Congratulations! You’re probably reading this because you’ve just got the big news: you’re expecting a baby! Or quite possibly, you’ve known that you were expecting a baby but it wasn’t until just recently that the bliss you’ve been feeling was replaced with panic as you realized you’re soon to be in charge of another human being.
Don’t stress. With the help of your friends and family, as well as emergency resources like Wonga that allow you to get funds quick when the unexpected happens (more information here), you’re sure to be ready by the time your bundle of joy makes its appearance. But to avoid the stress and the unexpected hiccups, try planning ahead.
If you haven’t already, reach out to those closest to you. If you’re having a baby shower, invite guests to bring baby items they no longer have use for, like old high chairs or strollers. Unless they’re planning on having more children, many mothers are willing to part with used baby necessities, even with the sentimental attachment that comes with them. Many would just love to see their children’s things go to someone they care about.
Don’t forget to plan for your parental leave. Depending on where you work, maternity or paternity leaves have different stipulations. However, the money you may be losing while not working is almost certainly going to put a damper on your finances – so make sure you don’t get caught off guard.
Think long and hard before making purchases, too. It’s easy to find secondhand baby items online or in stores, but if you’re dead set on buying new, at least make sure you shop around so you know you are getting the best price. Don’t underestimate how much things like baby formula or diapers will end up costing you and don’t forget to check out stores that sell in bulk. Even better, ask your shower attendees to bring things of this nature instead of toys and clothes.
If you start off with a large stockpile, you’ll save yourself a good chunk of change in the beginning. It’s likely you’ll receive a ton of baby clothes regardless of what you ask for because clothes seem to be the go to gift for someone who doesn’t know what to get you. Wait to buy any baby clothes until AFTER your shower so you’ll be able to see if you need to buy any or if you need to buy clothes in a certain size (it’s better to go big than buy a closetful of newborn sized onesies and have a child that fits into something much larger).
And it’s never too early to start saving for your child’s education. If your family is unsure of what to buy you, suggest bonds or set up a savings account they will be able to deposit into. A savings account will also help for the next few birthdays and Christmases when you’ll receive more toys than you know what to do with.