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.
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.
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.