Short Term

  • Check your credit report for errors

    If it's been more than a year since you've checked your credit report, access your free copy via www.annualcreditreport.com to make sure it is accurate and mistake-free. If you find errors that might hurt your credit score, it's important to take the steps to fix them before you apply for credit.

  • Contribute to your 401k at least to your employer's match

    If your employer matches any portion of your 401k contributions and you're not maxing that option out, you are leaving free money on the table. Take advantage of this benefit at a minimum. Remember, the more you are able to contribute the better. 

  • Create a potential budget based on projected new costs

    Once you know the additional costs you’ll face having a baby, put together a future budget that includes these costs. Then you can compare your future and current budgets to see where you may need to make changes in preparation; this way you can ease yourself into any lifestyle changes instead of trying to do everything at once when the baby arrives. 

  • Determine how much you can contribute toward paying off your debt

    Add up all your recurring monthly expenses and subtract that from your monthly income. What's left over is how much you have available to divvy up between living expenses (food, clothing, entertainment, etc.), savings and debt. You should consider trimming back on your savings rate in order to increase the amount you're paying on your debt until you're debt free. Find a fixed amount that you'll pay each month and commit to contributing at least that toward your debt.

  • Do your homework

    Before inform your current boss of your plans, make sure you know what you're getting into. How long will it take you to transition to your new career? Will it be easy to find a job in your new field? How will your income change? Will you need to go back to school first? Will a career change require a move? How will this affect your spouse or partner? The more you plan the better prepared you’ll be.

  • Do your homework

    How much does it cost to have a baby? Diapers, clothing and outfitting a nursery are costs that naturally come to mind. Don't forget the out of pocket medical costs associated with prenatal care and delivery, and any day or in home assistance you may need. Finally, consider whether you'll need to buy a bigger house or car to accommodate your new bundle of joy. 

  • Educate yourself

    There are countless books and websites about various money-related topics. This website is one of them, so keep exploring! You may also want to check out 360financialliteracy.org and Save Wisely, Spend Happily, for further information. The more you know, the more you'll feel empowered!

  • Establish a credit history

    If you don't yet have any credit history, it's time to establish one so that when you do need to take out a loan, you can obtain what you need.

  • Establish a credit history

    If you don't yet have any credit history, it's time to establish one so that when you do need to take out a loan, you can obtain what you need.

  • Figure out how much you can afford

    Before you start shopping, make sure your monthly payment will fit into your budget. Remember that the amount the bank approves you may be more than you can comfortably afford, or need.