Things are going to change now that you are set to welcome your first child into the world. That is about as certain as the grass is green.
Understanding that the happiness and joy that comes with starting your new family will, at some point, be counterbalanced by the natural worries about finances is OK though. This is completely natural and affects almost every new parent. By planning for the weeks, months, and years ahead, however, we can avoid panic and instead anticipate the fulfillment and pride of being a mom or dad. Below we list some essential budgeting tips for new parents, including where to find the best personal finance blogs, to everyday saving pointers.
Read the top personal finance blogs
This should be your starting point. Although it may seem as though your situation is entirely unique, just bear in mind that there are many parents out there who have likely been through the same. If joint income is a worry, or even if you are planning to raise the baby as a single parent, there are common ways to approach things.
There are a number of high-quality and informative personal finance blogs designed to help new parents plan and succeed in budgeting for a new family. From tips on bulk-buying formula and diapers to the best savings accounts and investments, you are sure to find a wealth of helpful information.
Familiarize yourself with basic budgeting
For many new parents, budgeting is something they never had to consider before. The days of excessive spending, pizza deliveries, shopping therapy, and grand nights out may need to be sacrificed, for the most part. In developing a sound sense of financial responsibility, you are helping to better your future.
Perhaps the best place to start basic budgeting is by trying out the 50/20/30 rule. It works like this:
- 50% of your income is assigned to living expenses and absolute essentials, including mortgage or rent payments, utilities, groceries, and gas or transport fees.
- 20% of your income is assigned to your finances. Things such as savings, credit cards, loan repayments, and the like.
- 30% of your income is assigned to flexible spending, which is classed as things which are not essential. Think gym subscriptions, days out, dining, movies etc.
While the amount each individual brings in varies, this method is generally deemed to be a simple but effective way to budget for new parents.
Practice surviving on your budget on your next pay check
In order to get you into the swing of things, try to live on the amount you have budgeted. See how it works, and even if you fail the first month around, you can identify why. After a few months, you may find that you have adjusted to living on less.
While the “disposable income” you are used to right now will likely reduce with the introduction of the new member of your home, preparing yourself for managing with what you expect to be bringing in can have its benefits…
Check out personal finance blogs for emergency fund tips
One of the benefits of living on a budget prior to, well, needing to, is that you will have a little extra in reserve. These dollars and cents can go towards your emergency fund, which will safeguard you for any unforeseen circumstances. Coming from experience, this is always an important thing to consider.
For tips on how to save, study the best personal finance blogs for ideas.
Take a deep breath and know that you can do it.
Being a parent is one of the most rewarding experiences of being a human. With some planning and responsibility, you can take away many of the concerns and stresses which starting a family brings. It will also help you see things clearly and find the motivation to put your ideas into action.
Follow ModestMoney on Twitter and connect with Jeremy Biberdorf on Facebook