Parenting involves a lot of thinking.
You ruminate about your kids, chores, running errands, and of course, the future. Every future parent has their world turned upside down, in a good way, of course, when kids come into the picture. Instead of thinking about yourself, you put your children’s needs first and are primarily concerned with their futures.
You probably plan for the future daily, like packing your child’s lunch for school the next day or figuring out an errand schedule. But what about five years down the road? What happens when your children grow up and start having to take care of themselves as well as potentially caring for you?
Below, you’ll find seven parenting hacks you should know about future planning so you can begin to live in the moment!
1. Start Saving Money Early
Start saving money for the future now. Even before you have kids, if you’re sure you want kids, begin saving for them. You don’t have to put your entire life savings into your future children, but start saving a small amount for them over a long period.
On average, it costs about $234,000 to raise one child through the age of 17. Saving money for your children and future children is necessary to be able to afford to raise them. This can help you better prepare for your future.
2. Get Life Insurance
In case something were to happen to you, life insurance would provide financial security for your family. The insurance plan should cover the primary financial contributor to the family, but it’s also wise to have everyone covered.
Insurance coverage should be enough to replace your income throughout your child’s younger years.
Additionally, try to get enough coverage to help your family pay off debts and perhaps even cover the cost of college. Decide whether you think you need term life insurance or whole life insurance. Usually, term life insurance should be sufficient.
3. Write Out a Will and Testament
Although parents probably want to avoid this part of future planning, it’s necessary for you and your children. You’re probably still young, but you never know what could happen to you. Writing out a will and testament ensures that your assets are correctly allocated to your partner and children or anyone else.
If you’re a parent, you need a will. Without one, there might be confusion and arguments over your belongings, and then the government likely decides where those things go. State your wishes on a piece of paper and have someone witness your signature.
The will should also include a standby guardian who can care for your child should something happen to you and your partner.
4. Let Your Children Make Choices
You want the best for your children and their futures. Though you may want to decide everything for them and their futures, you need to let them make their own choices and decisions as long as they’re old enough to do so.
Children should have a decision in their future. Of course, you should guide them to the best choices, but ultimately, they will learn from the mistakes they make. When they have a part in their future, they can feel more confident in their choices.
5. Build Memories With Your Children
The future may be on your mind often, but you should also focus on the present with your children! Building memories with them now will leave them filled with happy thoughts as they grow older and reflect on their childhood.
Memories last a lifetime. Be there for your children when they need you most. Spend time playing with them and being involved in their lives. They’re only little for so long, so cherish them and be in the moment with them as much as possible. Their future selves will thank you for it.
6. Plan for Post-High School Education
This ties into the first parenting hack about saving money. As you save money, allocate it into separate funding categories for your children. One of those categories should be post-high school education, whether for college or extra training for a job.
Having debt or other financial issues may hinder your progress towards saving for college. Before you save for this, you should try to get on a healthy financial track. Plan to pay off your debts and start setting aside money for your child’s future education.
7. Help Your Child Develop Necessary Life Skills
Finally, you can invest in your child’s future by helping them develop necessary life skills. These may include things like social and communication skills. Having these skills will get your children far in life and will provide them with more opportunities.
As your children grow older, you can teach them other beneficial skills, like paying taxes, changing a tire, cooking for themselves, cleaning and other adulting items.
Honing these skills as a younger person will help them when they need them in the future.
The Future Depends on What You Do Now
Planning for the future is one of the best things you can do as a parent. With these hacks, you have all you need to know about securing your future for your family.