Parenthood: though it’s often stressful, it can be hugely rewarding. So, if you’re considering starting a family, who could blame you? But if the thought of high costs is holding you back, it doesn’t have to. It’s easy to prepare your finances for having children. Follow our top financial tips to start the preparation early.
Throw a baby shower
Want to stock up on baby essentials? Then throw a baby shower! Aside from being the perfect excuse to catch up with friends and family, you’ll likely receive plenty of baby goods — from blankets to bottles — as gifts. You could even send a wish list out to guests before the event, so that you’re guaranteed to get what you need. Baby showers aren’t just for celebrities, they’re for every expectant parent.
Ask friends and family for advice
Most of us have a go-to friend or family member — someone we can rely on for either rational or emotional advice (or sometimes both). If yours has children, why not ask them for tips on staying financially afloat while raising a family. They’ll most likely be able to provide heaps of useful ideas and insight — from budgeting to when and how to seek financial assistance if needed. So, how about arranging a meet up with your closest pal or relative to learn key money skills from someone with first-hand experience?
Build an emergency fund — and keep adding to it
As practically every parent will tell you, emergency costs tend be a given for people with kids. Whether you need to buy extra nappies for your baby, have to buy medicine for your little one or lend a bus fare to your teenager, parenthood seems to be filled with surprise expenses. The solution? Build an ongoing emergency fund — and don’t withdraw from it until an actual emergency occurs. To increase your family’s financial security even further, start adding to it now.
Shop at the right time of day
In addition to immense happiness, a new baby means another mouth to feed. If you’re planning on having more than one, you’ll no doubt want to keep food costs down to a minimum. Well, you’re in luck. Though you may not think it, supermarket shops for growing families don’t have to be pricey. So long as you shop at the right store, at the right time, you can easily save money. Most supermarkets currently apply discounts after 7pm or towards closing time. However, supermarket and grocery discounts and deals will almost definitely change as your family expands, so make sure to keep up on trends.
Prioritise debt payments
Do you have any outstanding debt? If so, now could be the time to clear it — because once you’ve got a family, this could harder to do. So, you may want to take advantage of your current financial freedom before your children become your main priority. Even if you can’t get rid of your debt entirely, you might at least be able to cover a large part of it. If so, you could start your family with complete financial confidence. For help with debt clearance, look to a trusted, impartial source like the Money Advice Service.
Starting a family can be hugely exciting — and with our tips, you can make your that you’re financially prepared for your journey into parenthood, too.