Having a baby is an expansive affair. And no matter how many times you hear it, you never truly understand just how much money is going to fly out of your pocketbook. Once you get pregnant, you really have to focus on ways to put some money aside for those unexpected expenses that will come up on a regular basis.
If your income is limited like if you are on bed rest or in a low paying job then this is all the more important.
There are the things that you know you will need like a crib and changing table for the nursery. Plus the cost of buying clothes and diapers. But, then there are the unexpected expenses like some medical expenses that aren’t covered either pre or post birth.
It’s always good to go beyond what you think you’ll need to make sure that you are covered financially when you receive the good news on your pregnancy.
In this article, I will go over the things you need to do to save money so you don’t fall into a financial hole.
1. Have the right mindset
Saving money in general takes a shift in your mindset so you can form new habits that help to save money. You can’t live as you used to and spend as you’re used to spending and be able to get ahead for those expenses.
You’ll need to really focus to have the right attitude to doing this. You have to prioritise all of your spending. Of course, spending money on things you want is ok if it has to do with the pregnancy or even just to help you not feel so desperate. Buying some nice maternity dresses is something that you could justify spending some money on as you can’t wear your old clothes.
However, you’ll need to do things like make your own coffee or tea rather than going to Starbucks on your way to work. Spending is a habit and it becomes something that is hard to break out of.
2. Track your spending
Take a month and use an app to track everything that you spend. Even something as little as $1 should be noted. To make it organized, have different categories.
For example, you should have two main categories such as ongoing expenses and one offs. So your rent or mortgage is ongoing and is the same every month so it can be tracked automatically. The same goes for your car insurance and loan payments. Groceries may happen every month but are a one off expense as you pay a different amount each time you go to the supermarket.
Then, further categorize to go even more granular. You can list things like entertainment, clothing and gas so you can get a better understanding of how your money is spent.
Now, it’s time to whittle down the expenses. Are you paying for cable? Time to cut that out and just pay for a Netflix account. High heating bill? Get a smart thermostat and program it so it doesn’t run so much when you aren’t home or in rooms you don’t use as much as others.
Once you have all of the wasteful spending cut out of your budget, you will easily have a few hundred dollars per month to set aside.
3. Start freecycling
There is a wonderful community of women that are always looking to help each other out. In every city or town there are Facebook groups, forums or even listings on Craigslist where you can often find mums that are giving away all kinds of baby items. In many cases, they are brand new or at least barely used.
Some baby shower gifts are repeated and people end up with doubles so they give away brand new items. Some are barely used. Scour these listings and you can save even more hundreds on the necessities so you don’t have to buy everything brand new.
4. Build up points
If you know that you can pay off your credit card bill every month, then use it to pay for just about everything so you can build up some points. Then you will end up with a lot of freebies that can save you a lot of money over the course of the year. Look for cash back cards so you aren’t forced into something like airline miles that won’t be used since travel will slow down for you now. Though, then again, you can sell those miles and make extra money that way.