Monthly Archives: May 2018

How to Financially Prepare for Maternity Leave

Pregnancy is often a very exciting time in the lives of soon-to-be-mothers. However, like all things, a degree of preparation is always in order and appropriate. While some employers and places of business do grant their workers paid maternity leave at the appropriate time, this is not the case with all institutions. Therefore, if a woman’s company does not pay for her maternity leave, she will inevitably have to do some financial planning of her own. Thankfully, there are a series of well thought out steps that expecting mothers can take to ensure that all goes well during their leave from work.

Start A New, Separate, Savings Account

Although having a new baby can be very exciting, it can also be very expensive. The added costs of childcare combined with the reduction in income can serve as a major blow without the proper funds. According to U.S. News, one of the best ways to financially prepare for maternity leave is by putting aside extra money into a savings account. Ideally, this should occur prior to the time in which the woman takes off for maternity leave. Starting months in advance or even as soon as the pregnancy has been discovered can be very helpful in the long run. Baby-related expenses add up extremely quickly. Preparation is absolutely imperative.

Try to Build A Strong, Support System

Having and caring for a baby within the first few days and weeks can be an amazing experience, but also very overwhelming at times. Having the support of a spouse, in-laws, or other relatives can make all the difference in the world. It can also cut back on childcare expenses which would likely follow after the new mother returns to work.

Financial reasons aside, a strong, reliable support system always makes a difference in the lives of new parents. Raising children is a journey and as the old saying goes, it takes a village.

Put Together A Budget

Prior to maternity leave, putting together a strategic and reasonable budget is going to be very important for soon-to-be-mothers. Not only does this allow the review of income, expenses, and other matters, but it also allows women to track patterns and specifically understand how their baby will impact them financially. Of course, there is no set number and many variables which will impact the budget which needs to be set.

Some women decide to meet with financial advisors as they work to put together the right budget for themselves and their families. However, this is optional; with or without a budget, moms-to-be can still take the right steps, thus ensuring a smooth and stress-free maternity leave.

A Final Word

Regardless of how much planning takes place, maternity leave is likely to present its own unique and likely unforeseen occurrences. However, with the right financial planning and a strong support system of loved ones, any potential challenges which may arise can be easily handled and dealt with. Finally, talking to other women who have experienced pregnancy and maternity leave can also make a tremendous difference.

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

How to Financially Prepare for a Job Layoff

Nobody likes the idea of being laid off from their jobs. Many people not only enjoy their work, but it also allows them to support themselves and any relatives which may also be dependent upon them. If life were perfect, everyone would keep their current positions of employment and never have to worry about layoffs. However, life is far from perfect; job layoffs occur more often than most individuals would like to imagine. This is particularly why each person has the responsibility to ensure that they are financially prepared in the event that they are laid off by their current employer.

Build A Plentiful Savings Account

One of the surest ways to prepare for a job layoff is having a plentiful amount of funds stashed aside. Saving money is always valuable and important; however, its value and paramountcy increase when an income stream evaporates. More often than not, saving sizable amounts of funds takes time. This is often a process which occurs gradually. Working people generally put aside either a specific amount of percentage of their earnings each time they are paid. Forbes moreover recommends having at least three to six months of living expenses saved up in the event of a job layoff. This greatly reduces stress and other headaches which are often brought about due to a lack of funds.

Take Advantage of (Potential) Remaining Job Benefits

Depending on the nature of one’s job, there may be certain associated benefits, such as healthcare, insurance, etc. In certain cases, employees who are laid off may be granted the option to take advantage of their benefits prior to the layout. If the individual at hand is unsure of where they stand regarding their job benefits, he or she should set up an appointment with their employer to get all the answers.

Knowledge is power. Having all of one’s ducks in a row is critical, especially when a job layoff is just around the corner.

