Learn the Language: Starting a Family

Family and Money
November 22, 2019

Adding a tiny plus-one to your family can change a lot...especially for your wallet. Those changes range from the obvious (hi, diaper bills) to the not-so-obvious. Like how babies can affect the way you fill out your tax return.

We Skimm’d some of the most important terms you’ll want to know to help you cut through all the whining – err, noise. You’re welcome.

529 Plan: a tax-friendly account, where you invest money so your kids’ (or anyone’s) future education expenses don’t make you go broke. Think: tuition, books, and room and board.

Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit: a (tax) break the gov gives to help you cover the cost of care for your kid or other qualifying family member. So you can get back to work, work, work, work, work. 

Child Tax Credit: one of the few times having a kid can actually save you money. For every child you have under 17, you can subtract this amount from your tax bill.

Dependent: anyone you support financially. Usually a child, spouse, or retired parent you ‘invited’ to move in. The more you have, the less you could pay in taxes. Yes, please.

Dependent Care FSA: a flexible spending account your boss might offer that you can fill with pre-tax dollars to help cover expensive things like daycare and after-school programs.

FMLA: stands for Family and Medical Leave Act, aka your permission from the gov to go OOO for up to 12 weeks while you take care of a new baby or sick family member. It protects your job, not your paycheck.

Nanny Tax: money you owe the federal (and maybe state) gov (sorry) when you hire someone to watch your kid and pay them at least a few thousand dollars per year.

Paid Parental Leave: when your boss keeps signing your paychecks while you’re OOO bonding with a new baby. And something very few people in the US get. 

Short-Term Disability: an insurance plan that’ll cover some of your salary while you’re away from your desk recovering from an injury or illness. For some reason, that often includes childbirth. Just go with it.

Subscribe to Skimm Money

Your source for the biggest financial headlines and trends, and how they affect your wallet.