A guide on how to budget when your to become first time parents.
Congratulations – you’re pregnant!
While it will most definitely be one of the most exciting events in your life, it can also be a huge financial commitment no matter how money savvy you are.
Nothing can truly prepare you for having a little person depend on you for every whim and need, but getting clued up and educated about the costs can certainly make you feel less stressed, and minimize the impact of your new bundle of joy on the bank balance.
Be in the Know
Before you begin to splash out on every cute baby grow that catches your eye, it’s best to know where your finances lie in their present state, and estimate how much this baby is going to cost.
There are a number of tools available online that can help you to predict this such as baby cost calculators and checklists.
Once you’ve been scared with the sum of money that’s going to arrive with this baby then you can really start to consider your current spending habits and start to kick yourself into saving mode.
There’s no shame in admitting that baby products and clothes are excessively expensive for the amount of time that they actually use them. Babies grow so fast in the first year that all the money you spend on new baby items is probably going to be completely wasted.
Although some new clothes are always nice to have, try and see if you can get early clothes from friends or family who’ve had children.
Alternatively you can often find many online selling sites with mothers trying to offload old baby clothes in bulk. After a few washes they’ll look and feel brand new, but would have cost you a fraction of the high street prices.
When the new baby arrives you’ll be changing their clothes almost as much as their nappies, and the baby won’t stop making a mess just because the romper is from John Lewis!
As a new parent freebies will be thrown at you as soon as you announce it across Facebook or even purchase your first book from Amazon. But rather than feel overwhelmed at this sudden surge of interest from the outside world, do your best to embrace it for your own money saving needs.
Email addresses are something that every brand wants from you, but if you don’t want to be bombarded with every offer on the internet, create a new email address that you can purely use for signing up to new websites to gain the offers.
This way you can still keep your personal inbox at zero, whilst being able to sort through the offers more effectively to see which ones are worth using, and which ones are just pushing you to make a purchase.
Coupons and voucher codes are everywhere in our modern world, so sign up to every discount site going and you’ll soon see a dramatic difference when buying those essential items.
Food for Thought
Food shopping is probably the most expensive amenity after your mortgage, but because it’s not cemented in any kind of contract or obligation, it’s an area that you can save money upon without getting into any debt.
Analyse your current food shopping habits and try to adjust them to ensure you’re wasting no money, and essentially no food.
From creating a weekly menu, to doing it all online to avoid those tempting offers on treats, focus your efforts on cutting down your food shopping and you could see your bank balance getting a whole lot healthier.
Learn from the Best
Don’t forget that you’re not the first parent. There are lots of people who have done it before you and can’t wait to share their advice and guidance.
Ask everyone and anyone how they dealt with baby budgeting and see if you could pick up any tips that will help you navigate this financial minefield.
It may be a daunting task to begin with, but budgeting can ensure that you enjoy the moment with your bundle of joy, rather than worrying about money.