Customer Reviews: The Wall Street Journal. Financial Guidebook for New Parents
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on June 8, 2009
This book really brings to the forefront all the financial matters that I as a new parent have completely overlooked. It really helped me realize that I am not as disciplined financially and that my kid may suffer as a result. Yet, instead of walking away feeling guilty, I am now more confident that I can take care of myself and my family. This book showed me everything I need to know, little chunks at a time, without overwhelming me, with examples and stories to make the lessons sink in.

This book is about finances for new parents. However, as the previous reviewer indicated, it teaches not only how to take financial care of your child or children, but also how to make smart financial decisions when making choices for yourself.

While I am going to keep this book for reference when I need to make specific financial decisions, I think the greatest benefit of this book is that it made me "financially aware". As a result of reading this book, it is easier for me to connect financial decisions I am making now with the financial impact they will have on me and my family in the future. This new awareness alone is worth the price of the book.


Introduction: How the Fun Begins

Part I: When Baby Makes Three

Chapter 1: On Maternity (or Paternity) Leave
Chapter 2: Kissing That Cubicle Good-Bye
Chapter 3: Returning to the Grind
Chapter 4: Who Says Uncle Sam Doesn't Care?
Chapter 5: Where Should You Nest?

Part II: No One Ever Said Kids Were Cheap

Chapter 6: Finding (and Paying for) Mary Poppins
Chapter 7: Avoiding a Health Scare
Chapter 8: Paying for Harvard

Part III: Your Contingency Plan

Chapter 9: Yes, You Need a Will
Chapter 10: Trusts: They Aren't Just for the Wealthy
Chapter 11: Life Insurance: Better Safe Than Sorry
Chapter12: Accidents Happen: Are You Prepared?

Money-Saving Tips for Every Stage
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on June 2, 2009
No matter what the book is called, I don't think this guide's audience is limited to "new parents". Every parent should be following the advice Bradford lays out so compellingly in The Wall Street Journal. Financial Guidebook for New Parents.

She made it easy to understand the fundamentally important topics most of us parents know we should be addressing but don't because the topics are either too daunting or hard to understand. Her step-by-step advice on topics ranging from maternity leave and child care (more appropriate for the "newer parents" in the title) to life insurance, wills & trusts, and college savings (critical issues for ALL parents) was hugely helpful for me and my spouse -- and we're finally taking care of all these things we've been putting off for too long.

I highly recommend this book.
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on June 25, 2009
I am five weeks away from my having my first child and am so grateful to have found this book. Next to my bedside is a stack of pregnancy and parenting books -- Ms. Bradford's book is now on top! In a clear, compelling style, the guidebook outlines all of the financial issues that await me and offers helpful, practical suggestions. So often in these last 8.5 months I have felt overwhelmed by too much information, too many dos-and-don'ts. However, as another reviewer commented, this guidebook does not leave me in a state of panic. I now feel empowered to make the decisions I need to make for my family's financial health. I could not recommend Ms. Bradford's book more highly.
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on February 22, 2010
When we had a son, my wife and I hired a professional analyst to help us save our financial lives. Had we only known about this book, we could have also saved plenty of time and money. Ms. Bradford decodes everything from life insurance to 529s in a concise, straightforward, and entertaining manner. There are so many challenges to being a new parent, that it is nice to have one solved.
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on August 19, 2009
I found this book after reading a good review on The Simple Dollar blog and I knew that the knowledge would be invaluable since I was starting out as a young parent.

After ordering and reading it, I am impressed with how comprehensive the book is and how well written it is. Mrs. Bradford does a great job explaining the pros and cons of various issues you will face as a new parent and helps you tackle each one. Although some ideas were very basic, such as where you want to nest (city, suburb or exurb), it was still interesting to read and have my opinion validated. I appreciated the sidebars which made certain ideas stand out. She speaks from experience as a new parent and also speaks with authority because she's a reporter on personal finance. Plus, with the Wall Street Journal backing you, you know the product will be authoritative.

I appreciate that the book is modern and includes relevant information such as the new home tax credit worth $8,000 and has 2009 tax figures for examples. I consider myself fairly well versed in personal finance but still found a lot of things to learn from this book. My copy is all marked up! I'm now going to create a will and a living trust, and also purchasing some life insurance to protect my family in case of an emergency. I'm confident that any new parent will benefit from this book.

I'm giving a copy to all of my new parent friends! Well done Stacey Bradford.
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on September 18, 2009
This book is a good reference for first-time parents headed down the "uncharted waters" of becoming parents. It is also a nice reference to have on hand for any parent who wants to have their financial house "in order" for their family.
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on December 20, 2009
I love this book.

Expectant parents are the target audience, but I'm glad I had an opportunity to read it before conceiving; some suggestions take time and energy to implement. If you already have kids, it's never too late to read this and take steps to improve your family's financial future (but everything gets harder the longer you wait).

This book covers all financial aspects of parenthood: maternity leave, taxes, health costs, college savings accounts, your retirement (important!), wills, trusts, life insurance, disability insurance. It also gives a fresh perspective on choices for daycare, where to live, etc. Rather than forcing one-size-fits-all dogma, the author provides the information you need to make informed decisions.

The information in this book is easy to digest, so it's actually fun to read. It has the perfect amount of detail. After reading this book, you'll be able to take some steps immediately, and you'll also be motivated to do additional research on other topics that directly apply to your situation.

I highly recommend this book to anyone planning to have kids.
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on July 29, 2009
Forget the bottles and onesies--this book is hands down the best shower gift you can possibly give. Today, more than ever, parents need to know how to make the most of maternity leave, save for college and manage ever-rising child care expenses. Finally there's a book that answers all those financial unknowns about raising a child. I've already given this book to two friends who are expecting and they're thrilled with it. This book might deal with seemingly complicated topics, but everything is explained in easy-to-understand language. Not only that, but it's really an engaging read.
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on August 10, 2009
As a parent of 2 young children (3 and 12 months) I have been feeling overwhelmed by all of the different financial advice I've gotten. This book breaks it all down into clear, concise advice that is very well organized and easy to follow. There is also great explanation of your rights as a parent (ie FMLA laws for maternity leave, etc). I have been able to follow it chapter by chapter and accomplish many of my financial goals. I highly recommend this book for all parents and all people planning to become parents.
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on January 2, 2013
I liked the plain-English style in which all topics are covered. However, important concepts seem to be missing. I started reading the chapter on life insurance. No mention about choosing an appropriate term for one's life insurance policy - the assumption is that you would choose a policy for life! I feel this is an important aspect of choosing life insurance that should be covered in a life insurance 101 reading - this chapter missed it.
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