I wrote this post thinking about all the expenses I struggled with after my son was born. It was definitely a tough time being a new parent but every memory still was precious. Good or bad memories, I wouldn’t trade it. I just wish I spent less time worrying about money and more time in the joy of it all. When the little one arrives the cost can put you in a real shock.
The important thing is that you created a gift, a little human being into this world. Do not let the fear of future expenses sour this new adventure. Build a budget for your post-baby delivery and also pre-budget for the first 6 months. Within the first 6 months, the majority of expenses will arise, from clothing, nursing needs and just simple things to help cope.
I would be lying if I didn’t tell you I also wished I took the time to treat myself. My guilt of not having enough energy equally match my need to not miss every moment.
Let’s have the Income conversation
You could be in two situations that I can imagine. One might be that there are two incomes in the family and now there would be only one. Two, you are a single parent (mentally raising your hand like a champ and clapping for you) and there will be no income coming in. At some point, the single parent will try to start working after FMLA is up. I can tell you both situations are tough, so significant that the money just drops a lot.
This can be a hard thing to come to terms with, first of all, don’t panic. Budgeting ahead of this arrival will put your mind at ease. And just as a reminder, “I am here for you”. In fact, you can reach out to me on any of my social media platforms. Even just to say “Hey, I’m having a baby and I need some advice about money”.
So depending on the income I want you to prepare to save a lot of money. Adjust your budget at least after your first trimester and sock it away like a squirrel. I will be sharing some budgeting tips for Pre-baby and of course after the baby arrives.
The Pre Baby Budget
Becoming a new parent can open the opportunity for other financial burdens. It’s important that as early as you can to restructure your budget to save for the new venture. In your budget, I need you to allocate half of your savings for the baby expenses. The budgeting strategy we are going to implement is my percentage strategy. The summary of this is 30% (Fixed Expenses), 30% (Variable Expenses), 25% (Housing) and 15% (Savings).
Take a moment to review each category and or expense and total them up. Make sure you are not exceeding the allowed percentage limits. If you need help cutting back visit my article on “5 Easy ways to save money on a tight budget”. If you have wiggle room in each category, transfer the remaining to your savings at the end of each paycheck. I wrote a break down of budgeting paycheck to paycheck, it teaches you the steps to take immediately when you get paid.
Allow most of the savings section to be allocated to new baby expenses. If you already have an emergency fund in place ($1000 minimum), then allocate all of the savings to future baby expenses. Starting at the beginning of your pregnancy would give you the most benefit of a larger nest egg. If you’re behind on the savings trail, try to trim back in the other sections to give more to savings. Remember don’t change the percentages, just cut back and give the remainder to savings after.