More retro clipart at http://www.clipartof.com/I am going to share a secret with you, a secret nobody knows about…

Babies are expensive. That’s right, while becoming a parent will fill your life with more joys than you ever imagined, it will also being a new level of financial pressure. If one of you is planning to take time off work and be home with the baby? Go ahead and double that pressure. It is one of the absolute truths in starting a family: The new costs are something any parent should start planning for ahead of time, before the new addition even arrives.

Okay, I admit it. This isn’t such a big secret. I think everybody knows that a new baby comes with new financial factors to consider. Even with this knowledge, however, too many of us overlook important details or decide certain steps are not important. An even bigger factor is probably confusion. With all the extra work and lack of sleep you enjoy as a new Mom or Dad, how can you possibly sit down and solve this financial puzzle? It usually is not much fun and takes time away from more immediate tasks. Who has that kind of time and energy with a baby around? I am here to give that little push, though. Get it done. In the long run, you will be glad you did.

There are two things my wife and I did before I became a stay-at-home Dad that proved to be very wise decisions. First, we met with a financial planner. I admit I was not crazy about this idea at first. Why have someone else do this stuff when I am sure I can figure it out on my own? Now I have to admit I was completely wrong. Our financial planner helped us in countless ways. He established an extra savings account that we do not access except for an absolute emergency. He was able to streamline our retirement funding into one account since I would be taking time off as Dad soon. He even gained access to a TIAA Cref account I had in Delaware, which was sort of hanging in limbo, so those funds would be back in my control. Actions and decisions that would have taken hours of problem solving for me were done within minutes at his office since it is his job and he does it every single day. The other wise decision we made was to stack up our savings. We began to cut back on costs and expenses early to build a “baby fund” for the coming year. Would we be able to get by on my wife’s salary alone? An easy way to answer that was to start early, putting the majority of my paychecks into savings. It gave us more confidence that we could afford to have me home, and it has given us that additional money when and if we need it each month.

With all this in mind, I would like to point you in the direction of Timmons Wealth Management. Liam Timmons is not my financial planner, but he is a good friend from my college days and he now runs his own company. Had I not already built a relationship with our current planner, I would go to Liam without hesitation. I have not been compensated in any way, shape, or form to promote him here on my blog. I only do this because I know he is a good guy, incredibly smart, and someone you can trust. He is also a Dad with young children, so he absolutely understands the costs and financial pressures that come with this change in your life. He was walked the walk and is more than happy to guide your family through it. Liam has written a small book titled A Financial Guide for New Parents & Growing Families. He shared it with me and I love it. It is incredibly thorough with valuable advice and tools, discussing everything from retirement accounts, to college savings, to life insurance plans. It is also written in very user-friendly terms and is easy for the common man to understand. I highly recommend it as reading for any parent out there since I found it so helpful and informative myself.

I have been in touch with Liam and he is happy to offer his Financial Guide to New Parents and Growing Families free of charge to readers of The New American Dad. Just tell him Mark (or Butch) McNulty sent you! He is located in Attleboro, MA and I have put his contact info below. I honestly would not plug him here on my blog if he were not a great guy. You will enjoy working with him, and I am sure he can help your family in many ways. Don’t learn the financial ropes of baby budgets and family funding the hard way, through trial and error. Mistakes can be very costly. It costs you nothing to talk with a guy like Liam and get his ideas, and it may be the best decision you make as a new parent.

Timmons Wealth Management (www.TWealthManagement.com)

Liam.Timmons@TWealthManagement.com : Office: 774.331.2172