There is a lot to think about when you have a little one on the way. You need to get the house ready, sort out childcare arrangements and plan your work days accordingly.
However, the biggest change to your life comes from how you have to split your monthly budget. Having a baby is by no means cheap, and there is plenty of stuff that you need to buy before and after your child is born. What’s more, you probably have to do all of this on the same amount of income you had before.
So how are you supposed to budget for all of this? Don’t worry; my 5 tips below will reveal all of the ways you can stretch your budget and maybe earn a little extra on the way.
1. Stick To A Firm Budget Based On Research (and Later Experiences)
The first thing you will need to do after you have celebrated the news that you are going to be a parent is start the planning. The sooner you get your ducks in a row, the easier your life will become.
There is plenty of parenting advice out there that will detail all of the items you will need to have before the baby arrives in the hospital. You are going to need the obvious items like a crib and feeding equipment, but you might want to skip on things like an expensive changing table. Which option do you think is more expensive: a changing table or a changing pad on a dresser? Probably the latter.
Make sure that you heed the advice of other parents in your network or online to learn how best to spend your money.
Next, you will need to find out your monthly expenses after your baby is born. Only then can you work out your budget. This may involve giving up some things you enjoy, but you can always go back to these once you are more financially stable. Things like nappies and baby food are not cheap, but they will soon become a regular fixture on the shopping list.
As always, your new born baby will come first, so try not to make any unnecessary purchases until you find yourself in a comfortable rhythm. It’s all about trying to stick to a budget based on your own research and experiences you gather along the way. Here’s an article on how much you can expect a baby to cost and a great video I watched when preparing for my daughter’s arrival.
2. Figure Out Work Arrangements
Once you have a budget, you are then in a better position to make some of the other important decisions. The next step involves discussing work patterns with your partner. Unfortunately, your baby can’t look after itself. It would make the following decisions much easier if they could.
As a result, you are both going to need to decide how your future work patterns are going to function. One of you is going to need to stay home for a significant period of time, or you will have to arrange childcare. This time off work and childcare arrangements are going to affect you financially, so make sure that you include this in your budget.
Some people are able to work around this issue by asking friends and family to handle childcare during the day. There is no one way to work around having a child, but try to do it in a financially stable way for you.
3. Find A Way To Make Passive Income
As a new parent, your daily calendar is going to be pretty full. However, you may need to find a way to make some extra money to cover your bills. It is extremely rare that a new parent is going to have the energy to work another job for additional finances, so how can you possibly increase your income.
One way to achieve this is by earning a passive income. A passive income is a way to earn cash online with little effort. One example of passive income is the Lebara refer a friend plan. This plan allows Lebara customers new and current to earn money from home simply by referring new customers to their plan. You can head to their website to learn more here, but there are other passive income options if you aren’t tech savvy. Since I live in Switzerland, I used Lebara’s services and I can tell you it’s worth checking it out.
You could start a blog, invest in stocks or even hunt for a bank with a good interest rate. It doesn’t matter how much passive income you make, every little helps when you are raising a baby.
4. Settle Your Debts
It sounds much easier than it is in principle, but settling any outstanding debts before you try for a baby can really simplify your life.
A running debt can provide you with additional interest payments that you have to factor into your budget. These payments can affect the quality of childcare you can afford and even make your passive income obsolete.
Try to wipe out your debts if possible, but don’t fret if it is a struggle. There are plenty of parents out there with debt that are able to dig themselves out of that hole. However, keeping these debts around when you have children is likely to stretch out your payments.
5. Ask For Help
Every parent wants to feel the pride of looking after a child on their own. Unfortunately, some circumstances are out of your control and you could find yourself in financial trouble before your baby is even born.
In situations like this it is always a good idea to seek help. Share your issues with your family and friends and they will be more than willing to help. You don’t have to shoulder the burden of raising a child alone, so don’t ever be afraid to ask loved ones for help and advice. Sometimes an afternoon to yourself is all it takes to give you a second wind.
It may seem overwhelming, but try to remember that every new parent has had to budget and plan for a newborn baby at some point. Just look how successful the people around are and take that on board. These tips are designed to give you a head start when it comes to parenthood, but you can do just as fine on your own.