The birth of a baby is a very important event in the life of a parent. Children are always great happiness and no less responsibility. This article is for those who are just planning to become a happy parent of a smiling baby or are already in a state of expectation of a miracle. Here are the recommendations on how to properly plan the family budget and responsibly approach the birth of a child. By following the plan, you will avoid many problems and prevent half of the conflicts with your partner.
Benefits of creating a family budget
As soon as you find out that you or your partner are pregnant, you have only 8 months left to prepare as much as possible for a new member in your family. Whether it will be your firstborn or your fifth child, it doesn’t matter. Your life will change forever with the birth of this baby. Therefore, it is so important not to postpone the decision of important financial issues until the postpartum period.
Creating a family budget in advance will make you feel secure and confident in the material aspect of parenting.
What to include in a budget: child birth expenses
Some parents-to-be are superstitious about this issue and do not buy anything until the baby is born. But will you have time after childbirth to run around the shops and vainly buy everything that comes to hand. Modern young people now do not pay attention to the remnants of the past. Many Americans who do not have enough funds at the moment tend to take Michigan payday loans to buy all the necessary items in advance. Indeed, in the last months of pregnancy, you have a lot of free time to sit down carefully and think about what you need to buy for a newborn. And the time after delivery can be spent with the baby instead of shopping – especially if you are expecting your first child.
In order not to buy too much or, conversely, not to forget to buy something necessary for a baby, expectant parents will need a list of things that a baby needs from the first days of life. In the below list, we have tried to divide all purchases into mandatory and optional.
- Children’s mattress in the crib
- Changing board, table or changing chest of drawers
- Car seat / infant car seat
- Mattress topper
- Blanket warm padding polyester or wadded
- Woolen blanket
- Biker blanket
- Blanket cotton
- A set of bed linen for the crib: Duvet covers – 2 pieces, Sheets (size 150×90 cm) – 2 pieces
- Stroller mattress
- Canopy and bumpers in the crib
- First aid kit for a newborn
- Aspirator or rubber syringe for cleaning the nose
- Scissors with rounded edges
- Thermometer for water
- Room thermometer
- Thermometer for determining body temperature
- Brush and comb (for hair care, massage and stimulation of hair follicles)
- Diapers (disposable)
- Baby wet wipes
- Baby monitor
- Music carousel in the crib
- Baby bath
- Baby soap
- Baby rinsing bucket
- Large terry towel
- Bath slide that allows one person to bathe the newborn
- Bathing circle
- Thin cotton diapers – 5-6 pcs
- Warm flannel diapers – 5-6 pcs.
- Thin undershirts – 4-5 pieces
- Warm undershirts – 4-5 pieces
- Thin caps – 2 pieces
- Warm caps – 2 pieces
- Woolen hat
- Thin blouses – 2 pieces
- Flannel blouses – 2 pieces
- Sliders – 2-4 pcs.
- Overalls for the street
- Sleeping bag in the stroller (synthetic winterizer or fur)
- Bottles with nipples – 2 pcs.
- Brush for washing bottles
- Sterilizer for bottles
- Baby food warmer
- Thermos bag for bottles
- Breast pump
Ways to save money
- Goodbye alcohol. Alcohol is a big expense for some people. It’s time to stop drinking during pregnancy. Rename the weekly “wine” fund to “children’s” – and you can save at least $20 per week. That’s another $900 for 9 months. Thanks to these savings, you can spend less on diapers in the future;
- The five-dollar rule. Set aside every $1 and $5 bill that appears in the house. Use a piggy bank or a usual bank for this, and put aside money for a deposit at the end of each month. Closer to childbirth, you can add $10 bills;
- Referral links. Look for interesting referral programs. With their help, you can make money if someone follows your personal link to a specific site. Perhaps your bank or other place has such programs that you would like to share with your friends;
- Automatic savings. Automate your savings using your bank’s services or the Stash app. Until the baby is born, you can save 20% of each paycheck during pregnancy. It is important to set aside a certain amount on a regular basis in order to have savings for the birth of a child;
- Old clothes. Sell any unnecessary clothes. It might be time to say goodbye to the old clothes you wore in college or in a previous job that required a different dress code. Services such as PoshMark and ThredUp will help in selling clothes;
- Minimalism. Before the birth of a child, you should forget about attachment to things. Avoid collectibles that clutter up your home and cost money (like sports cards). Sell tattered pieces of furniture and forget about buying paper books, unwanted clothing, or other items you can do without.
- Part-time job. Think about your hobbies and start making money on them. Do you speak a foreign language well? Give online lessons. You can take $15-20 for an hour of work of an online teacher;
- Use coupons and plan your purchases in advance. This sounds obvious, but you can really save money if you buy groceries a week in advance. Especially if you buy them with coupons or using the Ibotta application, which returns part of the spent funds back to the card. Watch out for supermarket discounts on your favorite brands, especially baby food.
Financial tools to consider
After your child’s delivery, it is recommended that you create financial tools to help provide for your baby’s future. Below are some items to review and start budgeting:
- Life insurance: If you do not have life insurance, it’s high time to buy it. You will only pay a few dollars on a monthly basis and be sure that your child will have financial support if you and/or your partner die unexpectedly (sounds scary, but life is unpredictable). Discuss your options on life insurance with your insurance agent or employer;
- College savings tools: The average annual cost for college currently ranges between $10,000 (public state school) and $36,000 (private school). You’d better start saving right now using college education investment tools. These are Coverdell Education Savings Account, UGMA/UTMA account, or a 529 plan;
- Flexible spending accounts (FSAs): FSAs allow you to use pretax dollars to cover your important family budget things, like healthcare expenses or child care. Contact your employer or financial counselor to discuss the available options;
- Health insurance: Without health insurance, you are always at risk. Any accident or disease could ruin your budget and trap you in serious debt. Explore your insurance options if you are not insured at the moment, or add your baby to your insurance policy.
Where to get help
If you have young children, you may be eligible for various government subsidies and benefits such as Family Tax Benefit Part B, Family Tax Benefit Part A, parental leave, a Childcare Subsidy, dental benefits, and Medicare for your children.
You can also qualify for financial support if you are a teenage parent or live in a rural area. You can calculate any benefits you might get with the help of the Department of Human Services. The agency has a Financial Information Service to help you make smart financial decisions.
In fact, you have many options to get advice. For example, you can discuss opening a fee-free bank account for savings with your bank, speak to a private financial advisor, or use a free Commonwealth financial counselor.
These are websites that provide tips on managing your money when preparing for a baby. For example, ASIC’s Moneysmart website. And you can also use their TrackMySPEND App to control your expenses.