Budgeting Tips For First Time Parents
As a first time parent, chances are, you're freaking out! Not to worry, I promise, instinct will ensure that you will provide the very best for your new child. And that doesn't mean breaking the bank to do it.
Sure, babies can seem expensive, but if you are wise about your purchases and realistic about what your baby actually needs, you will find, having a baby is possible on ay budget. Below are five things that you can do to give your baby just what they need, on a budget.
- Purchase Used Items - You will be amazed at the speed with which your baby grows into and out of the items that you may have purchased. Rather than getting everything brand new, you can purchase the items that you will use on the short term as second hand or used. This especially applies to the ‘big ticket’ items such as strollers, toys and even basins. You will find that these are often in excellent condition, and will be just like new for your newborn. David from MillennialPersonalFinance.com put together this helpful guide.
- Take it a Step at a Time - Don't attempt to make all your purchases at once. Instead, try and spread them out over several months. This means that your shopping will begin even before our baby is born. Write down a list of all the essential items that you will need. Before you rush out to the shops, spend some time with other parents to find out what they actually used, and what turned out to be a waste of money. You will be amazed at the number of items that you may cross off your list. Then, over a period of around six months, slowly buy what you need. Encourage your friends to throw you a baby shower so that you can get some of the items that are just outside your budget.
- Consider More than Money – When you are having a baby, it is essential to understand that for a period, you will be living off just one income instead of two. This means that your budget will have a new perspective that must be considered well. Therefore, you need to look at both your income and your possible expenses, making sure that you also have a buffer for emergencies. Preparing this plan early will make it smoother to manage once the baby has arrived.
- Ask for Help – It is highly likely that once a baby is born, there will be lots of people who will come to visit the baby and the parents to congratulate them and meet the new member of the family. These people will bring gifts for the baby, and you can steer them towards helping you manage some of your expenses by asking for help. Let your potential visitors know that you need standard items, such as formula, and that they can also bring you certain items as well. These include furniture, accessories and so on. This help will do wonders for saving you money in the long run.
- Avoid Anxiety – Having a baby is not the end of the world financially, so you should not worry that it is. There are many people who believe that the baby will change everything about life, and it is impossible to afford a baby. This is not the case, as with the right plan, the baby will seamlessly fit into what you are able to provide. Before you have the baby, look at adjusting what you spend each month, adding a total of $200 per month to your expenses. This money can be put away as savings until the baby is close to being born. This will give you an idea of the financial stretch you may experience once you have the baby. It is essential to keep in mind the fact that that there are many financial solutions available for parents, so you will find you can afford much more than you thought.
Having a baby means that you need to buckle down and create a financial plan that will guide your future. With a plan, the budgeting will be a breeze. While creating this plan, have a ready list of all the items that you must have and how much these are going to cost. These are essentially your big ticket items which are one-off purchases, such as a crib and mattress. Then you will also need to set aside some money for clothing and diapers for example. This guide can help you figure out how to spread the costs through the entire year, and in which areas you can easily ask for help.