Baby Week continues on Fiscal Fizzle with a review of a fantastic personal finance resource for expecting parents – “Expecting Money: The Essential Financial Plan for New and Growing Families” by Erica Sandberg.
About The Author
Erica Sandberg is, at the core, a mom just like any other mom who wanted answers to simple personal finance questions when she got pregnant, and could fine none. So she set out to write a book, which eventually became “Expecting Money.”
Erica is with Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco, “a nonprofit organization that helps people from all walks of life overcome financial problems.” She’s interviewed countless parents and found the same frustrations, the same problems, and a general sense of being unprepared for what was coming next.
“My intention in writing Expecting Money was to help every new parent develop a practical and enlightening financial plan. By providing accurate, objective information about the most common and pressing concerns, it’s my goal to motivate you to analyze your world, explore and refine your financial values, and to take well-informed actions that will ensure a brighter future for yourself and your children.”
What Will I Learn?
Here’s what you can plan to walk away with after reading Expecting Money:
- The emotions you go through when dealing with money after becoming pregnant, and how to use them to your advantage.
- Where you are now financially, establishing a starting point.
- What money means to you (your values, goals, and attitudes).
- The dangers of borrowing, and how you can improve your relationship with debt and get off the “wheel.”
- Employee benefits – including maternity laws, how to have the “time off” talk with your boss, leave/vacation/sick days, FSAs, and other financial perks.
- The expenses of childbirth, including alternative treatments and adoption.
- How to make the most of your health coverage and what you can expect to pay on average.
- How to resist the urge to buy, buy, buy and focus on what you need instead.
- A list of what you do need.
- How to resolve money issues with your spouse without sleeping on the couch.
- What to do if you’re single and pregnant.
- Deciding to be a one-income or two-income family. See my reader’s thoughts here.
- An overview of the available types of child care and the associated costs.
- How to plan for the future, in terms of insurance, emergency savings, college education, and other big-ticket items.
- Creating a family budget you can live with.
Erica takes a very thorough approach to a situation most of us find ourselves in financially caught off-guard. The reasons are not typically that we haven’t been disciplined or have our financial life together, but that we simply haven’t considered the additional “modules” of personal finance that come with having a baby.
By far, I found the chapters on dealing with work and time off the most useful in this text, simply because they are questions that every working mom and dad will have to face, and will hopefully do so before the baby is born.
There is also enough “basic” material in here that the book is fine for people just starting out on the road to financial education – reviews of simple tasks like planning, goal-setting, money values, and budgeting are included and geared toward your new family structure.
I would recommend this book for the majority of expecting parents as a resource on what to expect financially and how best to prepare for it. The last thing you want to do is be caught with your pants down.
Order Your Copy
Expecting Money is available at Amazon.com and your local bookstores. Yes, that’s an affiliate link that will make me some much-needed cash to keep the site going. 🙂