Finances can easily take a hit when you become pregnant and need to start budgeting for your baby. While it’s an exciting time, your money will have to stretch a little further every month when your little one comes along and is demanding to be clothed, fed and bathed all the time. Inevitably, this is what it means to be a parent – spending too much money on items that your baby will only use once or twice. It’s annoying that your baby will cost a lot of money and not be able to truly appreciate it, but it’s a wonderful feeling holding them in your arms. Despite this, when you have a baby you have to budget correctly to make the most out of your finances and be sure you’ve got enough money to last the whole month. Be sure to keep everything in order when you’re on maternity leave too as your finances change dramatically and this can come as a shock to many new parents out there.
Perhaps you’re curious about how you can budget for when your little one is here? Maybe it’s more about how you can go about doing this on your own? Below we’ve put a list of 5 tips for you to read and have a think about before your little one arrives. Remember, everyone has a different experience with their finances and while it may not be a struggle for you to save up before your baby is here, it may be for other people!
Tip 1: Save up, little and often
From the moment you know you’re pregnant and take a pregnancy test, to the second you’re laying your little baby in its bed for the first time, you need to be saving. While we wouldn’t say your life has to revolve around saving if you’re able to do this little and often – you’ll thank us in the long run. 10 months seems like a long time to save up before your baby arrives, but this will be the quickest time of your life where finances are concerned. Whenever you can, save up and try to put away money for when your baby arrives. For example, you’re pregnant for 40 weeks, if you were to put away £10 every week, that will mean you end up with £400 at the end of your pregnancy. However, if you can afford £100 per month, or maybe even more, you will nearly have £1,000 saved up before your baby is here. This will give you the spare cash to buy extras when they need it. It’s all well and good saying you’re going to save up but make sure you can afford it before you commit to anything.
Tip 2: Buy affordable items
When you’re out shopping for your little one, buy affordable clothing and items when you can. People often associate expensive items with quality, but this isn’t always the case, websites like Beautiful Bambino offer premium items for an affordable price. As a new parent, having a child can be an expense you worry about. Rather than always struggling with your finances, find affordable versions of what you need. Babies don’t need Gucci shoes or Versace bags to keep them designer ready, they are completely contempt with their own brands and designers that are a lot more affordable. By all means, if you can afford it, buy whatever you see suits, but if you can’t – just keep in mind that it doesn’t make you a bad parent.
Tip 3: Focus on essentials
Baby shopping can get out of hand, you may want to buy everything and anything you see that’s available for new-borns, but this isn’t going to save you money in the long run. Start with the essentials and go from there. During the early years, you’re going to need a car seat, Moses basket, and pushchair especially. However, as your baby grows, you can buy more. Plus, don’t forget the endless number of nappies, muslin cloths, and wipes you’ll need too. Stripping it back and only focusing on the essentials will inevitably save you a large amount of money that you would otherwise have spent on unnecessary items. One way to do this is to go easy on the shopping and containing yourself when it comes to spending on your little one. Leave the expensive shops for those when other people are paying! Only buy essentials you need if you want to budget.
Tip 4: Practice living off one income
When you finish work for your maternity leave, you will have a significant change in your monthly household income. During your early months in pregnancy, it’s always beneficial to practice living off one income and saving the rest, not only will this enable you to control your finances, but it ensures you will be stable when the baby arrives. Many mothers don’t return back to work when their baby is of age simply because they don’t want too, if you learn how to survive from one income then this transition will be a lot easier than you ever imagined. However, don’t starve or control yourself too much, if you find you’re both struggling to keep up with essential bills and food shopping then you may have to dip back into your other income. It’s only natural that you’ll struggle to live off a lower income if you’re used to doubling what you will be living from. Many parents don’t do this which is why they struggle financially when their baby arrives, this is a key tip for anyone who wants to feel financially stable and secure even with a little newborn.
Tip 5: Grab a flexible savings account
We can’t promise the interest rates on flexible savings accounts are through the roof, in fact, they’re not that great at all. However, if you set up a flexible savings account for when your baby is here, or to buy the essentials towards the due date, you will keep strict with yourself and not overspend. Putting money away in an account and telling yourself it’s for the baby will make sure you don’t touch it before it’s time too!