Spend Less Money

Although this particular step may appear unnecessary coupled with the existence of plentiful savings, in actuality, it is very important. Spending less money increases the longevity of even the healthiest savings account. Decreasing levels of spending can be challenging, particularly if someone has grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle with various amenities. However, a job layoff is a very serious matter and all energies should be directed towards finding a new source of income to replace the one which is now gone.

A Final Word

Keeping the faith and staying positive are also some important tips when faced when the existence or possibility of a job layoff. The world of work is changing with each passing day; countless people are turning to the gig economy and freelance market as a means of supporting themselves.

In many cases, having multiple sources of income can also counteract the financial impacts of a job layoff. Many people rent spare rooms on Airbnb, drive for Lyft or Uber in their spare time, or even make fruitful investments which are likely to pay off in the future.

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

How to Financially Prepare for a Divorce

Divorce is a difficult and tragic time in the life of any couple. However, there are times when things happen, irreconcilable differences occur, and the only best recall is divorce. When divorce is the best option, it is very important to follow through on it. Divorces are generally regarded as stressful and draining, although, these pains can be minimized to a certain extent. The proper and thorough financial planning is both necessary and can save a lot of drama, misunderstandings, and confusion. Preparation can also come in handy in the event that one’s spouse proves to be greedy, dishonest, or otherwise disingenuous.

Collect All Documentation Relating to Financial Affairs

Gathering all financial-related documents in very important when preparing for a divorce, according to Nerd Wallet. After all, financial preparation is incredibly challenging, if not impossible, without having full knowledge of one’s financial state and monetary contributions which have occurred throughout the marriage. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative to collect and review documentation such as statements for investments, checking, and savings accounts, income taxes, pay stubs, credit card statements, etc. Having the aforementioned records can prove to be quite useful, especially if uncertainties or untrue allegations about money arises. Collecting documentation is one of the very first steps regarding financial preparation for a divorce.

Save and Accumulate Funds

Divorce is an inherently expensive and costly endeavor. Therefore, saving and putting aside money is absolutely imperative. There are countless fees, costs, and unexpected occurrences which are almost guaranteed to pop up in the midst of a divorce. This is why so many people save money and put aside funds so that they are not caught off guard by something unexpected. Protected furthermore states that consistently stashing aside money over time can significantly ease the burden of paying attorney fees. No matter what, saving funds is always a paramount aspect of financially preparing for a divorce.

Try to Work with Your Soon-to-Be Ex-Spouse

Although this may seem ironic and counterintuitive in the midst of a divorce, working with one’s soon-to-be-ex can make a phenomenal difference and save both parties unbelievable amounts of headaches and money. An amicable or cordial divorce can mean the difference between proceedings which take a few weeks or several months. Unfortunately, working with the other party is not always an option. Some spouses can be incredibly difficult or vindictive, especially depending upon what happened in the marriage and how events played out. Nevertheless, working together is always worth a shot.

A Final Word

Financial planning for any divorce is always the best course of action. However, there are many expenses and fees which are simply unavoidable. Divorce creates a difficult and often stressful environment, regardless of how prepared one or both parties may be. Sometimes, the very best forms of preparation simply involve having an awareness of all financial aspects and putting money aside to be able to effectively cover any associated monetary costs.

Consulting a financial adviser can also come in handy when planning for divorce.

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

How to Financially Plan for a Move

At some point and time in most people’s lives, they will be ready to pack up and move. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, they may have received a job promotion or relocation. In other cases, a family may be ready for a new beginning or simply want to be closer to relatives. Nevertheless, there are countless motivators which can cause people to move across the state, country, or even across the world. However, financial planning for a move is so important and can save an unbelievable amount of troubles and headaches down the line. After all, preventative maintenance is always better than damage control.

