Money is tight for everyone. For those with an extra mouth to feed, money stress can be even more apparent. In addition to feeding and dressing themselves, these individuals have to keep the heat up so that the new baby does not get cold; they have to buy additional food and clothing for the baby; they will want to buy a stroller and car seat for the baby. All of this is pretty expensive. Learning to budget for the baby’s first year can ease stress and help one avoid going into serious debt.
It is very important when budgeting to balance out quality pieces and cost efficient pieces. This is to mean that it can often be more expensive to buy cheaper items more often because they do not last than it is to buy one of the more expensive items. This is especially true when dealing with things such as strollers and baby carriers. This is not so important when dealing with something that the baby is going to outgrow quickly, such as clothing and blankets.
Other things to worry about include the balance between working and staying home to get to know your new baby. While raising baby costs money, not being there with the baby can cost one the relationship between themselves and the baby. It is important that you make your best effort to be both the parent that your baby needs as well as the provider that your baby needs. This can mean giving up some luxuries that you have grown accustomed to and using that money for the baby.
To help come up with a budget for the baby’s first year, one should look at their income without any over time and see what they make verses the bills that they have. From there they should include the things that the baby needs such as food and diapers. Once you know what you need to make in order to cover one’s needs, you can see what you have left to cover the wants. Make sure you have enough room for miscellaneous needs and things that you may have forgotten.
Once you have the budget filled out, consider seeing if there is money left over for savings. This savings can help you out if there becomes a large need for money or if you decide to purchase a house. This savings will also lend quite a bit of stability to your family life. If it is not possible to save money, then consider the tax returns as a good way to save money in savings. This is money that you did not previously have and money that is not accounted for in your budget, therefore it will not be missed by placing it into savings.
Once the budget is complete, sticking to the budget is important. There is no point to drawing up a budget if the budget is only going to be broken at the first sign of stress. It can be difficult at first, but once you go with the budget for a while, you will get better at sticking to that budget.