If you are thinking about adding a new bundle of joy to your family or you already have a baby on the way — there is no time like the present to get your finances in order! Other parents may tell you that you can never be fully prepared for a baby, financially or otherwise, but there are a number of things you can do to help the situation:

1. Take a Close Look at Your Current Financial Position

Are you making enough money to cover your expenses? Fund a savings account? Have you started saving for retirement? Is there enough room in your budget to add a college savings account for your new baby?

2. Do You Have Too Many Credit Cards or Too Much Debt?

If you have multiple credit cards with balances on them, now is the time to pay them off, or at least reduce them as much as possible. The less you have to send to debt payments after the baby arrives, the better. You may be surprised to learn how much your expenses increase after the baby comes. Use 0% balance transfers to consolidate your credit card balances and pay them off faster.

3. Save Money

If you don't need to pay off debts, now is the time to start saving money. A savings account gives you access to cash in an emergency, and will also give you some extra money if you discover your budget is too tight after the baby is born due to the new expenses.

However, if you are carrying credit card debt, the best way to save money may be transferring high interest debts to balance transfer credit cards and focus on paying these debts off before the baby arrives. While it is important to have savings for emergencies, once you have an emergency fund, you are much better off paying down your high rate credit cards than earning a paltry 1% in the bank.

4. Who Will Take Care of the Baby?

A huge consideration for new parents is deciding if one parent will stay home to take care of the baby while the other works, or if both parents will work and child care will be used. Even if you think both parents will return to work after the baby is born, you may want to consider running some numbers to see if one parent could stay home just in case plans change.

5. Where Will You Live?

Maybe you have been living in a tiny apartment or in a busy city, but think you should have a larger space or quieter location to raise your baby. It is easier to pack and settle into a new home before the baby arrives then it is to try and do it all after the baby is born. Make sure you new residence fits into your budget comfortably, since your expenses are sure to rise once the baby is born.

6. What Will You Drive?

Your two-seater sports car may not be the best family car. If you need to upgrade your vehicle, you'll want to do this before you try driving your baby home from the hospital, especially because you won't have as much time to spend shopping for a vehicle once the baby arrives. And while you do not need an expensive or brand new vehicle, try to have one which doesn't break down every other trip to the store!

7. Trim Your Budget Now

New parents regularly go through a period of sticker shock after a baby arrives. Before you give birth, consider the cost of daycare or child care arrangements, diapers, formula or baby food, clothes every few months as the baby is growing like a weed, medical insurance and educational expenses.

Look for areas in your spending that can be trimmed, such as coffee on the way to work, a new video game or movie every weekend, dining out in restaurants several times a month, etc. Finding less expensive forms of entertainment and reducing your expenses will go a long way later when you find your money doesn't stretch as far as it does now. Of course, the baby will help a little, since he or she may not give you much time to spend money eating out or traveling.

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