How to budget for a new baby
Posted by : Premraj | Posted on : Monday, March 13, 2017
Regardless of the responsibilities that you may have held up until now, nothing will ever prepare you for the adventure of parenthood. While pregnancy and birth are exciting times, they can also be dogged by worry – particularly of the financial kind. Can we afford a baby? What will happen while I can’t work? Will our child have all that they need? Those earliest days are a whirlwind of emotions as it is, without worrying about your finances. It is, therefore, so important that you take the time to budget for a new baby sooner rather than later.
Budgeting tips for prospective parents
The task of budgeting for a baby can seem like a daunting, unending one, plagued by calculations, recalculations, and list after list. However, it really needn’t be. In fact, there has never been a better time to reorganize your finances, or to work out a refined budget. What’s more, if this is your second baby, you’ve no doubt found yourself approaching the task of budgeting in a completely different manner already. You should be an expert at this budgeting business by now!
It’s time to get organized
One of the biggest chores that you’re going to face is making a list of everything that you need, from bigger budget items and expenses to the smaller, indispensable products. Learn to prioritize; while it’s nice to own one of everything listed on that baby registry, you’ll soon learn to tell the must-haves from the nice-to-haves. Purchases such as cots, prams and pushchairs, a car seat, and those first items of clothing are going to be your first expenses, so plan carefully. Finally, consider the other expenses that you may have, including home help or childcare once maternity and paternity leave have finished. Who could you rely on, and at what cost?
Take your finances into consideration
It’s essential that you get your finances into order before the baby arrives, and that you budget for a reduced income. What kind of maternity package is available? How will this differ from what you currently earn? If you have access to savings to bolster this loss of income, now would be the time to make plans for the money. Those without savings would do well to start putting a little aside each month, in anticipation of bridging the gap. Having a baby can be incredibly expensive if you allow it to be, but there are some clever ways to budget for things. Create a spreadsheet and analyze all of your current expenditures. Where is there room for change? Most importantly, adjust your lifestyle to account for a new monthly budget and the expenses that you’re going to incur. There’s a good chance that things such as date nights and impromptu drinks will go out of the window anyway, but be mindful of managing your money now that you’ve got an extra person to feed and clothe.
While it can be tempting to head into your nearest baby store and purchase everything they have on display, it’s important to be smart with your money. How much can you actually afford at this stage? By all means, head into retail parks and dedicated baby stores in order to have a look around, to gauge the kinds of things you like, and to test items, but also take the time to browse online. The internet is an incredible source of information and inspiration, and there are some wonderful baby websites out there offering everything you could need – for a fraction of the price of those sold in brick-and-mortar stores. In addition, such sites are often able to offer a far greater variety of products than those stocked in store. Whether you’re looking for a stroller, a car seat, clothing or baby bibs, do buy online wherever and whenever you can.
Accept all offers
Finally, accept any and all offer of helps, whether a friend is looking to pass on items, or a family member would like to propose an afternoon’s childcare free of charge. You’d be surprised how many valuable items your friends and family have to pass on for very little cost at all, while time spent together without your baby every now and again is priceless – though you’ll miss that little person like crazy. Get to know other parents in your local area, and prepare for a lifetime of tip sharing. Social media, dedicated forums, and local mom and baby groups are great places to meet new friends and discover a wealth of budgeting tips that you’d perhaps never considered. Also, be aware of all offers of the retail kind; from coupons and discount codes, to mailing lists and newsletters, be sure to put your names down whenever there’s a saving to be had.
Now is also a good time to remind yourself that you’ll be getting gifts, and lots of them. If you’d like to make sure that you’re getting items that you need, do consider registering with an online retailer or baby store; this will take the surprise out of gifts and ensure that you have everything you could possibly need.
Budgeting needn’t be the scary task that it may at first appear to be. Indeed, it’s just another part of the journey towards becoming parents that needs to be addressed before you can relax a little and start getting excited about the adventure ahead.