Whether you already have a family or are thinking about starting one soon, are you ready for the major challenges you’ll face? They include obvious things like making sure everyone is secure after the lights go out, purchasing your first home, and keeping adults and children in good physical health. However, many people forget about a couple of the longer-term issues, like providing for college tuition and being a supportive parent to your kids after they become young adults. Here’s a quick rundown of what you’re up against if you are a parent of children, whether or not you have a spouse.
Buying a Home
For millions of single and married adults, getting a home of their own is the top priority of their young lives. The challenging part is twofold: getting your credit in good enough shape to qualify for a mortgage, and coming up with a down payment. There’s a work-around for the second part because it’s possible to qualify for an FHA loan that only requires 3.5 percent down. The credit score game can be tough to master. If your credit is already mortgage approval-worthy, good for you. For the majority of young couples, it isn’t. What you need is patience. Slowly pay down any debt you currently have, pay all your bills on time, stay employed, and keep credit card balances low.
Providing for Kids’ Education
It’s nearly impossible to save enough to fully pay for a modern college education. Most people rely on student loans for at least part of the total education bill. If you want to make a smart move, consider using private student loans to meet tuition and other college-related expenses. The advantage of going private is to avoid any prepayment penalties, get competitive interest rates, and the ability to borrow as much as you need to cover all the expenses that come with a typical four-year degree.
Keeping Everyone Safe
Single people get used to taking care of number one. But when you have a spouse and young ones to care for, household security becomes a vital issue. In addition to installing a reliable alarm system, consider other non-crime safety issues like how to get out in case of a fire, flood, or natural disaster. Teach children how to respond to a standard crisis if they happen to be alone when disaster hits. And with the low cost of surveillance cameras these days, there’s no excuse to leave them out of your overall security setup.
Maintaining Family Health
The healthcare insurance landscape has changed a lot in the past decade. Whether you already have a family-friendly plan or not, you’ll need one if you intend to raise children. And even if that seems far in the future from your current perspective, begin checking your options now. It’s possible to add children to your own plan in many cases. The additional costs won’t break the bank as long as you know in advance what they’ll add up to and how you can fit them into your budget. Family mental health is another side of the same coin. It entails helping your youngsters with their own crises, being a homework tutor when needed, and providing emotional support at appropriate times.