When parents find out they’re expecting multiples, it can be an incredible surprise. It’s understandable to have shifting emotions that run the gamut from joy to excitement to a little overwhelmed. With so much to look forward to, a little future planning now can go along way for a growing family.
Let’s look at some of the practical and financial aspects of expecting multiples:
Create a budget
While setting a budget for one baby is challenging, parents with more than one on the way may feel intimidated at the thought of multiplying every number in a spreadsheet by two (or, in some cases, more). Cincinnati-based Financial Advisor Rebecca Stewart recommends not buying items right away.
“As exciting as it is to go and purchase a bunch of baby stuff during your pregnancy, hold off and see what goodies your friends and family bring you at your baby shower,” Stewart advises. “Save the additional couple hundred you want to spend on ‘extra’ items and use that money for ‘emergency’ items when the babies comes such as medicine, socks, diapers, or date night babysitters.”
A simple way to get started is to make a master list of projected costs, including larger ongoing expenses such as health care and childcare; big purchases such as car seats and strollers; and everyday essentials such as diapers, wipes, and formula. Assigning a ballpark number to each item and comparing the numbers side by side can give parents a firmer grasp of their full financial picture.
Prepare the home
Designating and designing a physical space in the home for the babies will suddenly make everything feel more real. Expectant parents should consider where they want the babies to sleep, where all their supplies will live, and how to make every day feel as manageable as possible. Once the time comes, babyproofing the house (placing covers on electrical sockets, locking cabinets and drawers, and using baby gates, to name a few tasks) is another key step to ensure the safety (and sanity) of everyone involved.
Build a community
Having a community to lean on makes even the most challenging situations easier.
“Utilize your ‘village’ for additional resources and support before and after the babies comes,” says Stewart. “Lean on people you can depend on and figure out ways to delegate certain tasks so you don’t overwhelm yourselves.”
Reach out to friends, family, and community support groups for parents of multiples, and bookmark helpful online resources. Connect with people who may be open to trading or sharing childcare duties. Frequenting libraries, playgrounds, and museums is a great way to meet other parents, and as an added bonus, these places are often free or offer free days or discounted rates for families with young children.
Save and plan for the future
It’s important for parents of multiples to think ahead to five, 10, even 20 years down the road.
“With all the uncertainty of when the babies will come and how out of touch you may feel once they arrive, take the time to make plans prior with your friends, family, doctors, and advisor to sort out a six, nine and twelve-month plan,” Stewart shares. “You should also make sure to set time away for yourself and your partner for self-care days, and time to discuss important topics such as your budget, taxes, savings goals, and big purchases.”
Saving money for the future can involve short-term solutions such as buying items in bulk, taking advantage of shopping rewards programs, and making the most of hand-me-downs from friends and family. It can also involve long-term planning, such as setting aside money for after-school activities, summer camp, and college tuition.
Find the right life insurance
Even before the babies arrive, expectant parents should consider how to best protect their family in the years to come. Many new parents opt to get life insurance to provide financial security if they pass away while their children are still dependent on their income. With multiple babies on the way, it may be time to consider a permanent life insurance policy like whole life insurance or universal life insurance for lifelong coverage and added benefits such as a cash value that grows over time.
Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM) and its subsidiaries in Milwaukee, WI.
Source: Northwestern Mutual
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