By Allison Kade for LearnVest
For more money tips for moms, visit LearnVest.com
The smell of your baby’s skin. Playing tooth fairy for the first time in your life. Hearing her say she wants to be like you when she grows up.
Motherhood comes with a lot of amazing moments. You’re not just Mom, but also Protector, Builder and Teacher.
To that end, we want to help you protect your most important asset, your family, so we put together a list of the top ten financial things every mother must do.
We understand that providing for your family and setting your children up for success doesn’t come about through money alone. But, along with the love, dedication and downright gumption that you show your family on a daily basis, this financial knowhow will make sure that you’re giving your kids the very best.
1. Provide for Your Family in Advance
As a mom, you want to know that everyone in your family will be OK even if—heaven forbid—something were to happen to you. This means creating a last will and testament that states where your possessions will go. To figure out what you can do on your own and when you should call an attorney, read DIY or Not: Wills and Estate Planning.
It's also important to name beneficiaries and transfer-on-death (TOD) recipients for your accounts. Not having these processes in place could send your estate through probate court, potentially reducing the inheritance your loved ones receive by almost 10%. Here’s what you need to know about naming beneficiaries and TOD accounts.
2. Create (and Contribute to!) a 529 Plan
Education is essential to your child’s future. That said, student loans can often be oppressive once your kid is an adult. Get a headstart now by saving for college early, while time is on your side. 529 plans are tax-advantaged investment accounts through which you can save for education expenses, and they’ll be a huge help to you, and your kids, in the future. Here are four things to keep in mind when choosing a 529 plan.
3. Be a Good Financial Role Model
Part of your role as a mom is to teach your children the skills they’ll need to be financially responsible adults. The key is showing them what they need to know while still ensuring they have fun, happy childhoods—and don’t develop anxiety around money. Are you getting it right? Take our quiz to see if you’re a good financial role model.
Then, consult our timeline for financial milestones you should be helping your kids reach at every age, including great activities you can do as a family.
4. Make Sure You Have Life Insurance
Life insurance provides enough money for your family to get by without a problem if you were gone. It’s also a potentially inexpensive way to leave an inheritance for your children or to pay off any leftover debts. The sooner you lock in life insurance rates, the less likely you are to pay high premiums.
How much should you get? Read on for everything you need to know about life insurance.
5. Tidy Up Your Budget
Getting your budget right is especially important for someone who’s juggling as much as you are. You can make it easier to keep track of by connecting your accounts through LearnVest’s My Money Center, where you can see your checking, savings, credit and investment accounts all at once—as well as what's coming in and going out each month.
As you look through your spending patterns, try to highlight one area where you’d like to spend better. Is there a big dream you're not saving for? If you’d like to take a step back and reassess what those big ideas are, try making a vision board.
See the other financial tips that every mom should do at LearnVest.com!
More From LearnVest:
- Use these tips to savor each precious moment.
- Don’t forget to take care of you: 10 ways to make your beauty products last.
- We asked readers how they save at the grocery store and their answers were awesome!