Becoming a parent is a thrilling experience, filled with countless memories and milestones. On the other side of those milestones are the responsibilities that come with parenthood. No matter how many children you’re taking care of or where you live, you’ll undoubtedly have a unique set of challenges and responsibilities that you will navigate throughout your lives.
Becoming a responsible parent involves sound money management and overall fiscal responsibility. As your little one grows up, expenses will change, and it’s helpful to know early on where you can save money.
Let’s break down some simple money management tips all new parents can follow.
Plan for Changing Expenses
While the first year of your budget may consist of formula costs and diapers, your expenses will change as your child grows up in the years to come. It’s important to update your budget regularly as you foresee these upcoming expenses.
In the years before your family began to grow, you may have relied on fast online installment loans to take care of unexpected expenses — but as you navigate parenthood, financial stability is more vital than ever.
When it comes to finding the right budget tool, try out a few options to see which tool is right for your family — whether you prefer to track your expenses and savings manually or you’re able to use a budget app. Ultimately, the best resource is the one that makes the most sense for your financial situation and goals.
Don’t Overspend on Newborn Clothes
While it may be tempting to stock up on newborn onesies, the reality is that your little one is going to grow faster than you realize. Instead, size up to approximately nine to 12 months to ensure you get the most wear out of their clothes. It’s much easier if they can grow into their onesies than having to spend money every couple of months to update their sizes.
DIY Baby Food
Purchasing baby food from the store often comes with brand-name markups which can eat away at your budget. Since young children are primarily eating pureed vegetables and fruits, why not make their food yourself? Buying a handful of carrots or apples and using your blender is more cost-effective than pre-portioned baby food.
Find Free Classes
You could spend hundreds of dollars a year on classes for your little one. Before you sign them up for music classes or mommy-and-me yoga, take a look online and see if there are any free classes available in your area. In most cities and towns, there are plenty of free activities you and your child can take part in — from group walks to beach activities or story time at the local library.
Build Your Emergency Fund
If you don’t yet have an emergency fund built into your bank account, it’s important that you’re able to start while your child is still young. You’ll likely face unexpected expenses in both your child’s life and within your home itself. If you’re still earning an income or your spouse is working full-time, aim to set aside 20 to 30 percent of your earnings into a savings account — so when your home needs an urgent repair, or you need to purchase something essential for your child, your budget doesn’t suffer.