So much is expected to change in a family with the arrival of a new baby, and the changes affect the family in so many ways. One of the major changes one can expect is in their finances. Your daily expenditure will shift, with the impact varying from one family to the other. It is therefore good to be well prepared for these changes and the best way to get ready for the financial changes is to budget for the new baby. You will be ready by the time they come and also to ensure that they will not affect other important financial aspects of the family. Here is a guide on how you can develop a budget for your baby:
Come to Terms With Your Current Finances
Start by listing down your income and your expenses. These will include all your debts, expenses and bills. This should make it clear just how much you earn in a month and how much money you spend in that month. From here, you will begin to understand how you can factor in expenses for your coming child.
Cut Down on Your Current Bills
If you are paying for insurance for instance, you can start shopping around for better deals in order to save some money every month, for the baby.
You can also get better deals for your internet and phone expenses if you shop around for better deals. Do not continue to pay what you have always been paying if it is more than what other service providers are offering. Some utility companies even offer budget plans for their customers, which is a great idea to save a good amount of money.
Try to Squeeze Your Budget for at Least One Month
If you are able to survive the month without straining, you can now tell how much money you can include in the baby budget, that is what you have saved in that month. This is important in order to know if you will be able to handle the baby expenses when the time will come or not. If this is not working, you might consider looking for a way to earn more income to supplement what you are already getting, like getting another job.
Establish Just how Much Money You Need to set Aside for the Onetime Purchase of Baby Essentials
There are things that you will need to buy before the baby is born, and these will be bought just once. List them down and determine how much money you need for these first. Some of these items will include furniture for your baby’s nursery, a crib, bath items and a bath, a stroller, a swing set and anything else you will feel will be important or the baby. First time parents will have to buy everything from scratch. In order not to buy again, go for unisex items. This way, you will not need to buy some of these items again when other babies are born.
Now Think of the Ongoing Baby Expenses
Include these as baby costs in your list of expenses. Under this category, you will include things like a baby food, clothing, day care expenses, a breast pump and bottles (if you are planning to breastfeed the baby), formula (if you do not want to breastfeed) among other things.
Think of Ways Through Which You can Cut the Cost of Baby Items
There are so many ways through which you can save money when shopping for the baby. First of all, think of consignment stores around your area, where you can get some of the things you need at a much lower cost. Shop online too, for deals and offers that could help you save a lot on some of these items. Shop in online stores that have clearance offers for instance or seasonal offers! Go for coupons too, and save so much money for the items on offer, for instance the food and baby clothing.
Be realistic about the expectations on your budget, and ensure that you have as much residual income in place as possible. There are the obvious costs that you can budget for when you have a baby, but there are also a wide range of hidden costs that you will not know about until you must pay for them. These include post natal care for mum, the costs of getting vaccinations for your child, sudden illness, growth spurts that affect clothing and more. So once you have done your budget, have a little bit that you put aside for emergencies as well.