A new addition to the family can bring lots of happiness, but the extra costs of a newborn baby can also put a strain on your finances possibly more than you expected.
Thankfully, some common sense and simple tweaks to your budgeting can help take away some of the stress from those, already, sleepless nights.
Coming in and going out
It might sound obvious, but a lot of budget issues can come from not really assessing what money you have coming in, versus your monthly outgoings.
Before your newborn arrives and you have an extra mouth to feed, it’s worth taking the time to look at what you’re left with once all your outgoings are taken into account.
Look to see if there’s signs of spending habits or direct debits you can remove or address, before the baby arrives, which will give you more of a financial buffer. This could be anything from a gym membership or phone contract that could be reduced in cost, or cancelled altogether, if it won’t be used for a while.
Carefully looking at your budget and making savings where possible can help massively with the cost of a newborn. Beyond that it gives you more of a financial safety net to fall back on should you need it.
What you want vs what you need
We’re not saying, live frugally. However, it does reap rewards to think more carefully about your spending. Having a child around and dependant on you can force you to make decisions, based on what you want and need.
Do you need to buy new clothes or go out for a meal every week? Or is it a case of you doing that less often, so you’ve extra money to play with in the long-term? This could go towards a family holiday, or a night out with your partner or friends, while the kids stay with the Grandparents.
Having a list of the essentials – items you, your family and baby – is a good start. It helps you focus on the important purchases and work out what you could cut back on.
Useful budget tips
Here’s some quick tips to help you stretch your money further:
• Shop around for the best prices on baby essentials – nappies, formula, wipes, etc
• Buy essentials in bulk to save money in the long run
• Create a meal plan to make sure food isn’t wasted from the weekly shop
• It’s also worth preparing meals in advance, which you can just take from the freezer and throw in the oven when you need them.
• Before the baby arrives, it’s worth seeing if your friends or family with children have items they are looking to get rid of. This could mean a highchair or pram for a fraction of the price – or better yet, free.
• Don’t underestimate the power of the hand-me-down. One way to save money, if you’re about to have baby number two, for example, is to make use of what you bought your firstborn.
It’s worth remembering, this isn’t about living a frugal life were you just sit and save money. Putting together a budget should be about making sensible, but practical, choices; decisions that mean you’ve a bit of extra cash in your pocket to help deal with any unforeseen emergencies, big purchases, or just to treat yourself and do something fun.
*This is a sponsored post on the behalf of Auto Advance a Logbook Loans provider.