If your new bundle of joy is nearly here, or you’ve just celebrated their arrival, you might find yourself worrying about how you’re going to deal with your new financial situation. Having a baby can mean living on less money, and spending more at the same time – which is a very worrisome concept for most new parents.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to panic and sell all of your belongings just, so you can be sure that you have enough cash for next month’s diapers. Here are some budgeting tips to help you live on less while getting more.
1. Establish your Budget
Budgeting might not be the most fun, but they’re crucial when it comes to making the most of your finances. Knowing where your money goes, and where you might be able to save after you have your baby is a great way to start on the right path to success. For instance, maybe you could cut down on your weekly sessions at the pub? That would save you money on booze, and a babysitter.
2. Pick Pre-Loved Items
In the world of babies, you’ll find that a lot of equipment is only used for a very short amount of time before it becomes useless for the new mother. This means that buying second-hand products could make a lot of economic sense for the budget-conscious parent. While there are some things that you’ll want to get brand-new, keep an eye out on eBay and similar websites for second-hand items like car seats and baby carriers. On the other hand, ask friends and family whether you can steal the items they no longer use for their own child.
3. Plan to Live on One Wage
Ideally, from the moment you find out you’re pregnant, you should be looking for ways to live on a single partner’s wage, while saving cash from the other half of the equation wherever you can. This will help you to prepare for the reality of what your life might look like for a while after you’ve had the baby, and it also means that you can get ahead of saving for big expenses like nursery items, and strollers.
4. Be a Savvier Shopper
Before your baby even arrives, you should already be checking out the supermarkets for any specials that might be available, so you can stock up on basic necessities like nappies, wipes, cleaning products and the like. This will help to save you a lot of time and money during the early days of being a parent. You can also join saving groups and forums on Facebook and social media to help you get more out of your cash.
5. Consider Your Credit
You want your life to be as secure as possible for the benefit of your baby, and that means consolidating credit card debts and giving up on over-spending. Look for ways that you can pay off your personal loans and move everything you owe into a single account so that it’s easier to manage when you’re looking into your budget.
6. Find Ways to Reduce Your Bills
Reducing your bill expenses might seem like an impossible challenge at first, but you’d be surprised what you can accomplish. Look at subscriptions, utility expenses, insurance, and other regular costs and make sure that you’re getting the best deal with a bit of comparison shopping. There are plenty of sites online that will help you to do this more effectively. Additionally, think about how you can be more frugal with the things you are using, like electricity and gas.
7. Know Whether You Need to Move
If you’re having trouble making ends meet because your mortgage is too expensive, then this could be a sign that you need to address your issues with accommodation. Think about whether it might be worth switching to an interest-only agreement for a short time or moving to a cheaper area, so you can afford to get a home with an extra room.
8. Take Advantage of Samples and Coupons
Finally, if there was ever a time to become a coupon lover, it’s when you’re having a child. Spend your free time combing through flyers and local newspapers, or head online to find specific coupons listed on baby websites. Make sure that you stock up on as many discounts as you can, and you’ll be able to cut down the costs of everything from groceries to big-ticket items more easily.