Any parent would agree – adding a baby to the family is one of the greatest blessings in the world. Every parent should be cherishing those precious days, weeks and months, watching their little one grow without financial stress. But, for many families, this is not the case.
Adding to the family means added costs and often a loss of one income for a certain amount of time. While there are government programs to help with the costs of a new baby, almost all couples will need to sit down and have the ‘chat’ about how to ensure the family funds are staying out of the red.
So make a cuppa, grab some bickies and let’s get our finances in order… one baby step at a time. In the long run, you could be looking at thousands of dollars in savings.
Host play dates at home
Rather than go out for coffee or lunch, invite your friends over to your house. Ask everyone to bring a plate and set up an area in the house or the backyard where the little ones can roll, crawl and play together.
Shop second hand
You’ve got the cot set, the mobile, the pram, but during the first year, your little one will require so much more! Clothes, toys, bottles, bibs, food, medication – and while some of these things will need to be bought new, others will not have to be. So consider buy, sell and swap pages, second hand shops and websites like Gumtree for extras you need during the year.
Double check your energy bills
You can expect your energy costs to increase when you have a new baby as you have another room to either keep cool or warm depending on the time of year and where you live. You will also be home a lot more and may have air conditioning or a heater running during the day. And that’s before we even start talking about all the extra loads of washing!
Lumo Energy is one of the most competitive providers on the market for those living in Victoria, South Australia and Queensland. You could save up to 33 per cent on your energy bill when you pay your bill on time,* plus, their Lumo Ameego program offers you great discounts on movie tickets, restaurants, groceries, fuel and travel.*
Set up an emergency fund
You never know when the fridge might stop working. But it will most likely happen the day you have just done a massive grocery shop and you will be forced to eat $200 worth of food in one day. Having a little money put to the side will make all the difference when disaster strikes.
Buy what you need, not what you want
The best way to do this is to make lists, before you go to the chemist, the supermarket or anywhere else. If it’s not on the list, then you don’t need it. Lists have the added benefit of helping you to remember everything in the fog of life with a newborn.
Consider swapping to modern cloth nappies
Modern cloth nappies are not for every parent but there are quite a few benefits to making the switch. The overall layout may be a little more than your disposables, but you can expect to save thousands over the course of two years.
The estimated cost of disposable wipes and nappies for two and a half years adds up to $3,339 while the total cost of wipes, nappy inserts and coverings as well as laundering for two and a half years is calculated at $1395.
Create a spreadsheet for the entire year
What’s coming in? What’s coming out? What can go completely? Consider everything – weekly fuel, groceries, nappies, gym memberships, insurance, entertainment, birthday presents and maintenance costs.
Ensure your insurance is at the best rate
Insurance is a killer! While it’s essential to have car, house, contents, medical and income protection, these annual fees add up quickly.
Before you simply pay the renewal fee, have a quick squiz online to see if other companies provide a better rate. Or contact your provider directly and see what they can do for you.
Set up a ‘milestone’ saving jar
Most parents will track their baby’s progress during the first year with a baby book and photos. Add another one to the list – contribute a certain amount of money for every month that passes with bub. Consider it your ‘reward’ for surviving yet another month!
For example, if you add $10 for month one, $20 for month two, $30 for month three, and so on, you’ve got yourself $780 at the end of the first year.
Or… a number three jar!
Any time bub does a number three, add $5 to the jar and do not touch the funds until the end of the first year! We’re guessing you’re going to have quite a bit of extra cash to play with at the end of the year.
Take the first step to savings with a new bub. Have a look at how much you could save through Lumo Energy, just for paying on time. When your finances are in order, there will be less time spent worrying about money and more time to enjoy those precious moments, late night cuddles and adorable ‘firsts.’ And this is what the first year with your little one is all about.
(This is a sponsored post for Lumo Energy)
*Eligibility, terms and conditions apply and vary by state. Full terms and conditions and Energy Price Facts Sheets are available at Lumo Energy.