Women and Money: Family and Children

Planning for a family

After you’ve finished school and started your career, it’s time to look towards other milestones in your life. For many individuals this can include getting married or starting a family. However, those two life events have a myriad of financial consequences that cannot be ignored.

Consolidated Credit is committed to helping women achieve financial success throughout their lives. We have compiled a variety of tips and advice below to help you on your journey. As always, we are also available to answer any of your questions about debt, credit or other financial issues in person or by phone. Give us a call today at 1-888-294-3130 or fill out a Free Debt Analysis online.

Phase 3: Relationships and money

FACT: Females are the primary earners in 31% of Canadian marriages (source: Macleans)

Finding someone you want to spend the rest of your life with is a wonderful thing. But merging two lives has a variety of financial ramifications that need to be discussed beforehand. The following tips will give you a blueprint for how to approach a financial discussion with your partner.

  • The talk about money – If you have decided to spend your lives together, it’s time to start talking about your financial situation. Your discussion should include such topics as your incomes, debts and spending habits. You want to make sure you are on the same financial page before you enter into a lifetime commitment. If you don’t talk about it now, it could have severe consequences down the road.
  • Who will be responsible for what – It’s a good idea to clearly define who will be responsible for what in a relationship. This will include things like maintaining separate cell phone plans or combining them into a family plan or who is responsible for paying the mortgage or rent each month. Also, start talking about how you will organize your savings and investments and who will contribute what amount. It’s much easier to talk about these things before getting married than afterwards.
  • Check each other’s credit – When you combine finances, your partner’s credit history can have either a positive or negative effect on yourself. It’s an important exercise to share your credit reports with each other so there are no secrets. If there is a problem, you would rather have the opportunity to work around it now instead of it suddenly appearing when you are trying to buy your first home.
  • Set your long-term financial goals and make a plan – Marriage is not a short-term commitment. You and your partner need to start discussing your long-term financial goals for the next 5, 10, 30 years. Also, create a plan to help you achieve them – the more detailed the better.

Phase 4: Having children

FACT: The cost of raising a child is estimated to be nearly $250,000 (source: Canadian Living)

Having children is a major goal of many families. Nothing will bring you more happiness than watching your child grow – but it is not without its costs. Children can put a strain on budgets and present a financial challenge for many families. But, with proper planning, you can minimize the financial impact and focus on the joys of parenthood.

  • Start saving now – You shouldn’t wait until you have a baby to start saving for one. Preparing for a future child will help you cushion the financial cost of raising one. Starting a baby fund to help you pay for things like diapers, formula and clothes is a good idea for any couple that wishes to start a family.
  • Define your expectationsThe cost of raising a child can vary widely from family to family. Before you have kids, think about how you want to raise them. Is it important to send them to a private school or enroll them in numerous clubs, teams and activities? We want to do everything we can for our kids, but we also need to think of the costs involved.
  • Be a financial teacher – Your kids are going to look to you for guidance on so many things as they grow up, but many parents neglect to teach their kids about money. We suggest you start small with a weekly allowance and use this money to teach other financial lessons about charity, saving and spending. For additional tips, check out our free online booklet – “Talking Money with your Kids”