One of the biggest questions we have to face when deciding to have children is whether we are financially ready for the commitment. Of course, we can’t prepare for every scenario but it’s important to be ready as bills can stack up when you have a newborn at hand. Here we have collected some tips for planning and budgeting for a mom to be.
First things first, you want to sit down and work out your current financial situation and how much money you can save before the baby is born. This will be essential when planning your budget. If you are eligible for maternity leave then now is a good time to find out how much you will be getting paid so you can take this into account also. Make sure your health insurance covers baby-related issues and find out how much your delivery is going to cost.
It may be a good idea to start a spreadsheet where you can plan out your timeline. Include all your incomings and outgoings so that you can easily track where your money is going. When creating your budget, you should plan for the 9 months of your pregnancy and also for your first year of motherhood. Then you should break down your overall budgeting into weekly increments. This will help greatly when you need to do your shopping.
Paying off Debts
If you can pay off any outstanding debt before the baby’s arrival, then it will take a boatload of extra stress off your mind. However, sometimes that’s not a possibility. In this case, just take into account how much you have to pay monthly for the foreseeable future, and don’t forget to add it to your budgeting.
How to Save Money
Once you have a full understanding of your financial situation it’s time to start saving. A spreadsheet is a good way to keep an eye on your spendings and to see if you are spending any money unnecessarily. Check if you have any subscriptions that you may be able to cancel. Remember, no amount of money is too small to start saving.
You can also try to save money on your utility bills. Be clever about your spendings. We suggest doing your grocery shopping more often and buy less each time. You can avoid food wastage this way. Find some recipes in advance and write a shopping list accordingly to make sure you only buy things you will need for those dishes. There are some sites that can provide you with both the recipe and the grocery list, making it that much easier for you.
Open a Savings Account
Putting your money into a savings account specifically for the baby can be very motivating. This will also help you keep a better eye on your actual financial situation. Try to shop around for the best savings account and look for one with a high-interest rate. It may be good to find a savings account that doesn’t come with an ATM card. This way you can’t withdraw money from it unnecessarily. Having a savings pot also gives you peace of mind in case you run into any financial difficulties that life throws at you.
Boosting your Income
If you have some free time on your hand this might be a good time to make some extra money.
You can maybe pick up some extra hours at your workplace or try to find some online freelance jobs that can be done in your spare time. Depending on your skillset there are various websites that will help you find freelancing work.
Saving Money on the Basics
Ensuring you have all the right essentials for when the baby arrives doesn’t have to break the bank. Let’s face it. Babies grow like mushrooms. There is no real reason to spend a fortune on socks and shoes; they will likely grow out of them within a few weeks. See if you can get some items second hand or perhaps someone in your family has some hand-me-downs.
There is an abundance of baby items one can buy but many times they just end up collecting dust on the shelves. It’s a good idea to have a chat with other moms and see what items they have spent a fortune on and never ended up using to avoid making the same mistake.
Try to buy maternity clothes that are stretchy and will fit you throughout your whole pregnancy. You can also look into buying pre-owned maternity clothing. Usually, people only wear them for a few months so they tend to be in good condition. Have a think about what you need to buy before the baby arrives and what could wait until after. There is no point putting yourself in a difficult financial situation by buying lots of items that may not necessarily be needed until a few months after the baby is born, so make sure you spread out your purchases wisely.
Last but not least, throw a baby shower. You can create a baby wishlist on most websites that sell baby items. Share it with everyone you invited so they will know what you actually need before coming to the party.
Preparing for a baby’s arrival is exhilarating and can be stressful at times. Sometimes it might feel like that the shopping list for the baby is endless but just focus on the absolute essentials before splashing out on toys and other items that are not absolutely necessary and you will be okay. Do you have any tips for planning and budgeting for a mom to be? Have you purchased anything while pregnant that you have regretted later on? Let us know in the comments!