Survey: 42% of parents say they weren't financially prepared to have a child

Jeanine Skowronski

By

Jeanine Skowronski

Jeanine Skowronski

Former Head of Content at Policygenius

Jeanine Skowronski is the former head of content at Policygenius in New York City. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, American Banker Magazine, Newsweek, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, MSN, CNBC and more.

Published August 5, 2019|1 min read

Policygenius content follows strict guidelines for editorial accuracy and integrity. Learn about our

editorial standards

and how we make money.

Blog image

Parenting comes with many rewards. But it can also come with a huge financial burden — and moms and dads are feeling the weight.

The first annual Policygenius Parents & Money Survey sought to analyze financial wellness among American parents of varying age, gender and marital status.

It found 42% of parents say they were not financially prepared to have a child. Among parents who don’t believe they’re prepared, 23% lack key financial instruments, like a traditional savings account or a 529 college savings plan, that make it easier to handle child-related expenses.

*Help us celebrate by sharing Easy Money with a friend (and get a bonus Money Gossip as a thank you)

In addition, one in three parents name “paying down debt” as their biggest financial goal over “buying a house” and “saving for retirement.”

Every family’s financial situation is unique. But there are steps any parent can take to become (and stay) financially fit. Here are a couple tips.

  1. Draft a household budget. Include fixed expenses, like day care or mortgage payments and discretionary categories, like recreation. Track and adjust as necessary. You can use this simple budgeting spreadsheet to get started.

  2. Save at least three to six months of expenses in an emergency fund. Increase savings via auto-deposit, a spare-change app or high-yield savings account.

  3. Pay down debt quickly using the avalanche method. Make all monthly minimum payments, but put the rest of your available funds toward the debt with the highest interest rate.

  4. Up your retirement savings, even if it’s just 1%. Aim to eventually contribute the annual maximum amount the IRS allows.

  5. Open a 529 college savings plan. Encourage grandparents and relatives to contribute as birthday and graduation gifts.

You can download the Policygenius Parents & Money White Paper below.

Image: Nastia Kobzarenko

Former Head of Content at Policygenius

Jeanine Skowronski

Former Head of Content at Policygenius

Jeanine Skowronski is the former head of content at Policygenius in New York City. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, American Banker Magazine, Newsweek, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, MSN, CNBC and more.