You don’t have to become penny-pinching parents once your baby comes along, but for most of us our lifestyle does become somewhat scaled back. Dropping back to one income for a period of time can be tough, so here are some clever ways to help keep your family’s costs down.
1. Invest in convertibles (not the car variety!)
I’m talking about convertible baby goods – like furniture and prams, that will see you through the newborn, toddler, infant and preschool years. Buying a cot, change table or nursing chair that can be used beyond its initial purpose will mean that significant outlay will be well worth it. There are dozens of amazing cots on the market that convert from bassinet, to cot, to toddler bed – and some even beyond that, to a desk.
Likewise, purchase a pram that can be used as a travel system with a car seat, and later on a toddler seat. You’ll use it throughout your little one’s early years, and be able to put it back into use with subsequent children. Or, if you’re planning to have your children close together, purchase a pram that has a tandem option.
2. Hire it
If you’re really looking to claw back some dollars, why not hire your baby equipment? There are a host of companies that now provide this service, and you can hire everything from a baby carseat to breast pumps. It means you’re not slugged with a large financial outlay, making it a little easier on the family budget.
3. Keep it neutral
While it’s incredibly exciting finding out the sex of your baby (either while in utero or at birth), try not to rush out and buy a wardrobe full of newborn clothing aimed specifically at one sex. Unisex clothing can be used for any children you have in the future (and trust me, it will still be like new – newborns are only fleetingly little!).
There’s really no need to buy too much newborn clothing at all. Most babies fit into newborn sizes for such a short amount of time. Just invest in a few key, unisex pieces that will get you through the first few weeks (onesies, singlets, pants and tops). You will no doubt be given dozens of cute outfits, so no need to break the bank.
4. Review your providers
With your family about to grow, it’s the perfect time to revisit your essential service providers. Sounds boring, right – but trust me, it’s well worth the effort of shopping around to see what sweetener providers are offering.
Take Lumo Energy, which has the Advantage Premium package, which can save families up to 33 per cent off their electricity bill and 17 per cent off gas just by paying on time and opting into direct debit and e-billing (for Victorian customers)*. It’s money for jam. And if you want to get an idea of what you could save by switching to Lumo, you can even get an estimate based on your current electricity and gas bills.
And here’s the kicker – Lumo Energy has an online rewards program called Lumo Ameego, which can get you discounts on things like movie tickets, fuel, groceries and travel. It’s well worth weighing up whether switching providers might save you money, and give you the ability to keep doing the things you love, because you can get them at a cheaper price.^ You can even give the Ameego online calculator a spin, to see what you could save using the rewards program, over the course of a year.
5. Set up direct debits
Many essential service providers have a direct debit option to pay your bills. This is one of the smartest moves our family made once we started having children. It often means we’re ahead in our bills, so there’s plenty of wiggle room. Talk to your local council, as they many offer this same service for house rates. And unlike paying insurance by the month by direct debit, you’re not charged any extra to pay your bills this way.
So, with just a bit of leg work and research, you can make the transition to one income and another mouth to feed a little less painful on the hip pocket. And the best thing is, you can begin researching these easy tips to fit into your family’s lifestyle before your little one arrives, without even leaving home!
*Eligibility, terms and conditions apply, and vary by state. Full terms and conditions and Energy Price Facts Sheets are available at Lumo Energy.
^Terms and conditions available at Lumo Ameego.
(This is a sponsored post for Lumo Energy)