Let’s be honest, when you’ve got a baby coming, finances are probably the last thing you want to think about. Compared to the thrill of choosing names, decorating your nursery or the baby kicking, they can seem downright boring (or even depressing!).
Of course, with your expenses rising and your immediate income diving, this is EXACTLY the time to see a qualified financial adviser and make your money go further for longer.
Glen James from Sort Your Money Out likens an adviser to a “personal money coach”, someone who’s there to guide you through this whole new ball game that is parent life and the expenses that come with it.
“Often parents are busy focusing on their new family and they don’t have time or headspace to think about it,” says Glen. “A good financial adviser can help you prioritise your finances, set automated banking and cash flow systems, and ensure the important things are taken care of.”
To focus on those “important things” even more, Glen laid out six reasons why new parents should sit down with a financial adviser.
1. To set and manage your goals
Often, people’s money goals are very general and based on common sense (save lots! spend less!), rather than being defined by specific analysis and strategy. Glen explains an adviser is trained to sharpen that focus, give external advice and show you new money habits and behaviours.
“They can be a great sounding board in your life and help you prioritise them with your spouse, if you’re in a relationship,” he says. “We all need to get out of our own head when it comes to decisions and having a trusted third party can help you set your goals in order.”
2. To help you get out of debt
Glen says bub’s arrival is the perfect time to make changes and leave those bad money habits behind.
“Starting a new family is often like drawing a line in the sand,” says Glen. “Is it time to finally get out of the credit card cycle, get the personal loan out of your life and stop living on Afterpay? If the answer is yes, having a financial adviser work along side you can enable you to start to clean up your financial mess.”
3. To manage the present and balance it with the future
Juggling current costs and wants with future needs and ambitions is a tough act for any new family, especially when the present seems far more pressing. An adviser can help itemise your expenses and objectives now and down the track, and can ensure the two can meet in the middle.
“These are issues every Australian has,” confirms Glen. “While we need to take care of the here and now – we need to balance building our own long term financial future. We can help you manage and balance short term needs versus long term aspirations, without going into debt!”
4. To keep you accountable
An adviser not only sets realistic goals, they can monitor them and make sure you’re sticking to the agreed game plan. Glen likens it to a gym personal trainer. Sure, people could just exercise at home for free, but often, they want a trainer to guide them, keep them motivated and accountable. “Don’t worry, a good adviser will pay for themselves,” says Glen.
5. To evaluate your housing options
As your family grows, so will your accommodation needs. Rent or mortgage repayments could be a family’s biggest expense, so there’s a lot riding on the decisions you make.
“Do you wish to rent or to buy a property to live in?” asks Glen. “Some people choose to rent where they want to live and can’t afford to buy, and invest for the future elsewhere. There is no right or wrong here and it’s important to seek professional advice rather than listening to your own friends.”
6. To protect your family
It’s a horrible thought, but it’s crucial to consider before starting a new family. If something did happen to you or your partner, an adviser can ensure beforehand that the necessary protection and insurance are in place.
“If you only see a financial adviser for one reason, this should be it,” says Glen. “Having a family is financially a big deal and we have a responsibility to ensure money is never an issue should the worst case occur – the loss of a parent. We spend much time insuring our cars and often for the same or less cost, quality life insurance can be established.”
This is a sponsored post for Sort Your Money Out.