Having a new baby is an expensive business. You will find that you have to buy a lot more than you would even think. You will need to buy furniture and car seats, pushchairs, clothing, toys and food. You may be lucky enough to get all sorts of gifts when you first have a child and this could include a lot of clothing. However, you still have to pay out for the more expensive items and this can be tricky to afford. You will also find that although once you have bought these initial things baby is quite cheap for a while, they will get more expensive as they get bigger. You may also suddenly find that you have less income coming into the family and so you will have to cope with the consequences of that as well. There are things that you can do to prepare financially before the baby comes and then once they arrive as well.
Build up your savings
It can be really useful to have some savings built up ready for when the baby arrives. You will then have a sum of money available to you that you can use if you need to. When you have a big expense such as buying a cot, highchair, pushchair or car seat, you will have a sum of money there that you can use. Even if you can only save a little bit each month it will be well worth it. Try to encourage saving by setting up a direct debit for money to be put into a savings account just after you are paid each month. Then you will be able to make sure that the money is saved before you accidentally spend it. You may need to cut down your spending, but this will be a good habit to get into as you will need to spend less on yourself when the baby arrives anyway as you will need some money to spend on them.
Get used to managing on less
If you are putting money into a savings account each month, it will mean that you will have less money left to buy the things that you need in the month. It can be really good to get used to spending less money and basically having less things. Comparing prices on things that you buy can be a good place to start. You could find that there are cheaper alternatives to a lot of things that you buy and that you will find you will be able to switch to those without noticing any different. This can apply to every item that your purchase from insurance to groceries. Obviously, there may be some cheaper options that you do not like. However, it is good to take a look at the options and try out different things. This can be a great way to spend less money without having to go without. You may need to cut down on items as well, but this method could mean that you will not have to cut down on so much and still you will be able to save money.
Reduce spending on luxuries
It is a good idea to think about what things you can do without and spend less on. You may not be that aware of where your money goes and if this is the case then it is a good idea to look back at your bank statements or spend a month noting down everything that you spend money on. This could really help you to see where the money goes and identify areas where you can cut down. This does not mean going without all of your treats completely but it does mean that you can see if there are things that you are buying that you could easily manage without. Consider what you will have time for when you have had the baby and what you might be doing. There may not be time to read magazines, go out to events that need nice clothes or watch lots of television. This means that you could cancel some subscriptions, buy less clothing and have a cheaper television package.
Look for ways to increase your income
It is a good idea to see whether there are any ways that you can increase your income. This may seem impossible as one of you may be staying at home to look after the baby. However, there are many ways to make money outside of your normal job. For example, you could rent out your garage, spare room, drive way or attic space in order to get an income. You could do surveys or small jobs online to earn some extra money. You could work shifts so that both parents can work but they work different hours so there is always someone to do childcare. Another thing to check is that you are getting the best return on your savings, if you move money into a better paying account, you will earn more interest and that will increase your income.
There is no getting around the fact that children are expensive. However, most parents think that they are well worth it and are happy to go without a few luxuries so that they can look after their children. It can take a bit of getting used to though, but once you get into the habit of spending less, then it is much easier than you might think. Finding a few ways to make a bit extra can help as well. These are just a few ideas as to what you could try but there are lots of different things you can do so that you have enough money to manage. Cutting down what you are spending may seem easier to do, but it can feel better to earn a bit more so that you do not have to cut down so much. It is up to you to decide which you think will be better although a combination of the two might work well.