A baby on the way is a very exciting time for any family. Whether you’re new parents or adding to your growing family, preparing for your new arrival can already feel like a handful. Aside from the upcoming sleepless nights and never ending diaper changes, one of your biggest concerns is probably your finances. According to Parenting.com, the average middle class family will spend $12,000 on child-related expenses in the baby’s first year of life. That’s not a small chunk of change. So how do you prepare financially while trying to juggle all the new responsibilities that come with a new baby at the same time?

It’s definitely not an easy task and there’s really no rule book on how to parent, especially when it comes to finances. One tip we know works though, and it’s that the earlier you start preparing, the better you’ll be able to set up for your baby’s future. Before your baby’s arrival, take a look at this checklist on easy things you can do to financially prepare now:
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As unemployment drops and the demand for workers continues to increase, the ball is in the employee’s court to attract potential employees. Companies in similar industries are increasingly competing amongst each other for the best-qualified applicants — even to the point of courting people before they’ve moved on from their current jobs. With comparable positions and tempting salaries at your fingertips, it’s only natural to consider switching jobs, especially if you’re being personally recruited by a friend or former colleague.

Switching jobs might not seem like as much of a leap as switching careers, but job hopping can still be detrimental to your career path and your finances. Before you jump at that new opportunity, take these tips to heart.
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September marks the start of school for most kids around the country. This month is also the unofficial start of the fall wedding season for adults. That’s why we need to talk about it today because if you’ve ever hosted a wedding of your own or even attended a wedding, you definitely know how much it can potentially cost. From venues to flowers to photography, the expenses add up quickly. And considering that it’s only one day of your life, the cost of a wedding can be very daunting.

Luckily, eloping isn’t the only solution to the problem. While weddings can get really expensive, there are ways to cut back without sacrificing the experience for you or your guests. Being strategic about how you stick to your budget can significantly impact your costs in a good way. Here are 11 tips to help you save on your wedding day:
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At a national average of $479 a month, car payments can take a big chunk out of the monthly budget. Even if you avoid car loans, the high cost of a vehicle can delay other savings goals. Either way, it’s rewarding when a vehicle costs nothing more than fuel and routine maintenance. In fact, it’s such a rewarding feeling that you might miss important signs it’s time to start car shopping again.

Being frugal is a great quality when it comes to vehicle purchases – while the average consumer purchases a new one every 3 to 5 years, today’s vehicles are designed to last 10 or more. Still, it’s possible to be too frugal and end up costing yourself more money in the long run. If you have any doubts about whether it’s time to buy a newer vehicle, consider these four signs.

1. Your Vehicle’s Safety is Questionable

Aesthetic qualities and luxury features are one thing, but safety is quite another. If there’s any question whether your vehicle can get you safely from Point A to Point B, it’s time to consider an upgrade. Here are a few examples of what might constitute a safety concern:

  • Your vehicle sometimes has mobility problems. If this happens on the road, it could cause an accident.
  • Your vehicle lacks important safety features. Newer vehicles are equipped with advanced safety features, but we’re talking about the basics — seatbelts, curtain air bags, traction control, etc.
  • Your vehicle has been in an accident or has extensive rust that could compromise is structural integrity. The appearance of rust might not bother you, but the damage it does to internal parts could.

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Planning for the future is difficult. Just figuring out where you’ll be a year from now is hard, let alone five or ten years from now. This doesn’t mean you don’t try though. As you’ve heard over and over again, the earlier you start preparing financially for the future, the better off you will be. But how exactly do you prepare for your financial future when you can barely get a grasp on your financial present?

It’s definitely not an easy task and most likely something you’ll be working on for the majority of your life. The good news is that there are steps you can take now to help set yourself up for a better tomorrow. Let’s take a look at how you can build a better financial future:
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