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Budgeting for When Expecting a Baby

Budgeting for When Expecting a Baby

When a couple learns they’re about to have a baby, they get so excited and broadcast it to everyone around. The hard part, though, is preparing for the baby’s arrival over the next trimester. The next question now is: are you budgeting and saving in advance?

Preparation for the baby’s arrival 

A big question the couple should answer is if they can afford all the expenses and if there’s still a source of income available during parental leave. Some financial advisors point out scenarios where the couple both work and have saved up to $3,000 a month before having their child. If one did not work at all during parental leave, one half of their income stream could be lost. If the mother returns to the workforce after leave, the couple should be prepared for the possibility she could work part-time.

The state of existing accommodation and transportation is critical in the preparation for the baby’s arrival. The couple should be at least moving to buy a house if they are currently in smaller places such as an apartment; they need ample space for the nursery. Purchasing a new family-friendly vehicle such as a station wagon or van would be vital.

During the pregnancy

In addition to daily expenses, the pregnancy period will cover a number of important expenses. They include maternity wear, enrollment in birthing classes, health insurance, and hospital bills such as medicine, obgyn consultations, and ultrasound tests. Discuss with your partner on whether to prepare for the delivery under Medicare coverage or to go through private practice.

Baby needs

Some paediatric experts recommend investing on ample baby kit supplies in the months before birth and there’s much to acquire:

  • Home improvement. If your home has the adequate room for a nursery, the shopping list will include a crib, a cot with associated mattress and bedding, bouncer seat, a specific high chair, and a change table with padding. Rubber padding and a playpen may not be ideal until the toddler stage. Consider baby monitors if the situation calls for it. If your property has at least one storey, install safety gates at the landing.  
  • Personal mobility. For taking care of your baby on the go, you may look around for a web-gear-style baby carrier or a pram, as well as a child carrier seat for vehicle transport. All must have passed safety standards: prams and strollers are rated under Australian New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2088:2000. Product Safety Australia has no existing quality standards for baby carriers, but they are normally graded under European Standard EN 13209-2:2005 or US Standard ASTM F2236-08.
  • Hygiene. Consider stocking up on hygiene products, such as shampoo, soap and dusting powder; they must be specifically geared towards babies. Have an ample stock of diapers ready, especially since babies a few weeks old may require up to ten changes a day. Research well on whether to buy disposable or cloth diapers. A diaper bag will carry your baby essentials ready if you are to go out with your child, like a grooming kit, spare clothes and diapers, food, and other items as needed. Their mother may want to acquire breastmilk storage bags and a breast pump; plan on setting aside space in the refrigerator to store them.
  • Dinnerware. Essential dinnerware for babies include a plastic tableware set, bibs, sippy cups, bottles and teats, and infant formula containers. A steriliser will be vital to disinfecting the bottles and teats after washing them first.
  • Clothing. For home activities during early parenthood, baby clothes such as onesies, cuffs, and booties are common items to peruse for, plus child apparel for outdoor activity. Given that babies grow fast in the first year, some experts recommend buying new sets of clothes every three months – it’s expected you might shell out up to $500 that first year.
  • Toys and books. Toys may not be important buys in the first few months, but if you consider getting some, make sure they do not contain sharp edges or small buttons, for safety reasons. Children’s books are interesting for bonding time with your kid, like reading during the pregnancy, to help the child be attuned to your voice early on.

Tips for better budgeting

The above acquisitions can carry a hefty price if bought brand-new, but there’s a possibility your funds might not be enough to cover them all. You can still work around the hurdles through some notable pieces of advice:

  • Second-hand shopping. Try to look around for pre-owned baby items online or in thrift shops. There’s a major chance some of the items on your shopping list may be found there at lower prices. In the case of mobility items such as carrier seats and prams, you must inspect them thoroughly for red flags such as loose bolts and torn covers.
  • Hand-me-downs. In relation to the above, if you have friends who are parents themselves of grown children, ask them if they have baby items they no longer need; they may be happy to pass them down to you. At the same time, consult them on what baby items they find the most useful and could work for you.
  • Baby registry. A number of childcare experts claim that a baby registry can work if you are looking for items that might be above your price range. All it takes is to let your friends and loved ones know about the list so they can acquire the listed items for you. If you are planning a baby shower, that would be the right time to be presented with the stuff.
  • Resisting temptation. Some would-be parents may be tempted to visit every baby supply store and buy off the shelf. However, such can be under the impulse-buy category. As much as possible, avoid frequent trips to the baby store; you might avoid buying something you don’t actually need (and have a nasty bout of buyer’s remorse).

Investing in your bundle of joy early on will give you a strong lesson in financial acumen and personal responsibility. Everything will turn out fine.

UBUDGET, provided by UBOMI, empowers users to manage their finances by setting and monitoring budgets, thus giving them increased control. This is a formidable resource that can assist in accomplishing personal targets.

If you liked our “Budgeting for When Expecting a Baby” and find it useful, check our blogs regularly for more information to get updates on UBOMI’s budget app and expense tracker.