Having A Baby? Here's How To Prepare Your Finances For You And Your Little One
Planning for your baby’s arrival affects every area of your life and usually involves making some kind of change or adjustment. One of the most important areas is your finances and finding ways to make your money work well for you and your little one. Despite being tiny, babies require lots of additional goods that you’re unlikely to have in your home - nappies, milk, a car seat to name but a new - so its vital that you do some budgeting in advance. Let’s take a look at the three fundamentals you should cover.
Taking stock of your current situation
Buying baby stuff is probably one of the most enjoyable shopping experiences - but before you start shopping, it’s important to take stock of your current financial situation. You will be faced with upfront costs with an additional monthly outlay, so a prudent first step is to review your household expenses and determine where you can save money. That could include changing your cable or internet provider or paying off any debts you currently have.
If you’re considering taking out a loan or credit card to cover the initial outlay when the baby arrives, make sure you have a good credit history to start with. If you have had financial difficulties in the past, you may want to consider how to repair your credit. Some of the best credit repair companies will be able to tell you what the issues are with your credit history, and offer a solution on how to repair those issues. Check before using one that you're using a reputable company. There are also plenty of ideas and baby planners online which will give you a way to calculate what your initial baby costs will be and monthly costs thereafter.
Planning for the future
Having a baby is likely to mean a reduction in income due to needing to stay at home and care for the baby. If that’s the case, then try to start putting away some savings during your pregnancy. The earlier you start saving, the better. There are plenty of ideas online about ways to save your money that can help you choose the best one to suit your situation.
Borrow, recycle, re-use
Babies don’t stay little for very long - most parents are surprised at the very, very rapid rate that babies grow out of clothes, seats, toys and have ever-changing needs. Some items you might buy have a limited life-span and still look brand new when you’ve no longer got a use for them. It’s therefore financially canny to look at buying ‘nearly new’ or second-hand baby gear. You’re likely to get it at a fraction of the price of buying it new, and you’re also doing the environment a favour by recycling other people’s unwanted items.
There are plenty of other ways you can help protect your finances once you've had a baby, including baby showers, using book and toy libraries, and being prudent about what you actually need. But the three rules above really do cover the basics so getting those in place will make you feel much more in control of your finances when the little one arrives.