Discovering that you’re expecting a new addition to the family can be a wonderful and exciting thing for any parent. It also comes with some challenges to overcome, such as figuring out how you’re going to pay for the costs of caring for a child. Although the expenses associated with a baby can vary from family to family, it’s safe to say there are some pretty big expenses to consider, such as the cost of car seats, baby furniture, and even clothing as baby grows.
The question is, how do you find the cash for all of the expenses of motherhood? The following tips should help you to get your budget back on track going forward.
Make a List
One of the first steps you should take when budgeting for a new baby is figure out how many new costs you’re going to have to deal with. It’s helpful to divide these expenses into one-offs that you should only need to purchase initially, like where to buy maternity clothing, and recurring expenses like paying for healthcare, food, and diapers, among other essentials. You’ll also want to consider prenatal costs such as increased medical bills (if your prenatal care isn’t covered by your health insurance).
Listing exactly what you need will help you to start doing some research into how much extra cash you’re going to need each month to look after your new child. It should also give you a good idea of how much you need to save for your child’s initial arrival.
Spread Out the Costs of Big Purchases
The chances are you won’t have all the money you need for the biggest baby purchases straight away, unless you’ve been saving and trying for a family for some time. You’ll need to buy some products before your baby’s arrival (such as a car seat to bring him or her home from the hospital), but some other things (such as a high chair) can wait until baby needs them. Some items (like that car seat) will need to be purchased brand new, but other items you may be able to pick up secondhand for huge savings.
For many families, the best option may be to spread out the cost of paying for essentials like car seats and expensive baby furniture with a personal loan. This strategy will ensure you have the money you need to buy essentials immediately, without having to spend months saving. This may also allow you to take advantage of a really good sale or deal now and pay for the item later.
Look for Ways to Lower Expenses and Increase Income
Finally, when it comes to paying for the more regular expenses of looking after a child, it’s worth finding ways to minimize expenses and increase your home’s income as much as possible. Start by looking at your budget and removing anything you don’t really need, like subscriptions to the gym you’re not going to be using for a while.
You can also look for ways to increase your income without putting your health or the care of your baby at risk. Taking on a part-time job that you can work from the comfort of your own home will allow you to generate some extra savings during the early months of your pregnancy, and even when you’re ready to return to work after having your child.
Preparing for the arrival of a new child can have a huge impact on your budget as a parent, but planning your strategy in advance should help to keep stress to a minimum.
Looking for more pregnancy and baby advice? Check out Beginner’s Guide to Growing Baby: Tips to Help You Through All Four Trimesters, a book about pregnancy, birth, and baby’s first three months. Written with my good friend Anna Eastland (mom of 9 kids!), Beginner’s Guide to Growing Baby is an honest, practical look at pregnancy and beyond. We share what’s worked for us in growing, birthing and loving thirteen babies.
Beginner’s Guide to Growing Baby is available on Amazon.