Budgeting for the first time isn’t always the easiest. Now, budgeting for new parents, that takes it to a whole new level.
As you bask in the joy of having a baby, you’ll soon realize how expensive it actually is. If you don’t’ have a budget already, you’ll want to start one for your new child.
To give your family the best life possible, you’ll need to have a bit of money in the bank. Do so by budgeting to track your spending. For new parents, these five budget tips will get you started.
Remember the Household Income Will Drop
One of the first adjustments you need to make to your budget is that you’ll have less money coming in due to parental leave. Even though there will still be a bit of money coming in from the parent (or parents) taking time off, it still won’t be the entire paycheque you’re used to.
Get Some Help
As a new parent, you’ll probably be happy to get all the help you can with the baby. You shouldn’t be afraid to get some financial help from family or even friends.
If you’re having troubles making ends meet, see if you can borrow some money for a bit until you’re up on your feet. For emergencies that are more than what you have saved up, look at applying for a quick loan (see Credit Ninja for their rates) to help cover the costs.
Other help that you can quickly get is through top finance blogs. Many of them are dedicated to new parents that will give you valuable advice.
Set Up an Emergency Fund
If you don’t have one already, set up an emergency fund. When you have a child, you never know what could come up that requires money. Rather than getting caught off guard and not having the cash to pay for the emergency, start setting aside money now. That way, you can prepare yourself for any situation rather than reacting to it.
Start a College Fund
Although your child is many years away from college, start saving up for it right now. The earlier you start, the more money there will be in the account when the time comes for your kid to access it. You’ll be thankful that you started contributing to it when you did.
Cut Expenses if Necessary
Since you’ll have additional expenses starting when you have a child, along with a cut in the household income, look at ways that you can trim some of your spending in your budget. At this point, caring for your child will take priority over the other categories in your budget.
For your grocery budget, try meal prepping. It will help stop you from overspending at the grocery store, plus it allows you to get creative with your meals. Consider how much you spend on your morning coffee and instead set that money into a savings or investment account.
Having a baby comes with many ups and downs. However, don’t let finances be one of those downs. Stick to your budget and be smart with your spending so you can enjoy life with the newest addition to the family.