Planning for a new-born is hugely exciting but raising a child can be an expensive time for parents. They might be small but they come with a fair few costs, so you’ll want to make sure you’re covered when it comes to money. You have nine months to get your finances into shape so here are our five ways to budget when you have a little one on the way.
- Make a pre-baby and post-delivery budget – You’ll need to purchase some essentials in time for the arrival, like a Moses basket, buggy and clothes, so prepare a shopping list and adjust your budget accordingly. Once the baby comes you’ll want to re-visit your budget again to account for recurring costs, such as nappies, baby wipes and food. You don’t want to be short on money one month and then be unable to purchase essentials so a budget will help to keep you on track with your expenses. Remember, as he or she grows the expenses will likely increase. If you want to plan well ahead a good tip would be to consider each stage of their first years and what you’ll need, such as switching from a cot to a child’s bed and child safety locks for when they start walking and opening things.
- Curb the spending – Think of all the ways big and small that you can cut back on your monthly costs. From stopping luxuries like regular meals out to doing something as simple as switching grocery items from branded to own brand, it’s possible to make a big difference to your monthly costs.
- Save and save some more – You should also begin saving for an emergency fund if you haven’t got one already. Aim for at least 3 months income, which is much easier prior to the baby arriving than after when you’re on maternity or paternity leave. You never know what life’s going to throw at you which is why it’s important to have some money kept aside for any sudden costs such as the boiler breaking or a leaky roof.
- Budget for one salary – After six weeks of maternity pay a drop in your income will be a big financial hit, which you’ll need to prepare for so you can ensure you’re able to manage on just one salary rather than two. You could slowly reduce your combined expenses before the baby arrives so you have experience living off less than if both of you were working.
- Sell what you don’t need – Have a massive clear out of everything you no longer need and sell it on sites like eBay or at a car boot sale. This will not only help you raise some extra cash, even if it is just a little, but it will help make some space for when you have an extra little person in the house. They may be small but with their crib, pram, clothes and toys they can take up a lot of room so you need as much space as you can get!
And a final tip…enjoy it! Follow the tips above so you don’t have money worries getting in the way of enjoying every part of your little ones first years.