Having a baby is a huge change to anyone’s lifestyle.
Babies change everything from your sleeping patterns to your financial situation. While your little bundle of joy might welcome a lot of new love into your home, it will also mean that you’ve got to think more carefully about how you spend your money.
The good news is that starting a family doesn’t have to be something that comes with a great deal of financial panic. A little bit of planning can help to keep you in a comfortable position when you’re bringing your new baby into the world.
1. Start Saving Early
Ideally, you should be planning and saving from the moment you find out that you’re pregnant. In fact, if you’re planning on trying for a baby, you can even try to save money a little earlier than that! Remember that the costs associated with preparing for a new arrival can quickly add up, with everything from diapers, to cots to think about. The earlier you start building up your safety blanket, the better off you’ll be.
2. Practice Living Off a Single Income
The chances are that at least one person is going to need to stay home for a while to look after the baby when he or she is born. You can talk to your employer to find out the details of paternity or maternity leave, but it’s important to plan and ensure that you can get by living on a single income too. While you’re both still working, try living off one person’s money and put the rest away in a savings account – pretending it doesn’t exist for the meantime. This will help you to rework your budget accordingly, and it will also ensure that you have some more savings to fall back on when the baby arrives.
3. Borrow Instead of Buying
The only reason you really need to buy something “new” when you’re planning for a baby, is if there’s a safety issue. For instance, borrowing an old crib that’s as good as new off your friend can be a wonderful way to save some cash. However, that doesn’t mean that you should make do with furniture that’s ready to fall apart. See what you can get second-hand from friends, relatives, or even charity stores before you start over-spending.
4. Avoid Unnecessary Items
There are literally thousands of different baby items out there, and many of them aren’t essential for raising a happy and healthy child. Whether it’s a diaper genie, or a bottle warming machine – the truth is that you can skip a few high-priced items if your budget is limited and simply get things done the old-fashioned way. Make sure you ask yourself if you really need something before you shell out the cash.
5. Breast is Best for Budgeting
There are plenty of reasons why new mothers often prefer to choose breast milk over formula. Many studies suggest that breast milk is healthier for the baby and helps to foster the bond between a mother and her child. However, it might surprise you to learn that breast milk could be better for your budget too. Some estimates suggest that formula milk costs around £450 a year before you begin to think about things like bottles. With breast milk, you’ve got everything you need to feed your baby on tap, and there’s plenty of support out there to help you get things done right.
6. Reduce Nappy Costs
Ask any new parent where they spend the most money, and they’re likely to tell you that their biggest bane is constantly buying new nappies. In fact, disposable nappies cost parents thousands of pounds every year. If that wasn’t worrisome enough, it’s also worth noting that these nappies also have a negative impact on the environment too. You could save a huge amount of cash and reduce your carbon footprint just by switching to reusable nappies. All you need to do is throw them in the washing machine after they’ve been used.
7. Use Coupons Constantly
Finally, remember that if you’re willing to look for it, there’s a lot of help out there for new mothers. Whether it’s groups on Facebook that share coupons from all over the web, or brand baby clubs that deliver money-off coupons and discounts on a regular basis, there are countless opportunities to save some cash. Take some time to look for new opportunities to save each day, and try following your favourite brands on social media too so that you’re the first to know about promotions and deals.