If you want to have peace of mind during your pregnancy, getting a handle on your finances as soon as possible can do the trick. If you follow these steps, creating a budget won’t even feel like a chore.
Why is it necessary for you to create a budget for a baby?
There are many unknowns that come along with being a parent; however, there is one thing that you can be assured of: having a child will have an effect on your financial situation.
It is a good idea to create a budget for the upcoming months because there will be additional costs associated with the purchase of baby product essentials such as a stroller or car seat, as well as the likelihood that the income of your household will change once your baby is born and you and/or your partner take leave from work.
When you have a kid that needs constant attention, the financial administration may not be at the top of your priority list. However, getting the foundation out of the way early will help set you up for success in the future.
1. Accumulate significant amounts of data.
Before you begin to make a budget, you should first compile all of the pertinent numbers that will provide you with an overview of your current financial situation and assist you in planning for the months that are to come.
The following items will come in handy:
bank statements spanning a couple months’ worth of time
recent bills for the household
information regarding any savings and/or pension contributions made by your company, as well as their maternity, paternity, and shared parental pay policy, as well as information regarding Maternity Allowance and details of child benefit eligibility.
2. Conduct an evaluation of your present financial status.
Take a look at your earnings over the past three months and calculate the average. This will allow you to predict your earnings in the months leading up to the birth of your child or the beginning of any leave that you and/or your spouse plan to take.
Determine the fundamental costs of running your home, which may include the following:
rent or mortgage payments
the costs of utilities and insurance premiums
expenditures associated with travel, such as council tax, groceries, and other necessities, as well as any necessary gasoline or season tickets
If you add all of these up and then deduct the sum from your regular income, you may have a clearer idea of the amount of money you will have available to spend during your pregnancy.
3. Search for cost-saving opportunities.
Consider the possibility that you may be able to make some savings in the short term by lowering or eliminating expenses that are not needed.
An in-depth analysis of your bank statements may provide you with some startling revelations. The cost of lunch at work, an underused gym membership, or a Netflix subscription may quickly pile up, especially if the payments are made on a monthly basis.
4. Submit an application for the benefits to which you are eligible.
Parents have access to a wide variety of resources and assistance; therefore, it is imperative that you make the most of these opportunities to reduce the burden that your finances are experiencing.
For instance, the Sure Start Maternity Grant is a one-time payment made by the government in the amount of £500 that is intended to assist with financial burdens associated with having a child. New parents who are already receiving certain benefits are eligible to apply.
You are eligible to apply for the Best Start Grant in Scotland, which provides a one-time payment of £606 for your first child and then reduces that amount to £303 for any additional children.
There is a possibility that you are qualified to receive additional benefits, such as the child benefit, the child tax credit, healthy start vouchers, free medications, and NHS dental treatment.
5. Create a spending plan for each month.
You are now able to establish a budget because you have all of the necessary information.
You shouldn’t forget to include in any large costs that will come up before the baby arrives, such as purchasing a car seat and pushchair. You should also remember to factor in any annual payments or fees, such as a TV licence or a car MOT.
Determine how much money you will have left over at the end of each month after you have accounted for all of your one-time costs and necessary expenditures.
If there is money left over at the end of the month, you should consider placing it into a savings account that is distinct from your checking account. This pool of money could serve as a safety net in the event of any unforeseen expenses, as a boost to your bank balance during parental leave when your income is lower, or as a foundation for future savings for your child.
If you do decide to start saving money, you should make sure that the savings account you choose offers competitive interest rates as well as the flexibility you require (for instance, one that enables you to get access to your money whenever you have a need for it).
6. Revise budget for parental leave
It is recommended that you review your budget on a periodic basis or if your financial situation undergoes significant shifts. In particular, you will need to make adjustments to your budget in preparation for taking parental leave when the time comes.
If you are an employee, you should be eligible for paid time off for maternity, paternity, or parental leave under the applicable state and federal laws. In addition, your firm might provide you with an improved benefits package.
After adding up all of these payouts and any savings that might be able to assist with covering bills, divide the total amount by the number of months that you intend to be away from work.
Remember that your day-to-day costs are likely to fluctuate when you are not working, and plan accordingly. Because you will be spending more time indoors, it is likely that your gas and electricity expenses will go up, despite the fact that you may save money on things like your commute and meals eaten away from home.
If you are able to do so, think further ahead and also examine your expectations regarding your return to work, such as the date on which this will occur.
If you do decide to return to work, will it be full-time or part-time?
Will there be a shift in how your partner spends their time at work?
If you answer these questions as soon as possible, it will be easier for you to develop a budget that can support the decisions you make.
7. Include the cost of childcare in your budget
You and your partner will need to take into consideration the costs of child care if you intend to go back to work following your parental leave.
You will need to make a choice between employing a childminder, a nursery, or a nanny if you do not have access to cost-free assistance from members of your immediate or extended family.
The good news is that parents can get assistance to handle these expenditures, such as free daycare for a predetermined number of hours per week, tax relief on the cost of childcare that they pay for, and tax credits.
Learn more about it here:
Find out everything there is to know about the assistance offered in our guides.
free child care and other ways to save money, as well as 13 other strategies to reduce the cost of childcare
8. Prepare yourself in advance for a mortgage.
Because infants start out quite little but quickly outgrow their diapers, it’s possible that you’ll have to relocate in order to find a home with adequate space for everyone.
However, if your income drops during maternity leave, paternity leave, or shared parental leave, you may have a tough time getting approved for a mortgage loan at the same rate.
Lenders are not permitted to discriminate against customers because the customer is pregnant; but, if you are on parental leave or are about to go on parental leave when you apply for a mortgage, you may be required to present further evidence that you can afford a mortgage.
9. Don’t let your spending get out of control.
Creating a budget is a fantastic idea in theory, but you have to make sure that you actually keep to it in practise.
When you have a new baby to care for, you need to be practical about how you will manage your finances, and you need to locate a system that is conducive to your needs. There is a selection of alternatives, including the following:
Apps for managing your finances and keeping track of your expenditures, which may be used on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Some, like Money Dashboard, are completely free to use, while others require a nominal monthly subscription cost.
Spreadsheets can be used to build a budget; you can either make your own simple spreadsheet or use a template to keep track of your income and expenses.