A new arrival in the family is cause for celebration. However, you will need to take the time to carefully budget and prepare for it. So how exactly do you budget for your coming baby? Actually, this is not as difficult as it may sound and making the effort to do so is essential because you do not want the new member of the family to lack for anything.
Start the process of budgeting for your expected arrival by carefully working out your baby’s expenses in the first year. Rough estimates are that you will need something in the region of $600 and $800 each month for a new baby. Remember that not only do you have to think of basic necessities for the child but you must also factor in the cost delivery and care of the mother after birth. Be careful not to leave out anything and at the end of it all add 10 per cent for contingencies like every good budget must.
The next logical step in your budgeting is to find the money to take care of your baby.
Start by calculating your exact costs right now, without your baby. Make sure that all expenses are included. The monthly bills you pay regularly are often the best place to start; that is rent or mortgage, car, groceries, food, water, cable, Internet, and so on.
You can then go through your current regular expenses and ruthlessly eliminate what is unnecessary or not so important: Most folks spend almost one third of their monthly income eating out. This can easily be eliminated. Go further and look for creative ways to cut down on your expenses. For instance bring a snack to work and skip lunch. Try looking at your internet/cable plan and see if their is a cheaper service available. Amazingly there could be a $ 15 – $100 difference in monthly payments here. Think like an accountant and realize that saving only $ 100 per month, is a whooping $ 1.200 a year. You can even consider switching to a low-mileage gas car (but make sure it is suitable for children). Driving a small and efficient car can save on fuel, loan repayments, maintenance, insurance and other essentials.
Start saving money right away. Stash it all away in a high interest savings account. The savings should continue even when the baby arrives because there are still things like emergencies, unexpected expenses, and also the child’s future to finance. (college, school tuition, daycare)
When shopping for your baby you need to know that there are some things you must purchase brand new, such as a crib and car seat. However, baby clothes and maternity clothes do not have to be new. The interesting thing about babies is that they grow out of stuff very fast and a lot of it ends up in second hand shops and online auctions.
Budgeting can usually be a very tedious and time-consuming affair but making a budget for your baby need not follow that long tradition. You can get creative and make it lots of fun even as you excitedly wait for the new arrival in the family.