As a parent, you’re not just thinking about yourself anymore. In fact, your kids are probably a bigger priority than your own sense of well-being. And that means your decision-making process is going to be a little bit different.
Some of the big decisions you have to make that involve focusing on your children might include buying a new house, deciding to have more kids, starting college funds, and then thinking about the transition between taking care of your children and taking care of your parents. Thinking about some of these topics in advance will help you make the appropriate decisions at the appropriate times.
Buying a New House
Particularly if you’re buying a house for the first time, this type of major purchase is going to have a significant effect on you and your children. Some of the factors will include how much it costs, where it’s located, what your mortgage rate is going to be, and what school system your children are going to be in eventually. The simple decision about where you’re going to buy your house will have consequences for the rest of your life.
Having More Kids
Then there’s the decision about whether or not to have more children. After your first child, you realize how much of your time gets spent on different priorities. When it comes time to think about having a larger family, you have to take into consideration all of the time and energy spent on your first child. For as much as new parents can plan the number of kids they want to have, once the reality of certain time and energy situations really gets absorbed, you may feel differently about having more tiny human beings running underfoot.
Starting College Funds
At some point, you have to decide when the best time is to start a college fund. This is money that you are making that you are specifically earmarking for your children’s education. Though college doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing it did even a generation ago, at least having this fund in place can give you a strong sense of satisfaction, and also will exist as a buffer against future financial hardship.
When To Start Taking Care of Your Parents
At some point in your life, you’re going to transition from taking care of your children to taking care of your parents. This is another mammoth decision. If your parents haven’t saved up as much money as they should or don’t have the kind of insurance that they need to exist at the standard of living that they’re used to, that’s where you come into the picture. You have to make sure that your resources are steady enough that you can bridge your parents into their retirement age with as little drama as possible.