Budgeting is essential and a great way of making sure you’re in control; especially when having a baby. Having a budget in place to stick to when organising your family’s finances is a great way of keeping everything in check. In reality, most parents to be underestimate the costs of having a baby. It is a smart idea to budget, not only for the early days of having a baby but for their entire first year. You can then budget accordingly as they get older. Having a good idea of budgets and costs beforehand can help prepare you for what is to come and help you see things more objectively in terms of what you actually need and what you want.
Organising your Finances
The first step in budgeting for anything, should be to assess your current financial situation. Sit down and work out your current spending patterns. This can be done by keeping a spending diary and assessing your bank statements. Consider outgoings which occur monthly such as mortgages and rent as well as smaller things like shopping, food and travel. This not only helps you see how much money you can afford to put aside for budgeting but also helps you see where you may need to cut back. You’ll be surprised how much you can save by cutting back on small things.
Planning for the Essentials
With a new baby on the way, you’ll be tempted to splash out and buy absolutely everything you can get your hands on. However, you’ll find that if you do this you may end up with a lot that you don’t need. It is best to start with the basics and build from there. Some of the essentials to budget for are;
- Moses Basket/Cot
- Baby Bath
- Pram/Buggy and Accessories
- Car Seat
- Changing Bag
- Changing Mat
- Thermometer/First Aid Kit
- Baby Monitor
The above are essentials which should generally be a one of purchase, there are some other essentials which incur rolling costs which you should also be aware of such as;
- Wipes and Muslin squares
- Clothes such as baby grows and full outfits
- Warm clothes and accessories
Feeding accessories are also an essential to budget for and will depend on how you’re planning to feed your new baby. If you plan to bottle feed, you’ll need bottles, a bottle brush and a steriliser; if you’re planning to breast feed make sure that you invest in a good maternity bra.
If you have all the essentials, you will usually find that you can get other bits further down the line or that others may gift your things or pass down things they no longer need. Once you’ve budgeted for the essentials, you’ll be able to gage how much you have for other bits and pieces.