Nest Egg

9.22.08: Planning for your family's financial future


The collapse of some of our nation's oldest financial institutions has a lot of families worrying about their own financial future. The pressure and the worry may feel especially intense when you're thinking about how you're going to provide for a growing family.

It may seem like a cliché, but the pressure of being a good provider can feel especially intense for men when they first find out that their partners are expecting. Here, one father talks about his fear of finances, and why the news of an impending pregnancy may suddenly send an expectant dad into a panic: "If you think an expectant mother's belly looks big after nine months, you ought to see the size of an expectant father's fears. They're huge."

Ready or not, there's no time like the present to start getting your financial ducks in a row. Here's help: our financial guide for new parents, which will help you estimate some first-year expenses, figure out how much it'll cost to raise your child to age 18, and get you started on saving for college.

With a little bit of planning, you can relax and enjoy your new baby secure in the knowledge that you won't be breaking the bank. Now if we could only keep the banks from breaking themselves...

Dana Rousmaniere is's Managing Editor. While she was agonizing over maternity underwear, her husband was agonizing about mutual funds.