New baby on the way? Congratulations! How exciting - a new bundle of joy is heading your way! We also know that preparing for a new baby means a lot of money is about to exit your bank account and the thought of stretching the budget to accommodate those extra costs can come with a bit of panic. It's especially true if your current expenses are already taking more than you’d like from your weekly income.
But don’t get stressed about the extra costs – we’ve found some money-management tips to help you stretch your budget and save money as soon as the early signs of pregnancy start showing.
Assess your financial situation
The first step in determining your financial situation once the new baby is born is to know where you’re at right now - so take some time to write down your current income and expenses. That means including everything that comes into the household as a form of income, regular or not. And no cheating - you need to be very honest when you list down your expenses too, no matter how irrelevant some of them may be.
Trim your budget
The moment the early signs of pregnancy start showing, it’s time to start trimming your budget. While most of us spend money on things we want but don’t really need, the arrival of a new baby will change your household expenses dramatically. So, the earlier you start to save for the arrival of your newborn, the better you can manage your finances.
Think about how you can reduce your spend so you can allocate some of your budget for your baby needs. Reducing the cost of your weekly grocery bill is a great place to start.
Increase your household income
If trimming your budget simply isn’t going to be enough to make you financially ready for the arrival of your new baby, you might want to explore ways to bring a little extra money into the household.
There are plenty of opportunities to make some extra cash - like online freelancing, online selling, blogging and vlogging. Think about what it is you’re good at and love to do - and have a good think about how you can sell your skills and knowledge to others. Once you have an idea in mind, do some online research to find out how others are marketing themselves.
This might also be the right time to ask for a pay increase or even downgrade the car so you have some extra cash on hand. Other ways that may help to increase your household income is refinancing your mortgage or consolidating your debts.
Check your health insurance
If you have private health insurance, check to see if you’re covered for pregnancy and if so, exactly what costs are covered. If you’re going to be hit with high excesses and admission fees it’s good to know early so you can consider whether going public is a better option (and don’t forget, if you choose not to include pregnancy cover in your private health insurance, your monthly premiums will reduce).
You don’t have to pay a bean if you choose to have your baby as a public patient at a public hospital. Remember too that Medicare can help with costs such as:
Start buying baby supplies now
Waiting for the baby's arrival before you buy baby supplies means having extra cash on hand, but you’ll have your hands full with that newborn, so get organised early. The best time to start buying baby supplies is during your pregnancy and whenever you have some spare money available. Some essentials to consider buying first are:
Check your eligibility for government-assisted benefits
Before your baby is born, check to see if you’re eligible for some government-assisted benefits, like Parental Leave Pay, Family Tax Benefit (FTB), or even Dad and Partner Pay. The FTB may include a one-time lump sum of Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement for 13 weeks. While these may not be a lot, they will certainly help you stretch your budget until your financial situation returns to normal.
Practice living on a smaller budget
The expenses don’t end once your baby is born. While having a child is a gift to be thankful for, it’s also an ongoing commitment associated with the need for cash or credit to always be available. And it’s not just baby supplies you need to prepare for. You may also need to purchase a cot, a pushchair, and perhaps a car seat. Plus, there will be medical, education, and other expenses you can expect to pay as your baby grows older.
Congratulations on your new baby!
It’s time to celebrate as the new member of your family makes his or her way into this world. It’s going to be an emotional rollercoaster, combining warm and wonderful feelings with anxiety and stress, all at the same time. We hope these money-management tips can help you to stretch your budget in the days ahead! And, if you need some additional funds to help cover those new baby costs, we’re here to help. Just take a look at our cash loans from $500 - $5,000 to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, the cash is usually in your bank account within a few hours – so you'll be well prepared before your little one arrives!