Be Aware of All Associated Expenses

Relocating is, by no means, inexpensive. Therefore, Quicken affirms the importance of having an awareness of how much it will cost to move furniture and other items. Sometimes, movers opt out of relocating their furniture and simply chose to sell it and purchase new furniture once they’ve arrived at their new home. In many cases, moving furniture and other large items is more expensive than simply replacing it. There are many other costs associated with moving, such as new rent, utilities, transportation, and the overall expenses of living. Anyone who is even thinking of relocating should be aware of all costs before proceeding any further.

Save Money

Similarly to be aware of moving expenses, saving money is one of the most critical steps of financially planning for a move. Many people put aside funds months, if not years, ahead of time to ensure full preparation for their relocation. Doing this can save many problems and moreover create a sense of security. The reality is that the costs of moving add up extremely quickly. When saving, people should always have extra money in addition to what will cover their moving expenses. This particularly comes in handy in the event of any unforeseen emergencies or other occurrences. Anything can happen at any time and there are few things worse than having a move be delayed due to a lack of funds.

Update Critical Information

With all of the financial costs associated with moving, there are a few more matters which must be tended to before completely settling in. These matters involve updating critical and personal information such as ongoing bills, bank accounts, and credit card accounts, according to Smart About Money. Also, upon moving, each person will need to re-register their car and receive a new drivers license. Both of these things can be done at the local DMV, although there are usually minimal fees associated with the aforementioned updates.

A Final Word

Moving is a very exciting time in anyone’s life. There are many benefits and opportunities which can come from relocating to a new place. However, by being aware of associated expenses, saving money, and updating critical information, each person will be on the right track to a smooth and stress-free move. Like all things in life, moving across the state, country, or world certainly requires careful degrees of thought and preparation.

Authored by Gabrielle Renee Seunagal

How to Financially Prepare for a Funeral

Funerals are known for being not the happiest of events. However, the unfortunate reality is that, at some point, each individual will most likely have to deal with the passing of a relative, friends, or loved one. Therefore, financial planning for the funeral process is so important. Not only does it cut back on stress, but it also eliminates financial burdens or unexpected emergencies which can make the grieving process even more worse and traumatic. This is why financial preparation for a funeral is absolutely paramount. Preventive maintenance is always better than having to do damage control at the very last minute.

Pay for the Funeral Ahead of Time

Reports from U.S. News affirm the shockingly low amount of people who simply pay for their funerals before they die. Nobody likes to think of death, but the reality is that all of us will die at one point or another. However, there are various options for those who have the financial means to pay for their funerals before their passing. Many individuals have paid for their funerals via insurance policies, 1035 exchanges, and trusts with monthly payment plans. Regardless, there are various options for individuals who wish to cover all expenses which will be associated with their funerals.

Create A New Personal Savings Account

Not everyone can or wants to put aside hundreds of dollars per month into a payment plan for their forthcoming funeral. Thankfully, there are other alternatives regarding financial preparation for a funeral. One of the simplest ones includes simply creating a new personal savings account and putting aside an agreeable amount of funds on a consistent basis. The account can also be set up with a “payable-on-death” trusted beneficiary. This ensures that the funds which have been put aside are actually used for their funeral and not some other purpose or expense.

Purchase Life Insurance/Set Up Financial Power-of-Attorney

Additional effective means of financially preparing for a funeral include purchasing life insurance and setting up a financial power-of-attorney to make decisions regarding money after one’s passing. Not only does this avoid any confusions or uncertainties regarding who is in charge, but life insurance moreover comes in handy if the deceased has certain debts which they failed to pay off before their passing, affirms USA Today. Obviously, these are matters that nobody likes to think of, but they are very important and worth planning for. Effective plans are much easier to make ahead of time, versus in the middle of the grieving process.

People who have further questions about preparing for their funerals can also seek out the aid or advice of a financial adviser.

A Final Word

At the end of the day, each person owes it to themselves and the ones who care for them to do as much planning for their funeral as they possibly can. Not only does this make matters easier for all parties involved, especially during the grieving process, but it furthermore shows a degree of respect to those who are closest to us.

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal