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Starting a Family? Avoid These Common Pitfalls

Is an infant about to enter your life? For new parents, the event is a highlight of their lives, as it should be. But far too many moms and dads forget a few important details, like attending to insurance needs, dealing with student loans, allowing for flexible schedules, and more. The good news is that family and friends are on hand to assist with all sorts of chores, even babysitting, which makes the average day of a new parent much more tolerable and less stressful. Here are several common pitfalls that, with a little planning, you can avoid.

Oversight: Not Doing Anything About Student Loan Debt

When a baby is on the way, saving money becomes a priority. That means it's the ideal time to refinance college debt that's been lingering in your budget for too long. The mistake is to do nothing about it. The smart move is to refinance one or more loans into a new obligation as a way of reducing monthly expenses. In most cases, a refi comes with other important benefits as well, like more reasonable repayment periods, better interest rates, and other advantageous terms. Whether you have one or several school loans, consider using a resource like NaviRefi student loan refinancing to deal with the situation head-on and make your budget more family-friendly.

Mistake: Not Buying Life Insurance

Life insurance and dental work have one thing in common: most adults don't get enough of either one, even though they should. But expectant mothers and dads are in a particularly unique position. With a new family member on the way, the right kind and amount of life insurance coverage is an essential part of long-term financial security. What's the right way to proceed? Contact an experienced agent that you trust or whose name you get through a personal referral. Ask close friends and relatives for contacts.

Professionals who represent several carriers can offer the best rates and give you solid guidance about how to calculate a reasonable amount of coverage to buy and the type of policies to consider. They'll use factors like your and your spouse's age, combined income, financial goals, and net worth to find a range of amounts that are suitable for your situation. With life insurance, young couples can get excellent rates because of their age and marital status. That's why it pays to take care of the task even before the baby arrives.

Major Pitfall: Assuming Your Schedule Won't Change Much

Ask any parent about their daily schedules before and after a first child becomes part of their life. You'll no doubt get a quick education. It's enough to say that no matter what you expect, the actual situation will be much more chaotic and unpredictable. Babies don't care about your gym appointments, sleep patterns, movie nights, weekend engagements, or, least of all, afternoon naps. For at least six months after the big day, keep your schedule wide open.

Understandable Mistake: Overlooking Your Support System

No matter your background, income level, or geographic location, it's helpful to remember that there are people out there who are willing to help new parents with babysitting, getting organized, arranging the home for a new occupant, free and useful advice, meal preparation during the weeks leading up to birth, and more. It's typical for expectant mothers and their husbands to want to go it alone. The desire to be self-reliant is human nature, but the reality is that even if neither of you has siblings, there's a vast network who are happy to lend a hand. Make it a point to embrace that support. Thank people who volunteer for small and large tasks, and plan at least one special event, like a dinner party, as a way of showing your appreciation.

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