Starting a family is a wonderful milestone for families to reach — it often gives new perspectives to areas of your life that you may not have given much thought to. Being responsible for a newborn presents a unique set of benefits and challenges in almost every facet of your life.
Navigating your family’s finances doesn’t have to be as daunting as you’d think, especially when you’re making calculated decisions and utilizing the cost-cutting resources at your disposal. Here are a few basic things to consider to keep you on track.
Buy Only What You Need
You’ll find a lot of baby brands and mommy blogs that will try to convince you that you need the newest accessory or the latest gadget, often marketed as a product designed to make your life more efficient. In reality, you only need the essentials for your newborn.
Don’t stock up on diapers until the baby is born — instead, purchase a box or two and then continue to shop as your newborn grows. This will prevent you from overstocking if the baby grows out of the newborn sizes quickly. As your child grows, you can purchase additional items as needed, rather than risk overspending on items you may never use.
Shopping Second Hand
Newborns can grow out of their clothes at lightning speeds. Purchasing brand new clothing will rack up hundreds of dollars that could be put to better use — such as a healthcare savings fund or even towards their education.
Nearly every item you’ll need for your child can be found at a secondhand store, whether you’re stocking up on apparel or you’re looking to trim the costs on a stroller or change table. If you’ve scoured the racks, take to social media and reach out to your local parenting groups or consignment brands.
Try a Family Budgeting App
A newborn is going to take up most of your free time, leaving you with few opportunities to sit down and map out a detailed budget. Nowadays, budgeting apps are not uncommon, especially for families on-the-go. There are a number of apps designed for families with sync capabilities so you can access your plans on any of your devices.
Utilizing a budgeting app can help you refocus and prioritize your debt — especially if you’ve relied on short-term payday loans as a temporary solution. This would allow you to pay off any high-interest, short-term debts first and give you more time to handle any low-interest, long-term debt you’ve acquired.
Create an Emergency Fund
This is a rule of thumb for any budgeters, but it takes on a special meaning for new parents. Having a child is undoubtedly going to come with unexpected expenses. The typical savings bubble is three to six months of expenses, ensuring you’re prepared for any financial hurdles related to your child, or any setbacks in your income due to parental leave.
It may feel daunting to think long-term when there are a number of present financial decisions to make, but it’s crucial for your family to set yourself up for financial success so you can make the most of your time with your new bundle of joy.