Budgeting for New Parents: How to Successfully Build a Baby Budget

Budgeting for New Parents

It makes perfect sense to say that the arrival of a new baby is probably equally stressful and exciting. The excitement is perfectly normal, especially if this is your first baby, but there comes a moment when you start worrying about many things. Will you be a good parent? Can you provide for the new member of your family? On top of that, there is the financial aspect. Having a baby incurs many expenses, some of which are one-time, while others recur on a regular basis. This means that it’s very important that you budget carefully. To help you get organized, we’ve prepared the following list of things you need to consider and some tips on how to stretch your family budget.

One-off expenses

One-off expenses

If this is your first child and you can’t borrow any of the things you need, it’s time you started making a list. It should include furniture, such as a crib and changing table, and equipment, such as a stroller, car seat and carrier. Also, depending on where you live, you might be required to pay a hefty medical bill, so make sure you know roughly how much this service costs. These expenses are rather high, but you can lower them by opting for pre-used furniture and equipment. Ideally, you can borrow some of those things from a friend or family member.

When it comes to home needs, you will probably need a portable swing, bouncy seat, play mat, and/or jump seat. Don’t forget to get a high-chair, dishes and bottles for milk unless you’re going to be a stay-at-home mum who is available to breastfeed 24/7.

Ongoing expenses

Ongoing expenses

When you’re done with one-time expenses, you need to focus on those recurring ones. Start with child care. If you and your partner need to work after the baby’s arrival, you’ll need to arrange for someone to look after your baby. That can be really hefty, so make sure you know how much it costs where you live. Then, there is food, clothing and diapers. Roughly speaking, you’re going to need around $50 each month for clothing, while diapers will cost you even more (around $75 is the average). When it comes to food, you can expect to start spending the same amount on food as on clothes once your child starts eating solid food. This may seem a lot at first, but wait until your kid grows up and becomes a teenager.

Finally, there is medical expense, which differs greatly depending on your health insurance policy. You need to cover the costs of three to four wellness visits for evaluations, immunizations, etc. but you shouldn’t forget that you’ll be likely to pay a few more visits to your doctor due to some illnesses.

How can you lower the costs?

Baby Budget

Unless you make a ridiculous amount of money, you’ll definitely need to look into the ways of cutting your expenditure and finding more affordable options. For example, your baby will grow quickly and splashing out tons of cash of clothes really doesn’t make sense. Instead, you can turn to local consignment or thrift store. Also, you can find stores that will be happy to buy back items after your child has outgrown them. Also, by joining a network of parents or turning to useful apps, such as Mumli app, you can learn some of the hacks that more experienced mums discovered.

In terms of daycare, it would be ideal if you could turn to family and friends for those days when you can’t take a day off. As we’ve already mentioned, borrowing items from those who don’t need them anymore is a great way to cut the costs, especially when it comes to one-off expenses. Most used cribs, for example, are still in a good enough condition and you won’t have to buy a brand new one.

Also, if you’re planning on throwing a baby shower, register at a store, so that partygoers can get you all those things you’re really going to need and that you avoid getting multiple photo albums or baby rattles. Finally, you’ll also probably going to need to downgrade your lifestyle. This means you won’t be able to dine out as often as before and you’ll need to shop for less expensive items.Also, you might need to trade your expensive car for one that is cheaper to maintain, but equally safe and reliable.

It goes without saying that having a child means your budget will suffer a significant blow. Luckily, you have some time to prepare for the moment when the baby arrives, both mentally and financially. Next, the costs of having a baby vary greatly depending on the location, which means you need to look at that aspect as well and find out how much it costs to have a baby in your area. The last tip we can give is to be sensible. Your baby doesn’t care if it’s wearing designer clothes, nor will such clothes make it a better or healthier person. Instead, it needs to be in comfortable, dry clothes, surrounded by love.

Having a baby, as we’ve said, is both amazing and overwhelming. It’s up to you to lower the stress to be able to enjoy parenthood more and these tips are supposed to help you with that.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.