Pregnancy Prep: Organising Your Finances for a New Baby
There’s a lot of work to do when you’re planning for a baby. You’ve got to paint their bedroom, put together a crib with barely-legible instructions, and buy heaps of clothing, nappies and other essentials to make sure that you’re prepared to care for your bundle of joy. If all that extra work wasn’t enough to get you sweating, there’s also the impending issue of a changing financial circumstances too.
After all, when you have a child, there’s a good chance that you’re going to have to live on one person’s income and a maternity or paternity payment for a while. This means that you’ll have more money going out, and not as much money coming in. The good news? Worrying about money doesn’t have to detract from the joy of welcoming your new child. Here, we’ll look at some of the ways you can organise your finances to prepare for a new baby.
1. Reduce Your Debts Wherever You Can
If you’re planning for a baby, one of the first things you’ll want to do is look for ways to reduce your debts. After all, by the time your bundle of joy arrives, you’ll find that life is much easier if you don’t have to worry about an unhealthy bank balance. Channel as much of your extra income as you can into paying off your debt and cut down drastically on any luxury extras you don’t need.
Not only will minimising your debt make you feel safer about your current situation, but it will also mean that you don’t have to worry about paying off your interest. Once you’ve finished paying off your balance, cut up your credit cards, or put them somewhere where you won’t be tempted to use them.
2. Make a Few Changes
You can find yourself facing a lot of changes when you’re preparing for a new baby. For instance, you probably won’t be able to spend as many weekends lying in bed. However, at least some of the changes you make to prepare for your new arrival can be positive ones. For instance, switching your utility provider to someone who doesn’t charge as much can save you a lot of cash in the long term.
Often, we stick with the same provider for things like our gas, electric, and even broadband expenses because we don’t want the hassle of switching. However, changing could be one of the best things you can do for your bank account.
3. Start Saving as Soon As You Can
If you’re planning on living on a single income for a while after your baby is born, it might be worth starting to practice as early as possible. Set up a savings account and put away as much of your salary as you can manage each month. This will help you to build up your savings quickly, and it will also give you a helpful insight into how realistic your budget is.
Don’t panic if it feels like you’re not saving a lot of money straight away. There’s a chance that you might be spending a lot of the extra cash you have on baby essentials.
4. Make the Most of your Baby Shower
While some people feel uncomfortable asking for freebies from their loved ones, it’s worth remembering that most of your friends and family will be happy to celebrate the announcement of your new arrival with gifts. If people are planning on giving you presents anyway, then you might as well make the most of the event by asking for what you really need.
Creating a list of items that you’d appreciate getting from people at your baby shower is a great way to make sure that you end up getting a handful of useful items to prepare you for the baby, rather than countless cuddly bears and baby grows.
5. Plan Everything
Finally, now that you’re a parent, planning is the name of the game. From the moment you find out you’re pregnant, you should be planning for a change in the way you live. Whether that means sitting down with your budget and working out how much money you’ve got going in and out each month, or simply figuring out how you’re going to manage childcare options when you go back to work, it’s better to be prepared.
The more time you spend planning during the early stages of your pregnancy, the more confident you’ll feel when your due date draws closer.