*this is a collaborative post
When you’re on your way to becoming a first-time parent, you’ll receive plenty of warnings about losing sleep, feeding struggles, and the constant worry that you don’t know what you’re doing. However, what people don’t warn you about, is the fact that you’ll need to constantly struggle to stick to your budget.
When you’re excited about your new arrival, and you want to make sure that you’re as prepared as possible for the challenges that lay ahead, it’s tempting to spend as much money as is necessary to put your mind at rest. However, before you start spending cash a little carelessly, it’s important to remember your budget. These quick and simple money hacks should help to keep you on track.
- Consider Personal Loans for Big Expenses
If no matter how hard you try to cut down on expenses and find extra savings, you’re still struggling to find the cash for a new crib and a pushchair, then you might need to consider alternative options. While there’s a good chance that your friends and family will be able to help you with some of the smaller expenses, they might not have the cash to invest in a huge gift. Fortunately, you can always turn to a personal loan for help. Most banks and building societies will offer a range of terms to suit you, so you can pay back what you owe in a way that suits your budget.
- Avoid Buying Anything You Don’t Need
When you’re becoming a parent for the first time, it’s very difficult to separate the items you “absolutely” have to have, from the things that you just think you need. A good way to reduce your risk of overspending on unnecessary items is to stick to a 24-hour rule with all purchases. This means that you don’t buy anything big unless you’ve thought about it for at least one day. Remember, things like baby shoes simply aren’t necessary, and bottle warmers are a waste of money when you can warm milk under a hot tap! It’s amazing how the amount I bought went down with each child I had…when Jude was born, I bought so much stuff but with Emmeline’s birth it was the bare minimum!
- Shop with Clearances and Vouchers
Often, budgeting as a new parent is very much the same as budgeting for any other stage in your life. All you need to do is take advantage of as many different ways to save money as you can find. For instance, there are plenty of coupons out there that are specifically designed to make life easier for new parents. Signing up to baby clubs can be a great way to get your hands on regular vouchers, and even freebie samples from popular brands. At the same time, keep your eyes open for sales and clearances where you might be able to get hold of some great deals. Signing up to newsletters from the companies you like, and following them on social media is a great way to stay in the know.
- Make Some Extra Cash
If your income is a little lacking lately, you can always consider making some additional cash by selling items online or taking on a freelance job part-time. The online world has opened up dozens of new ways for people to make money, whether you want to sell the things you make on a website like Etsy or offer your skills on a site like Upwork.
You could even consider looking for ways that you can make extra money in your local area, by offering babysitting sessions or taking dogs for walks for your neighbours.
- Don’t Over-Spend on Birthday Blowouts
When your youngster starts to grow up, it’s tempting to spend all your extra cash on celebrating his or her special days. However, before you apply for a personal loan just so that you can afford to hire a clown and a bouncy castle for your baby’s first birthday, think carefully about your financial situation. If you’re already struggling to make ends meet, it’s worth remembering that your little one probably won’t remember those first few birthdays, so keep it simple.
A home-made cake and a few pretty decorations will still give you some great photographs to look back on in the years to come.
- Make the Most of the Baby Shower
Finally, when you’re trying to think of how you’re going to afford everything you need for your new baby, remember that you’re probably going to get a few gifts for your baby shower. Ask your nearest and dearest to give you essential items like diapers and bottles so you can cut down on the huge numbers of stuffed animals you might otherwise receive.
I’d love to hear about your money saving tips 🙂