8 common money mistakes parents with their kidsGet the Full StoryYulia Grigoryeva Shutterstock
Part of being a parent is making a lot of mistakes. There's just no way around it. The parental instincts you think you'll have don't always come right away, and you end up spending a lot of time thinking "am I doing this right?"
One of the aspects of parenting that we tend not to talk about is money. The first year of a child's life costs roughly 11,000 on average, and it only goes up from there, making them one of the most expensive investments you'll ever make. Although there's no exact science to managing your money as a parent or how to teach your kids about money, there are some guidelines that might help.
With all the mistakes you're bound to make, we're here to help keep money from being one of them. They don't plan for unpaid maternity leave.
For most Americans, the concept of a paid maternity leave is still a distant fantasy. Legally, employers are only required to give new parents 12 weeks of unpaid leave, which can be devastating for many lower to middle-class families. Not only will they be missing multiple paychecks, but they'll now have the added expenses of medical bills and caring for a newborn.
Not saving enough to cover expenses during this time will create an extra, unnecessary strain on new parents. As you and your partner think about having kids, figure out early on how you'll manage the cost of the pregnancy and time away from work.
They spend money on unnecessary things.
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You want your kid to have the best of everything, but sometimes that isn't a smart financial choice. When parents were asked to talk about the unnecessary expenses that come along with a kid, they revealed that many of the things parents spend money on every day are just not worth it. Brand new clothing they'll soon outgrow, trendy toys they'll forget about in six months, and specialty baby gadgets are all on the list of things that are likely a waste of money. Instead, parents suggest putting money towards things like good child care, education, and orthodontics.
They set a bad example.
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It's hard to lead with a "do as I say, not as I do" philosophy, but that's the one many parents use when it comes to finances. It's critical for your own well-being and for your child's for you to become educated about personal finance yourself. Seeing your successes will be a valuable lesson for them and make them more willing to listen to your advice. On the flip-side, seeing your overspending and overuse of credit cards may give them false ideas about how to manage their own finances in the future.
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