Budgeting is difficult at any time in your life – but when you’re getting ready for a new arrival, it can seem even more stressful. Having a baby does not only change your figure, your friendships, plans for holidays, possibly your career but also in many ways becoming pregnant affects your finances too.
Does that sound frightening? It isn’t meant to, it just means from now on in you will have another person to factor into your financial life. The sooner you start the better. Here’s some advice for any readers who are looking forward to welcoming a new member to their family and want to make sure their financial plans are in order by pregnancy budget planning.
– Living on less involves taking a really good look at your finances and being ruthless about your expenses…banning takeaways, ending magazine subscriptions, switching energy suppliers, downsizing your car and cancelling the gym. Maybe you need to look at consolidating your debts, switching to a lower price supermarket and buying less clothes? There is always some way of making savings.
– Do check your benefits entitlements – these can make a big difference to the monies you will have coming in when baby arrives.
– Being smart about your financial life and stripping it back to the essentials will help you budget and prepare you for a simpler financial life moving forward. It doesn’t mean life has to be less lovely. Have friends for tea rather than going out, enjoy the challenge of cooking healthier meals from scratch, catch up on your reading online, exercise with long gentle walks with your other half. Creativity and less financial pressure go hand in hand.
Having a baby can costs us money in other ways too. They need things! And the things they need will be advertised to you again and again and again. These will all look beautiful, appealing and be sold on as absolutely necessary from what to have in your hospital bag to a hugely expensive pram system and nursery suite. But…
– Avert your gaze. These are not necessities.
– Babies’ needs are simple and they have no clue if their wardrobe matches their cot or if their pram is the latest design. They don’t need fancy clothes or designer carriers. Babies need something to transport them, something to wear, a means of being fed and something to sleep in, basic medicines, a warm home and lot of love and cuddles. Do not feel you need to keep up with the Jones’s or be a ‘cool mum’. Focus on you and your baby and creating as stress free a life as possible.
Not overspending reduces stress hugely so try to stick to the basics.
Pregnancy is a time for celebration and preparing for your new arrival and it is exciting but it absolutely does not require you spending vast amount of money. It does require a focus on finances and a quiet acceptance that life will change.