You thought that you had your budget all figured out when you first got married. Now that your new little bundle of joy has arrived, it turns out you may need to restructure your carefully planned budget once again.
On top of love, excitement, and laughter that a new baby brings into your life, you will also experience the added expenses of diapers and formula. According to TD Bank, the average cost of the first year of a baby’s life racks up at a whopping $8000.
The only thing you should worry about when you bring a new baby home is how many cuddles and cute smiles they’ll give you in a day. Don’t let the cost of raising a baby shake your finances in marriage. Here are the most effective steps to prioritize your household budget after your newborn arrives.
Finances in Marriage Post-Baby: Making a Budget
You should begin making a baby budget before you welcome your little bundle of joy into the world. This will give you a better idea of how much money you should be saving before he or she arrives.
Calculate your monthly earnings as a couple and make the proper deductions for the time mommy will spend off work after the baby arrives.
Next, make a list of your expenses for the month. Include debts being paid off, loans, the rent/mortgage, bills, groceries, diapers, clothes, formula, and baby food.
Even after the baby arrives, the budgeting basics will still apply. This generally means spending half of your money on household responsibilities, another 20% on date nights and other material wants, 20% on savings, and the last 10% on surprise expenses.
If you’re still unsure, there are plenty of baby budgeting calculators available online or in app form to help give you a better idea of your financial needs.
Gather Necessities Slowly
Once you find out you’re pregnant it can be tempting to go out and splurge on all the fun baby necessities like a crib, lifetime supply of diapers and adorable baby room decor. But don’t.
Pay attention to your finances in marriage and work on gathering necessities slowly. Wait to see what you receive at your baby shower before you start spending outside of your budget. This will drastically help to lower the cost of your baby shopping.
As a woman, registering for your baby shower is an exciting experience. A whole shopping world of adorable baby items are at your fingertips – don’t go power mad! Being practical with your choices can save you a lot of money down the road.
Make a realistic list of items you’re going to need for the baby, such as a crib, stroller, car seat, blankets, diapers and more. Stick to items you’ll actually need for your baby.
Sure, the mounted porcelain deer antlers are cute for baby’s first bedroom, but they aren’t exactly practical. Register wisely for your baby shower and you’ll avoid unnecessary spending for you, your family and your friends.
Practice Living on One Income
After the baby arrives, the odds that mommy will go straight back to work are slim. Practice living on one income before the baby arrives and see how it will change your monthly budget.
Living like you only have one income is a great opportunity to save more and to adjust your spending before it becomes a necessity. It can also help you learn to live on less and look for ways to cut out unnecessary spending.
Look for Ways to Bring in Additional Income
With the internet at your fingertips, there are plenty of ways for mom to bring in a little extra income while she’s on maternity leave.
Online transcriptions, writing blogs, reviewing baby products, teaching English as a second language through Skype, selling soaps and selling essential oils are all great ways to make money from the comfort of your own home.
Plan for Date Night
Even though you may feel strapped for cash, it’s still important to put aside some ‘fun money’ to spend on your sweetheart.
Spending time together alone as a couple is a great way to strengthen your marriage as new parents. These nights are meant to improve communication. It’s also a chance to de-stress, build sexual chemistry, and have fun together as romantic partners – not just parents.
A study of 10,000 couples with children surveyed how often the couple went out on dates together. The results showed that couples who made date night a priority were more likely to stay together after 10 years of marriage than couples who rarely went out together.
Interestingly, couples who went out once a month together had the highest odds of staying together at a whopping 30%, while weekly dates only clocked in at 11%.
Start a Savings Fund
If you’re looking to straighten your finances in marriage before the baby arrives, this is the parenting advice you will want to follow. Prepare for anything.
If you and your spouse stuck to a good financial routine before finding out you were going to be parents, this step will be easy as pie. Put away a set amount of money each month into a high-interest savings account or invest it. This is a great nest-egg to have for your little one as they get older.
There are endless benefits to having communal savings account that both you and your spouse contribute to. This can be considered an emergency fund for surprise expenses, a college fund, a vacation fun and the list goes on.
So you want parenting advice? How’s this: money doesn’t have to be an issue as new parents if you know how to prioritize. You can arrange the finances in marriage to allow for a new baby and a little ‘treat yourself!’ on the side. Stop worrying about your bank account and enjoy becoming parents.
Author Bio: Rachael Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.
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