“Saving for the future is very important for to my husband and I, in preparation for our baby we have opened a College Savings Program to start saving for the college.  One can never start saving too early!  We try to stay as 

minimalistic as a family unit as possible, so in 

By Winnie Sun

Welcoming a new baby into your home is an exciting time—and a busy one. While most parents are ready to invest a lot of time and effort into preparing their child’s nursery, it’s equally important to they set aside time to invest in their future. From childcare to college savings plan, there is much to be considered financially.

Today, most middle-income families will spend about $245,340 raising a child, according to the most recent “Cost of Raising A Child” report released by the US Department of Agriculture. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to meet with a financial advisor, who will not only help you budget for today but also for tomorrow.

In the meantime, here are a few tips to get you started:

       7.Post maternity/paternity leave –
If your company offers it, be sure to take advantage of on-site childcare or flexible spending accounts for childcare. If not, consider sharing babysitters or nanny services with other parents to save money. Some parents 

are even willing to babysit for free, as long as the other parent is willing to return the favor. Relatives and friends are usually want to lend a hand when there is a new baby around, so don’t be afraid to ask a trusted individual for help when needed.

       8.Claim your dependent-
Make sure your accountant remembers to claim your little one come tax time. You will receive a tax credit of up to $1,000, depending on your income. For more information on the Child Tax Credit, visit: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Ten-Facts-about-the-Child-Tax-Credit

       9.Remember to set aside some funds for any unforeseen expenses that may arise down the road. This might include costs for blood cord banking, traveling to see relatives with your baby, exercise equipment, professional baby photos, and 3D ultrasounds, among others. No matter what the expense, you’ll be glad you did!
 


ABOUT WINNIE SUN    


When not spending time with her three children, Winnie Sun works as a financial advisor,  Managing Director and Founding Partner of Sun Group Wealth Partners, a trusted financial consulting firm that serves small business owners, senior executives, celebrities, and established families throughout the West Coast.

Sun has more than 15 years of experience in the financial services industry, having served as First Vice President of Wealth Management, Senior Investment Management Specialist, and Lead Financial Advisor for the Sun Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Prior to entering the financial planning industry, Sun owned and operated CH Entertainment in Los Angeles, California. A leading television audience production company, the firm’s clients ranged from America’s Funniest Home Videos to Wheel of Fortune.

A sought-after speaker at national industry events, Sun is often quoted in many of the nation’s top business publications, including The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, NY Times, Yahoo! Finance, and USA Today, among others. She is also a regular contributor to Forbes magazine, and she appears on CNBC’s live Closing Bell. Most recently, Sun was tapped to host TuneIn Radio’s new show Renegade Millionaire.


Winnie Sun is a registered representative with, and securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Sun Group Wealth Partners, a registered investment advisor and a separate entity from LPL Financial

       5.Set-up automatic bill pay-
After your baby arrives, you’ll want to spend every moment you can with him or her. Setting up auto pay through your checking account will help you stay on top of paying bills. Not to mention, it will save you time and the cost of having to pay for stamps.

       6.Plan for big purchases-
A lot of people feel the need to move to a larger home or to buy a bigger vehicle after the addition of a family member. Planning ahead for this is essential to keeping within your budget. It’s also important to save costs wherever you can. For instance, you might want to buy a used vehicle if it meets your needs and can help keep monthly expenses down.

Budgeting for Baby 101

regards to spending we have kept it quite slim until we get closer to the due date, at that time we will buy all the necessities but keep in mind that less is more and baby will grow quickly so over buying clothes and toys is not needed.” Kelly Lam, Founder, The Whole Purpose, a corporate wellness company that strives to bring wellness to corporations in helping to create happy and healthy employees.


       2.Budget for time off from work-

Families are now spending an average of $10,000 or more on their baby by the time he or she turns one, according to a survey conducted by BabyCenter.com.  (http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-real-cost-of-raising-a-baby_1744454.bc). But don’t let that intimidate you if you are planning to take time off from work to care for your child. Ask your financial planner to help you develop a budget and stick to buying the items you “need” versus those you “want” to keep from breaking the bank.

       3.Borrow or buy used baby items-
Accepting hand-me-downs or buying gently used baby items can save you big bucks. However, you might want to splurge if you plan to use the item often or if it’s something that could affect your baby’s health or safety, such as a stroller or highchair. (To make sure you aren’t spending more than necessary, check out this article on the cost of baby gear:  http://www.babble.com/pregnancy/how-much-does-baby-gear-really-cost/)

Any money you save can be put aside for future use. Whether it’s used for extracurricular activities or educational purposes, you’ll be glad you had the funds available.

       4.Adjust your insurance plans-
Let your financial advisor or life insurance agent know you are expecting a child and adjust your plan accordingly. Make sure to do this no later than the first trimester of pregnancy, as some insurance carriers will not let you purchase additional coverage after this point. Also keep in mind that the company you work for may have a specific enrollment period.

Additionally, make sure to add your child to your health care insurance plan right after he/she arrives. Once your child is born, he/she will require monthly check-ups and medical expenses can add up quickly. If you don’t have a plan, look for one that is comprehensive enough to meet your needs. Also, visit pediatricians who are in-network so you only have the expense of a co-pay to absorb and not out-of-network fees.

“I wish someone would have quantified the difference that would have been made by starting Hudson’s savings on day one instead of at 1 year.  There were so many baby contraptions I bought and never used that I could have put towards his future instead.  He is only 18 months old.  But, I really lost a whole year of savings that I’ll never get back without feeling it financially.  As a busy working woman, I knew I wanted to save for his future.  But, I didn’t carve out the time to start right away.  I’m really trying to make up for lost time now…” Erin L Brown, Regional Consultant, TriNet , Helping accelerate company growth through scalable HR, cutting edge technology, and “big company” benefits

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