Starting a family is one of the major life goals that many people have. It’s right up there with earning a great career and buying your own home. However, while having children with your partner can be a very exciting and rewarding experience, it’s also something that requires a lot of planning and careful consideration too. A lot of things will change when you start your own family, including your budget.
When you have your own family to think about, the way you address everything from loan repayments to day-to-day expenses will evolve. To help you prepare, we’ve put together this easy-to-follow list of crucial things in your budget that change with the arrival of a new baby.
You Suddenly Have Childcare Costs to Deal with
If you rely on both your wage and your partner’s income to make ends meet in your household, then you’ll both need to go back to work after a child is born. This means that you’ve got to find someone to look after your youngster when you’re not around. Parents and friends might be able to help out from time to time, but you’ll also have to look into expensive childcare options too. The government can only offer so much help in the UK for people who need childcare support, so make sure you know what you’re entitled to in advance.
You’ll Have New Savings to Consider
We all have savings goals that we want to accomplish one day. For a while now, you might have been considering saving up for a new car or a bigger home. While those targets may still be important to you when you have a child, there will also be other savings that you need to think about too. For instance, are you going to put money away for your child’s education? Even with student and regular loans available to your youngster in the future, a savings account could help them to get a head start on their education.
Food Expenses Will Go Up
Many of us already spend way too much on food, but when you have a child, your supermarket costs will go up for a different reason. The best way to keep costs to a minimum here is to plan exactly what you need in advance. Write a list of all the items you need to buy, from formula to cereal, and make sure that you stick to it. It’s a good idea to switch to supermarket-only brands when your kids are young too – before they have a chance to complain that they like the more expensive brands better.
Your Housing Expenses will Change
Another major change in your budget will come in the form of your housing expenses. The more children you have, the more space you’re going to need. You might even need to move to a bigger home, which means taking out a bigger mortgage. If you want to improve your chances of getting a good deal, make sure that you work on improving your credit rating as early as possible. The better your credit score is, the better the offer you get on your new mortgage will be.
Your Utility Costs will Go Up
There’s a good chance that you’ll spend more on utilities within your home too. When you’re looking after a child, you’ll be spending more money on hot water for bath time, electricity for washing and drying clothes, and more. You’ll also be less likely to take the frugal option and just wear more clothes when you’re cold, as you’ll be frightened of your baby becoming sick. If you’re already over-paying for your utility bills, switch to a more affordable provider before your baby is born.
Your Free Cash Will be All Used Up
Often, with some good budgeting strategies, you’ll be able to find a little extra cash after paying all your bills to spend on yourself. However, when you have a child, there’s a good chance that this money will disappear entirely. You’ll have new priorities to think about, such as getting out of debt as quickly as possible so you can save more cash towards your child’s future. You’ll also find that you spend more of your free money on things like an emergency savings account, so you have money to fall back on when something goes wrong. Don’t be surprised if you find that every penny you earn is suddenly accounted for.
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