Budgeting for a New Baby: 7 Things to Consider

Budgeting for a new baby – what to consider.

Preparing for a new baby isn’t just about stocking up with tiny clothes and framing your ultrasound pictures. If you want to be ready for all the challenges of parenthood, then you’re going to need to think about how you can prepare yourself financially.

While some of the most important lessons you’ll need to learn during parenthood you’ll be able to deal with “on the fly”, money is something that you need to make sure you’re prepared with as quickly as possible. The following tips will help you to budget for a new baby and ensure you’re ready for almost anything.

1.     Be Prepared for Paternity/Maternity Leave

When you’re getting ready for a baby, it’s important to remember that either you or your partner will probably need to take some time off work. This means that you need to get a thorough understanding of your employer’s policies regarding paternity and maternity leave and come to terms with the changes that you’re going to need to make to your lifestyle.

Even if you continue to get an income during your paternity or maternity time, the chances are that you’ll be earning a lot less than usual, so keep that in mind.

2.     Start Budgeting Early

Since you’re going to need to make your existing income stretch a lot further when welcoming a new baby into the world, your budget is going to be one of the most important financial tools you have. Think about exactly how much you’re going to need to spend each month, and how much you have coming in. Remember to budget for expenses that are new to your family, such as diapers, and milk formula.

3.     Establish Your Emergency Fund

If you don’t already have a “rainy day” fund in place, then you need to start establishing one from the moment you find out that you’re pregnant. Babies come with a lot of different expenses to think about, and the chances are that there’ll be at least one item you forget to budget for. Having an emergency fund will ensure that your new bundle of joy doesn’t have to go without.

4.     Cut Back Wherever Possible

Cutting back is something you’ll need to think about carefully when you start planning for a new baby. A good way to get started is to look at your outgoings and separate them into non-essential, and essential purchases. This will help you to see where you can cut back on things like magazine subscriptions or an unused gym membership for instance.

5.     Get Rid of Debts

Just because you have a new baby coming doesn’t mean that you can necessarily ignore other important issues in your life. Taking the time to deal with debts before your new arrival comes could mean that you have more security in your financial life when you start your new journey as a parent. Even if you can’t completely pay off your debts, you might be able to reduce some of your expenses through consolidation, or by switching your credit card debt over to a 0% interest card. You can compare options via sites like Readies.co.uk to be sure you’re getting the best deal.

6.     Open A Savings Account

The sooner you can start putting extra cash aside for your baby’s future, the better. Not only do you want an emergency fund to help get you through the process of raising your child, but you also want to make sure that you have money aside to pay for things like braces, if they’re not covered by the NHS, music lessons, or anything else that your child needs when they’re growing up. A savings account will help you to build up money on a regular basis, just make sure that you’re not tempted to tap into it every time you want to spoil your child.

7.     Look for Ways to Boost Your Income

Finally, getting ready for a new arrival in your family isn’t just about cutting down on costs wherever you can, it’s also about making sure that you get all the money you’re entitled to, as well. For instance, many families in the UK are entitled to various forms of benefits and help, like child tax credit, or tax credits that could help you with the costs of raising your new family.

To see what kind of help is available to you, try looking at government websites. Alternatively, if you can’t get any help from the government, remember that there are other ways of boosting your income too. For instance, flexible working is incredibly popular these days with the rise of the new gig economy, and you can always think about selling old and unwanted possessions too.

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