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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Preparing for a baby: Six budgeting tips

By Nickey Williams

Whether you are pregnant, planning on becoming pregnant in the future, or adopting, it's a good idea to begin saving money now. It costs the average healthy couple over $32,000 to birth a child, and the hospital bills are just the beginning. As your baby grows older, the price tag will only increase. Most babysitters charge as much as $12 an hour, and you don't even want to know how much it's going to cost to put that kid through school. 

1. Decide on a savings plan and stick to it

Start a special savings account just for baby expenses and decide on a set amount of money that you want to deposit each month. Whatever happens, make depositing that money a priority. If you don't, you likely will find a million excuses why you couldn't make it happen. 

2. Borrow your maternity clothes

Passing maternity clothes around between your group of friends is fun and will save you a lot of money. It doesn't make sense to invest in something you will only wear for a short time. Stick to one or two new maternity outfits for special events, and keep the rest of your wardrobe casually vintage. If you're lucky, some of your friends will have some really cute items for you to enjoy. 

3. Don't buy things too soon

Resist the temptation to begin bargain hunting the moment you find out you are pregnant. It may seem like stocking up ahead of time is a good idea, but you should always wait until after the baby shower to purchase new or big items. Waiting on purchasing big items like a playard for babies would be a good move. You don't want to end up with two of some things and not enough of others. 

4. Be willing to cut back

You need to get used to making sacrifices if you want to have a baby. Almost everyone can trim some fat off their budget. Ask yourself how many times a week you eat at restaurants, go out for cocktails with friends or buy yourself a new outfit. Depending on your income, you may need to cut down a little or a lot, but whatever you have to sacrifice, know that it will be worth it as soon as you see that beautiful baby.

5. Plan on breast feeding 

There are many reasons why breast feeding benefits the health of both mother and child, and it also will save a lot of money in the long run. Deciding to breast feed your child is a respectable and smart decision for everyone involved.

6. Consider a side job

If you can plan far enough ahead, you may be able to set yourself up for a very comfortable pregnancy. Working two jobs for a year or two before you try to become pregnant could earn you enough money to take your entire pregnancy off. This of course isn't a requirement, but having nine months to rest and prepare for the baby could certainly be beneficial.

No matter how financially prepared you are, the moment you hold your new baby in your arms will be one of the best in your entire life. Being a parent will change you in ways that you can't even imagine, and as long as you remain driven and dedicated, your financial situation will work itself out.

About the author: Homeschooling Mother of two Nickey Williams knows all about budgeting and contributes this article to those needing practical budgeting tips. She has found that most new parents will shop for a playard forbabies, and Ingenuity's washable playard is an economical and safe choice.

* Image attribution: Tax Credits; CC BY-2.0