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How to overhaul your finances before becoming a parent

Take these money steps now before your baby arrives

If you're hoping to grow your family in 2019, there are a few steps you should take now, before becoming a parent.

A single child could cost up to 26% of a couple's annual budget, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Spending habits will have to change drastically once your baby arrives, so staying disciplined and organized can save you from disaster later on.

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Start researching actual costs for diapers and baby gear. The annual cost of child care can compare to college tuition in some parts of the country, according to data from Child Care Aware of America.

Child-care assistance, via benefits such as dependent care flexible spending accounts or subsidized care, is an often-missed employer resource.

Take a look at what parental leave benefits are offered by your employer and take full advantage of them.

Financial advisors usually suggest aiming to set aside three to six months' worth of expenses in a cash account, but even a few hundred dollars can help you avoid racking up credit card debt in the event of a financial setback.

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