By Meg Eynon, Vice President, The Payroll Factory®
Published: 18 MAR 06

When I was a young, expecting mother my thoughts turned toward baby cribs, safety gates and health care options for my child. I read baby books, magazines and asked my sisters and friends about their child rearing techniques.

During that time my thoughts also turned toward meeting our bills, college funds and planning for our financial future. Like most young couples, my husband and I were always worrying about being able to afford the cost of rearing a child.

My sleepless nights had more to do with my financial worries than they had to do with anything else.

I wish I knew then what I know now.

Did you know that when you are planning for your new arrival you could also be increasing your take home pay?

At a time when most families begin to worry about their financial situation, they are not doing the easiest thing to increase their cash flow.

The easiest way for you to increase your cash flow is to adjust your Federal withholding allowance to account for your new arrival. You will want to submit a new form W-4 to your employer with your adjusted allowances once your new family member arrives.

An easy way to find out what deductions or allowances you should be claiming on form W-4 is to use a free online paycheck calculator. A paycheck calculator will allow you to put in various scenarios to see how your take home pay will be affected.

One more tip to consider with your new arrival: as your health care costs increase you could also be saving money by participating in a cafeteria benefit plan.

Ask your employer if they offer health care deductions to be taken from your pay before taxes.