If you've got a new baby in the house, you're probably more concerned right now with getting a solid four hours of sleep than with the financial future of your little clan. But rest assured (ha-ha), you will, one day soon, sleep soundly -- that is, until you start to think about the money matters surrounding your bundle of joy.
For average earners, expanding the family is a financial challenge. The U.S. government estimates that child-rearing costs can far surpass $200,000 in the early 21st century, and that's only until your little sweetie turns 18 [source: Forbes]. You can count on another $250,000, at least, in college expenses, if higher education is in your plans [source: New].
Though it may seem scary, securing the financial future of your new family needn't be an obsessive pursuit. All it really takes, starting out, are a few small steps and some relatively minor alterations to your pre-baby fiscal behavior to get on the right track. In these early months, you need only lay some good, solid groundwork for meeting your family's monetary needs for years to come.
Here, five tips to get you on the path to financial confidence. The first step, of course, is to have a good, realistic grip on what your new monetary needs are ...