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Growing Family

Life’s most joyful moments are often the result of big changes in your personal life like beginning a new relationship, getting married, having a baby or adopting a child.

Life changes can also significantly impact your finances so to keep those happy moments happy, take some time to consider these points.

Communicating & Preparing

Even if it seems challenging at first, taking time to talk about and plan for the impacts big life changes can have on your finances can help you stay on track and make better decisions over the long run.

When you’re considering making a changes to your family life, take some time to think about how the future will affect your finances:

Bank accounts


  • Joint vs. separate accounts
  • Debit and/or credit cards
  • Savings accounts

Questions to answer

  • Do we want joint accounts or to keep accounts separate? Or some of each?
  • Do we want and/or need checking and savings accounts?
  • How will we use debit and or credit cards?
  • How will we contribute to savings?
  • How will we keep track?


  • Decide what financial tools work best for you and your family.
  • Decide if all parties have 100% rights to all funds in a joint account like checking or savings.
  • Communication is key to keep track of a joint account.



  • Goals
  • Expenses
  • Bill paying
  • Tracking

Questions to answer

  • What are our financial goals?
  • How much will our total income be for one month?
  • How much will our combined expenses be for one month?
  • How much will our combined expenses end up being?
  • Who will be responsible for paying each bill?
  • How will we track our spending?


  • Shared understanding of goals and how you’ll handle day to day finances reduces misunderstandings.
  • A shared tool makes tracking easier.
  • Allowances are helpful for budgeting day-to-day spending.



  • Use of credit cards
  • Level of loans or debt

Questions to answer

  • How much debt do we owe altogether?
  • What are our current credit scores?
  • What will we use credit cards for?
  • What will we borrow for?
  • How much debt are we comfortable with?


  • It's important to check your credit reports before making a major life change. Go to:
  • Debts carried into and incurred during marriage become both parties' debts during and after marriage.

Insurance Coverage


  • Health
  • Life
  • Auto
  • Property
  • Liability

Questions to answer

  • Does the upcoming change require different coverage?
  • Whose employer offers better insurance?
  • Is an increase in coverage needed?


  • Additional persons in the family increase the potential amount of insurance needed.



  • Filing status
  • Withholding

Questions to answer

  • Do we want to change our filing status?
  • Do we need to change our withholding from our paychecks?


  • It's best to speak with a tax professional to learn what's best.
  • Added children require additional tax considerations.

Added Costs

When a family grows, spending plans change as well. There will be additional costs that vary depending upon the specific circumstances—childcare, insurance, food, clothing, etc.

To figure out these added costs, take time to evaluate. Asking the right questions is critical to seeing the big picture clearly. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help get started: answering these questions:

Changes in income

  • Will the job status of any family members change?
  • Will anyone involved need time off from work?
  • How much time will be required?
  • Will our employer continue to pay wages for all or a portion of the time away from work? How much time off will not be reimbursed?

Added living expenses

  • How much more will be needed for basic necessities—food, clothing, shelter, transportation, etc.?
  • What are the new expenses that will be created?
  • How much do we need to budget for monthly to cover these additional expenses?

Event expenses (marriage, birth, adoption, etc.)

  • How much will the event cost?
  • How much and how long will we need to save to cover the cost of the event?
  • Are there other sources available to help defray the cost?

Things to Think About

There are always things that go deeper than the immediate costs associated with family changes. There are also many long-term financial considerations to figure out. Here are some additional things to consider:

Health care proxy

Setting up a health care proxy is different in each state. Explore to learn about setting up a health care proxy in New York State.

Life insurance

To learn the basics of life insurance, check out

Health insurance

For tips about choosing a health insurance plan, go to

Tax changes

To learn more about tax filing status, go to

Retirement plan

Learn more about saving for retirement.

Emergency fund

Learn about creating an emergency fund.