Apr 30, 2020
financial planning for new baby

financial planning for new baby

There are a lot of important decisions that you will have to make as a new parent – one being how to plan your budget. There are several important financial decisions that you need to consider.

Get Life Insurance And Disability

You probably already know that it is important to have health insurance. However, it is just as important for you to have disability and life insurance. Life insurance will ensure that your family is still taken care of if something happens to you. Disability insurance will cover you if you become ill or disabled and are unable to work.

Create a Budget

You are probably well aware of the fact that having a child can be expensive. One of the best things that you can do to prepare for the expenses is to set a budget. This will ensure that you do not overspend and have enough money for the extras that your baby needs.

Increase Your Emergency Fund

There are a lot of unexpected things that can happen. For example, you could lose your job, get sick or have another big unexpected expense. It is a good idea to have at least three months of expenses in your emergency fund. This means that if you have $3,000 in expenses each month, then you will need to have at least $12,000 in your savings account.

Take Advantage of Your Tax Breaks

Even though having a child can be expensive, you may be able to take advantage of the tax breaks. For example, if you will need child care, then you can get a Child And Dependent Care Credit. It can cover anywhere from 20 to 35 percent of your child care expenses.

You may also be able to use a flexible spending account. This is a program that you get through your employer. You can set aside up to $5,000 per year to cover your child care expenses. You can use a child and dependent care credit for children up to the age of 13.

Don’t Rush to Buy a New Home

When many people have a baby, they automatically decide to buy their first home or move into a larger one. However, depending on your circumstances, that may not necessarily be the best decision. You will have to save up for a down payment and pay for moving costs. Ask to speak with an Eastex Mortgage Loan Officer to discuss when is the best time for you to buy a new home.

Meet With a Financial Planner

It is possible for you to budget and plan for your financial future on your own. However, it will be a lot easier for you to budget if you meet with a financial planner. They can help you plan for major investments that you may have to make, such as paying for your child’s college. Your financial planner can also help you plan for your retirement.

Your child will not go to college for several years. You may not be able to retire for several years. However, the earlier you start, the better. Being a new parent can be an exciting adventure, connect with the professionals at Eastex CU to limit the hurdles.

Aug 30, 2018

home, window, large stack of papers on desk

Paper has a way of piling up in various corners of our homes no matter how much we try to sort and organize it.

You get the mail, come inside and sort it into three piles (well, maybe): toss, keep and needs review. The toss pile *may* get thrown out that day if a trash or recycling can is nearby and you have time to shred or cover any personal info. The keep pile will likely join a larger “to file” pile sitting near your filing cabinet and the needs review file could stay right where it is for weeks before you finally have time to look at it. Then, there is the constant inflow of MORE paper every time the mailman comes. Coupons, catalogs, bills, medical and insurance records, credit card statements and so much more all must be sorted through to determine what should be kept and what can be tossed.

So, should you go paperless? Here are some tips and tricks for successfully going paperless at home.

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Aug 15, 2018

Photo of coin jar collecting money for charity for community involvement

Donating to charity, whether to your religious organization or an independent non-profit, is a great way to give back to your community. Despite the fact that we are biologically wired for giving, studies have shown that when you donate to charity, or volunteer your time, positive physiological reactions result in your brain. Especially as holidays approach, charities will start their outreach to potential donors, and it may become overwhelming to know which charitable program to pick. No matter whether you donate once a year, or once a month, it’s always important to ensure that you are being responsible with your decisions and getting the best value for your donation.

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Apr 19, 2018

meal prepping, containers, food prep, healthy food

Meal prepping is a trend that has recently taken America by storm – and for good reason. A great way to ensure healthy eating without spending time going to the grocery store or preparing it every day, it’s clear to see why many families are incorporating meal prepping into their weekly routines.

What is Meal Prepping?

Meal prepping is the act of taking one or two recipes, cooking them in bulk, and dividing them up into daily portion sizes to freeze and heat up every day. By creating all of your meals for the week, you no longer have to spend time cooking every day – which also helps you save money by eliminating that ever-present urge to just get takeout instead!

Many meal preppers find that establishing a meal plan ahead of time and then choosing a day off from work to pick up the ingredients at the grocery store and prepare all of the meals that day – depending on your work schedule, Sunday and Wednesday seem to be the best days.

Once you have cooked all of your food for the week, divide it up into Tupperware containers (make sure they are high-quality enough to withstand a few days in the freezer without freezer burn!) and store in the fridge or freezer, depending on what you cook.

Can You Meal Prep on a Budget?

Of course! Eating cheaply doesn’t mean breaking out the Ramen Noodles and Easy Mac anymore. In fact, by planning your meals ahead of time, you are able to avoid common money wasters like impulse buying, over-purchasing products, and leftover food waste.

Here are a few easy ways to eat healthier on a budget:

Take Stock of What Food Items You Already Have in Your Pantry

Nothing is more frustrating than being in the grocery store wondering if you already have cumin in the pantry at home, or if you need to buy more. Inevitably, it seems, you always make the wrong decision! Apps such as Out of Milk and websites like SuperCook help keep track of what food you already have, and what ingredients you’ll need to pick up from the store. By knowing this information ahead of time, you can also check out local grocery store deals and coupons to further save money.

Make Sure You Have the Necessary Tools

There are certain methods of cooking that can save a lot of time, but you need to be sure you have the right tools to do it! Foods such as stews, casseroles, and soups can produce a lot of food at a relatively low cost, but you need to have either a slow cooker, or a big pot to make large quantities at one time. You’ll most likely need larger pots and pans for the majority of your meal prep cooking, as you’ll be baking in much larger quantities than normal dinners. In addition, it’s always smart to have a meat thermometer in the kitchen to ensure everything is cooked correctly!

While it may seem like your kitchen will be destroyed after a day of meal prepping (true, it does get a little messy!) you can always look up ways to minimize the number of dishes you use. Check out this list of 27 healthy recipes you can cook on one sheet pan – delicious and practical! For those who prefer to primarily use crock pots, be sure to use slow cooker liners to make clean-up a breeze.

Cook Recipes That Yield A LOT of Food – But Will Stay Fresh!

Meal prepping doesn’t necessarily mean you’re also on a diet, so it’s important to be sure that you make enough food so that each portion fills you up adequately every day. However, you should be sure that whatever you are preparing will stay fresh throughout the week, or you might decide a tasty burger sounds a lot better! Here are a few foods that keep very well in the refrigerator or freezer:

  • Soups
  • Chicken Breast
  • Lentils
  • Rice (especially brown rice)
  • Ground meats (like beef & turkey)
  • Pasta
  • Cauliflower
  • Zucchini

To start putting together a collection of meal prep recipes, start here to find some quick and healthy meal prep recipes to get started!

Eastex wants to help you save money any way we can, and meal prepping is just one of the many ways to do so. Another great way to save money is to open up a savings account with us – our three savings plans offer the best options for kids, young adults, and seniors.

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