Published at: 8/12/2016 10:23:13 AM
Take a look at our five tips to manage the family finances following the arrival of your baby.
If parenthood is just around the corner, chances are you’re focusing on what’s going to happen in the labour ward, or maybe how you’ll get by on three hours sleep each night, or which brand of nappies work best.
But don’t overlook the money side of parenthood. Our five tips for pennywise parenting won’t help with sleep deprivation but at least you won’t be lying awake at night worrying about money matters.
It’s not always easy making the switch from a two-income household to living off one wage, and there will almost certainly be some areas where you need to take a scalpel to spending. Many new parents find it’s easy to save on things like fine dining but be sure to look for other opportunities to cut back - like barely-used gym memberships or regular takeaways.
Draft a household budget that reflects your spending as a new family. You’re going to face new costs like nappies and maybe formula, however plenty of new parents find spending on things like dining out plunges dramatically in the first few months following baby’s arrival. By following a budget you’ll know when you have some spare cash, and when it’s time to rein in spending.
A bit of extra cash is always welcome, and there’s a whole raft of free cash available to families from the government. From Parental Leave Pay through to Family Tax Benefit, every bit helps. Check out what’s available but don’t delay, it can take up to six weeks for the paperwork to be processed.
Regard the balance of your everyday account as your spending limit - not the limit on your credit card. Paying with cash is a simple way to stay out of trouble with debt and avoid spending beyond your means.
Resist the temptation to blow the budget with impulse buys. Make a pact with your other half not to make purchases over an agreed value, like $50, without talking it through first.