New Parental Skills: Budgeting Basics

Welcoming new life into the world is not small task to prepare for. Whether long planned for or a sudden surprise, becoming new parents is a sea-change for your life experience that will adjust how you think, feel, and plan for the future. It’s a life adjustment that touches almost every part of your daily life. With so much change, it can easily feel overwhelming. But just like anything you’ve mastered – from bike riding to texting to the perfect $20 gas pump – it takes a bit of exploration and learning to understand the change, and then a desire to achieve it.

It might be true that there’s no time in your life where it’s been more important to make sure your finances are organized. Before additional expenses come onboard like furnishing a nursery or pediatric care, take stock now of where your finances, your budget, and your credit stand. If looking over your financial state of affairs tells you things aren’t in perfect order, you’ll still have time to make positive changes before your new addition arrives.

As a new parent, budgeting becomes an even bigger priority as you have to stretch your money to cover more people, and more future to plan for. Dance camp, science fairs, weekend trips to see grandparents, band photos – the list of baby-no-more expenses rolls on. This is the time in your life when organizing your finances has never been more important.

For example, if you use the “envelope budgeting” method, where you set money for each budget category in an envelope, you will now need to set money aside for diapers, pediatric care and other baby expenses. Other items, such as your grocery budget, will also increase as the size of your household expands. If you need to think about childcare costs, as many do, you’ll have the added flexibility from considering a date night out, to having both parents return to the workforce. But it’s an option that also carries costs associated – whether its paying for the services of a babysitter or nanny to the costs a family member might incur when they come to help for however long.

You may also want to start setting money aside for your child’s education. And your educational options don’t just start at the college level: you may consider enrolling your child in a private school – which carries additional costs of its own. At the same time, it’s also never too early to start planning how to pay for college.

Learn more about budgeting for a baby because now you’re on the road to having a whole other person to think about, care for – and pay for!

This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.