Excitement is the feeling that will most likely fill you as you and your spouse prepare to be new parents. However, there is also a little bit of nervousness when expecting your first child, as you will be plunged into an entirely new role that you have never really tried before, and that role is being a responsible and loving parent.
It is not rare for many to say that raising a child is one of the most difficult tasks that a lot of people face today, as there are different aspects of it that you will need to focus on and properly take care of. Some of these aspects include providing a safe and comfortable home for your child, making sure that they eat well, and giving them enough clothes. All of these aspects can be quite expensive to take care of, so budgeting can be very difficult for most parents, especially the new ones.
In this article, we will guide new parents on how to create a sufficient budget that allows them to provide everything for their children. If you are one of those new parents, we recommend that you read this article further to understand how you can budget efficiently and effectively. Here are ten budget tips that new parents should check out.
Be Prepared for the Cost of Supporting a Child
A very common mistake that new parents make is not learning the costs of raising a child. No one can really deny that taking care of a child is an exciting and rewarding experience, but there are also challenges and hardships in raising a kid that should never be ignored, and one of those challenges is budgeting the costs for everything you need to support a child properly.
So, you would need to understand how much you will actually need in order to raise your child well. According to the USDA or US Department of Agriculture, a married couple should have at least $12,000 prepared annually for supporting their child, and this budget would usually goes up as the child grows.
Save Money for Expenses
Even before you have a child, you should already be prepared to figure out the budget for raising one. The budget you will raise for the child would include payments and expenses for housing, food, child care, health care, transportation, and clothes. If you haven’t prepared a budget yet after having a child, it is okay, as you will still be able to save money if you have a stable job or business.
Follow the 50-30-20 Rule
The 50-30-20 rule is a budgeting strategy or plan wherein you will have to put 50% of your income into necessities or needs, 30% into your wants or hobbies, and 20% for paying your debts or for your emergency funds. As new parents, it would be wise if you could follow a budgeting strategy so that you won’t spend too much on anything, and the 50-30-20 rule is a good one to follow.
Adjust Your Budget Plan Wisely
You are free to adjust the percentages of the budgeting plan if you want to put more focus on the needs of your family, but starting with the 50-30-20 strategy would be an ideal plan to follow since it will also allow you to have money for your wants. But, in case you have to put more emphasis on your needs, you can just adjust the percentages and then follow the new plan for a few months until everything is stable.
Be Ready for Temporary Loss of Income
As parents, you would often be faced with the dilemma of having little to no time to take care of your child, and in order to give the time you need to support your son or daughter, you would most likely need to be on leave from work or to quit from your job entirely.
This is considered one of the common problems that a lot of new parents face, as they don’t really know what to do to provide enough time for their child and for their work. So, in case you need to apply for a leave or resign from your job, you should be prepared for a temporary loss of income by saving money before you actually perform the said actions.
Find a Better Source of Income
As we have said previously, before you quit the job or apply for unpaid leaves, you should already have money saved in your bank account, which would be enough for you to provide support for your child while you are looking for a better source of income where you don’t have to leave your son or daughter alone.
Luckily, there are now plenty of work-from-home or remote jobs that you can apply to, and these jobs would allow you to still be at home while working. With remote jobs, you can still take care of your child at home since you don’t have to go to an office or workplace.
Never Rush on Getting a New Home
Another mistake that new parents make most of the time is that they would often rush to get a new home that they think would be more comfortable and safe for their child to stay in instead of an apartment. Unfortunately, whenever you rush to buy expensive things like a new home, it would just give you more problems since you will be drowning in debt and payments. So, never rush to get a new home and just settle in improving the place where you and your spouse are staying so that it would be safer for a child to live in.
Buy Used Items
It is never really wrong to buy second-hand items for a child, although most of them would need to be cleaned properly. Of course, you shouldn’t buy used items that are deemed as “necessities,” like baby bottles, diapers, milk, vitamins, and others. But used furniture like cribs and mattresses, as well as used toys and clothes, are recommended if you want to save money in buying different items for your child.
Use Discount Coupons for Necessities
To save money for necessities like milk and diapers, you should definitely use discount coupons online or in grocery stores. Besides the needs of the baby, you should also use discount codes and vouchers for other items that you need at home or in the apartment, which include groceries, furniture, tools, and more.
Utilize a Budgeting App
For you to keep track of your budget with ease, you should try utilizing a budgeting app that you can download on your Android or iOS devices. The budgeting app will have everything that you will need to plan out a proper budget, such as setting which items to buy weekly, as well as reminding you of bills and other kinds of payments you need to settle within specific months. The budgeting app would also enable you to track your goals and see if you are closer to achieving them.
And these are ten of the best tips we can provide when it comes to budgeting for new parents. It is okay if you feel happy and excited about having your first child, but there are also moments when you need to be more serious when it comes to properly raising your son or daughter. Budgeting is one of those serious tasks that you need to focus on, and we hope that the simple tips we provided above can help you in having better focus and motivation to manage your budget well.