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Clever Budgeting Tips for New Mothers

When you become a mother for the first time, there is a lot to adapt to in your life.  Primarily, there’s the baby and his or her demands and requirements.  There’s your own physical state which is often affected by a lack of sleep and other side-effects from the pregnancy.  But on top of all of this, life must go on and often, this means getting a handle on the household budget to incorporate the new arrival.  So, what tips do new moms offer?

Benefits of budgeting

While budgeting might not sound fun, there are a lot of benefits to it, especially if you start doing it while your child is just a newborn.  Take the time while he or she is asleep to do a little budgeting, set up a routine and stick to it.

Most mothers use a rough 50-20-30 rule when they are looking at their household budget:

  • 50% goes on living costs and essentials such as food, utilities and the mortgage or rent
  • 20% goes into savings
  • 30% goes on spending which covers anything from mobile phone bills to gym membership to new clothes

To calculate the exact figure for your home, you need to look at your living costs, household bills, financial products such as home insurance and other expenses.  Remember to leave an allowance for vehicles in the house so if the car needs new tires or you need motorcycle parts for your husband’s bike he uses for work, you have some money set aside for these.  Then leave some money where possible for time with friends and leisure activities.

Top tips for clever budgeting

Then there are all the little tips that other moms have offered that can help you make the most of your budget and be as organized as possible.

Have a food inventory

With a baby in the house, you might not want to buy two or three of everything when it is on offer as you don’t have the spare cash.  So, keep an inventory of the food in the house so you know what’s available for meals and what you need to replace.

Watch for coupons

Another job to do when baby is asleep is hunt around for coupons for the things you buy.  This can be anything from nappies to baby food, tinned goods and even pet food – there are loads of coupon sites out there to help.

Shop around

When you look at utility bills, cell phone costs or how much you pay for your internet connection, always shop around to see if you can get a better deal.  It might take a little time to put all the details into comparison sites but it can be worth it for your budget in the long run.

Conclusion

Budgeting isn’t exciting but by having a clear picture of what your living expenses are and what you need to spend on essentials, you will feel more in control.  And as your baby comes to take up more time, you will have this crucial area organized.

How Much Money Can You Save By Upcycling Stuff?

Upcycling simply means converting useless or old materials or products into something new and of better quality. What you convert can come from anywhere–your home, your office, or even skip diving.

It’s easy to imagine that you don’t possess the skills to upcycle stuff. The truth, however, remains that upcycling isn’t as complicated as you think. Using Google search and YouTube, you can discover various homemade guides on upcycling one thing into another.

The big question is: How much can you save through upcycling? The answer to that is a lot. In fact, upcycling can be essentially beneficial to both low income earners who find it difficult to make ends meet and people that are business savvy but don’t have the resources to source raw materials.

Upcycling can thus become an alternative to a personal or small business loan or, perhaps, a means of earning extra cash or reducing expenses in order to meet up with loan repayment. This, however, doesn’t diminish the importance of loans. In fact, you can combine a small personal loan, with upcycling and a garage sale towards funding a holiday or your wedding. However, always make sure you understand your loan completely before going ahead with it.

This is not a joke. People have done similar things. In Oakland, America, for instance, an artist combines skip diving, upcycling, and funds from donations to cheaply build small shelters for the homeless in his community. If he can achieve so much through upcycling, then you shouldn’t find it difficult to either save some money by upcycling your old items or make extra cash by combining skip diving, upcycling, and a garage sale.

Let’s look at ways you can save by upcycling stuff

With upcycling, you can turn just about anything into something else or something new. Below are some great examples.

  • Instead of buying new shoes, you can dye your old ones to bring out their appeal and sheen.
  • Convert a groundnut butter jar into a piggy bank.
  • Cut and sew old jeans into shopping bags.
  • Using sandpaper and stain, you can sand and re-stain your old furniture to bring out its beauty.
  • Don’t throw away your old clothes and towels. Neither should you waste money buying cleaning cloths. You can turn the former into the latter. Cut out any buttons, zips, waistbands… and you are good to go.
  • Build your dog a kennel using wood from your old furniture. You can also make a bed for the dog using fabric and padding from your old cushion.

Your upcycling options are limitless. It doesn’t mater if you don’t have the skill required to pull off a particular upcycling idea. There’s always the internet and the wealth of free information it contains. Always remember, it’s wasteful to spend on new products or items when you have the means to upcycle and save money.

New Moms Need To Take Care Of Themselves Too

Being a new mother is awesome; nobody can deny it. There is no feeling like it any way or anywhere else in the world. And as a new mom, you tend to want to sacrifice everything for baby, which is good and great and all, but you have to remember to take care of yourself too.

Many new mommies make that cardinal error of just living for and through their babies, and forgetting that they are still human beings too. And ultimately, the better you keep yourself, the more capable a mother you are going to be in the long run, in the grand scheme of things.

The first order of business for any new mother whatsoever should always be to get your support network set up. Obviously baby and you will be spending tons of time together, but it also can’t be 24/7. You need your own time, and it’s only natural that baby gets exposed to your own inner circle of people you trust right from the beginning, too.

How do you spend that time? Keep up with physical exercise, I’d say that’s an absolute number one priority. Visit friends with and also without baby in tow. Shop. Take walks. Eat out. And keep up your appearance; it’s a habit that there is no need to drop for any reason.

Let baby grow up proud of his or her momma still looking like a goddess no matter what. Keep dressing for beauty; it may feel counter-intuitive at first but in the end it will make you feel more positive about yourself and your life, and will give others an absolutely spectacular impression of you.

The other aspect is your mind. The better you take care of your alertness, the easier it is to keep up your appearance. A new trend are smart drugs. A new mom could think about what it would mean to buy modafinil and the benefits to the brain.

Don’t be afraid to lay down the necessary money on taking care of yourselves. For example, don’t start wearing trailer-trash makeup because you think you need to save money; save it some other way. Use good stuff. This line from Osmosis Skin Care for example, will keep you looking as fresh as you ever have before for years to come.

The bottom line is, if your child sees you staying strong and fighting to be the best version of yourself, he or she will invariably imitate you by doing the same. This is the most valuable lesson a child can ever learn from his mother. Children learn first and foremost through imitation. This is why when you are serious about yourself, you should never feel like you’re being selfish. Remember you are setting an example here.

Things New Moms Need on their Phones

First off, one thing I think a new mom does NOT need on her phone at all is any kind of baby monitoring software. A new mom needs a support network so that 100% of the baby care doesn’t fall on her shoulders. She should be able to be free to go about without having the psychological burden of having to check up on baby 24/7. That’s not healthy. So new moms, if you have it, the recommendation is to DELETE it.

Secondly, everybody these days needs a good antivirus on their phone. While it’s true that this software does take up a little CPU and memory from the phone, it prevents that horrible slow death phones often suffer from where they just get slower and slower and slower….

Now that we’ve gotten beyond that, the next things new moms should have are apps for online ordering of whatever you need. Hey, it’s 2017! You don’t have to get into traffic anymore to get your essentials, and when you have an infant in the house, the essentials are many and need to be replaced frequently. Set up things with your favorite retailers so that things just come to you. This can and maybe should include groceries, depending on how picky you are.

Aside from that, I’d definitely recommend that new moms get a reader app (Kindle or similar) on their phone and keep it well stocked with light reading to taste. There is nothing better than taking advantage of baby going to sleep by doing some reading and edifying yourself. Don’t forget to keep your music streaming up to date too.

Do you have any other suggestions for must-have apps for new moms? Please feel free to leave a comment in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you.