5 steps to help manage your money when baby arrives
A new baby brings huge joy and happiness to your life, but also brings big changes to your personal finances. This 5-step guide to managing your money from consumerhelp.ie, the National Consumer Agency, will help you spend less and save more. And let’s face it – we could all do with a little more money in our pockets!
Here’s how to gain control of your finances in five easy steps.
1. Check what you have coming in and how this will change when your baby is born
If you are in employment, it is a good idea to check how maternity leave will affect your salary. If it will mean a drop in income, it’s important to save for this during pregnancy. If you are not currently employed, check how pregnancy and having a baby could impact on any social welfare payment you have been receiving, as you may be entitled to an increased payment. Remember to include any extra earnings or payments like children’s allowance to get a full picture of your income.
2. Check what you are currently spending
Consider how you are currently spending your money and whether or not you could cut back. It is important to make a list of everyday expenses like taxis, coffees and phone credit as well as ongoing expenses like rent and bills. It’s not always easy to keep track of our everyday expenses, but this is where huge savings can be made – using the spending calculator on consumerhelp.ie can help. Your spending will naturally change during pregnancy, while some costs will reduce, commuting and socialising for example, babies can bring unexpected expenses.
3. Make some money goals
When you have gotten to grips with what you have coming in and going out, it is a good idea to take some time to prioritise what you are spending your money on and decide on your financial goals. Whether you want to build up an emergency savings fund, take extended maternity leave or even clear off your debts before your baby arrives, decide on what is important to you, and how you will make those aspirations a reality.
4. Make a budget
Now that you have a clear picture of how you are doing financially and what your money goals are, it’s time to make a budget. Use the budget planner on consumerhelp.ie to help you to capture all the details. If you are just starting to budget as a family unit, now can be a great time to discuss family finances and to consider whether you should open a joint account with your partner to manage things like rent or a mortgage payment and bills.
5. Swap, switch, save, review
Use the money saving tips on consumerhelp.ie to get the best value for your money on baby related items. If your pregnancy means you are thinking about changing your car or home and you need insurance for them, you can check for the best deals on financial products here too.
What are your tips for preparing your family finances? Share yours with other moms in the comments section below.