By Jessica Baker
Pregnancy is an incredibly unique time in your life filled with complex emotions. While there’s plenty of excitement, it’s also a time that can be stressful as you enter a completely new chapter in your life.
Budgeting is one of the biggest hurdles to get through during your baby’s first year of life, and beginning to plan early will help you feel at ease the closer you get to your due date. Budgeting for your baby can feel like a towering objective, but taking even the smallest financial steps will provide you a bit more relief. Start with the basics, and create a simple budget to follow so you get a better picture of your finances. Once you understand the basic costs, you can start slimming down on your expenses, looking for extra income — and, eventually, create an emergency fund.
- Create a Baby Budget: If you aren’t too sure of where to start with planning your finances, it may be best to use a visual aid to map it out. There are plenty of free budget templates online that will help you log income and expenses. This will also allow you to see where your income is currently going and if you need to move things around before your little one arrives. Using a budget planner will keep you financially organized throughout your pregnancy and put one less to-do on your plate as you care for your newborn.
- Carve Out Your Extras: There are so many different products and items that you may think you need post-delivery for your baby. However, knowing which items you should invest in versus items you do not need to can help keep expenses down. Investing in a quality car seat is far more important than investing in an expensive rocking chair. If you are a crafty person, you can DIY the furniture in the baby’s room. It is perfectly okay to pick and choose items you should invest your money into. During your pregnancy, try changing up your routine to adjust to the inevitable changes earlier. If you tend to eat out at restaurants several times a week, try making meals at home — especially meals you can dehydrate and freeze for a quick dinner when you’re a busy mom. This is a great time to break down your current spending habits and see what you can change to provide more savings for your baby.
- Find Additional Income: If your budget is fairly tight, this can be a great time to look for an easy side hustle or two to bring in supplemental income. If you are looking to stay at home for most of your pregnancy, there are plenty of online surveys or online tutoring jobs available. Other easy side hustle jobs include: delivering food from local restaurants or completing grocery shopping orders on the weekends. This extra income can be strictly put into your savings for your baby or used for miscellaneous products that you may need for your baby after delivery.
- Start an emergency fund: If you haven’t already, this may be a good time to start thinking about starting an emergency fund for your family. This should be separate from your savings account and only used for emergency expenses, like an unexpected hospital bill or a car repair. After you plan your baby budget and analyze your necessities, you should then decide how much extra monthly income you can put towards your emergency fund. Having an emergency fund set aside can give you a financial cushion and can offer some peace of mind as it continues to grow throughout the years.
Budgeting for a baby is no easy feat but starting during your pregnancy will make you thoroughly more prepared. No baby budget is perfect and it is okay to take a day or two to treat yourself during your pregnancy. Remember to enjoy the best moments of your pregnancy as you financially plan for your life postpartum.
Jessica is a Content Marketing Specialist developing high-quality content for diverse industries including tech, finance, travel, and lifestyle. Her work can be seen featured on sites like Better Homes and Gardens and wikiHow. Read more of her posts on Possible Finance.