Saving before your baby arrives.
Saving before your baby arrives.
Adding another member to your family is an incredible moment for any parent, one full of love and excitement. However, it can also be a bit nerve-racking, especially when it comes to finances in the first year. When your little one arrives, there’s another mouth to feed, baby clothes to buy, childcare to consider and a new life to care for. These additional expenses might mean it’s time to start saving money from your household income before your baby arrives.
Organising your finances, when you’re planning to have a baby.
Some parents can get their savings in order ahead of their pregnancy, whilst others may have less time to plan and begin budgeting. For some of us, it can be a joyful, little surprise. In either circumstance, it’s a good opportunity to take stock, and revise your finances for a more sustainable financial future. Here are some great ways to save money as new parents, which will help minimise any financial stress around your baby's arrival.
Make coffee at home.
The average coffee ordered from a café costs around $4. If you purchase a coffee on average five days per week throughout the pregnancy, this can add up to $800, or $1,600, if there are two of you in the household doing this. Consider making your coffees at home and treating yourself to a café bought coffee occasionally.
Downgrade or reconsider your choice of car.
Some cars can be incredibly expensive to run, especially in big cities. The costs of insurance, registration, fuel, and parking may amount to more than is justifiable for some families. Consider if you could get a more fuel-efficient car or downgrade your choice of car to one that is suitable for your family. Depending on where you live and your proximity to amenities, you may even reconsider if you need one at all. If you are considering buying a car, you may find this car loan checklist helpful.
Replace your gym membership.
Whilst health and fitness are important, a gym membership isn’t always a necessary expense. There are lots of great alternatives, like bodyweight exercises, running clubs and ocean pools, that are completely free.
Ride a bike.
If you haven’t got one, you can pick up a decent bike second-hand for a few hundred dollars, at most. Cycling is an excellent way to save on transport and get your fitness in each day – it’s a win-win!
Cancel your paid subscriptions.
Being able to choose from hundreds of shows and movies at the click of a button is a luxury that's hard to resist. Think about which ones you use most and consider dropping the rest. Remember there are also a lot of free streaming platforms out there, including SBS On Demand, ABC iView, 10 play, 9Now and 7plus.
You might be surprised by how much space your new baby's stuff can take up. You’re going to want to make some extra room around the house. If there’s anything lying around (like an instrument you never learned, a surfboard you can’t ride, or an ornament you don’t even know where it came from), consider having a garage sale or selling items via Facebook Marketplace. You’ll be able to make room in your living areas and earn a few dollars in the process.
Reduce your utility bills.
There are a number of different ways you can reduce the cost of your utility bills. Besides the obvious ones, like turning off lights when you’re not in the room, you might consider changing to a provider who offers more competitive pricing, installing a water-saving showerhead, or adjusting your washing machine settings to cut costs. For further help with reducing your energy bills have a look at guidance from the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.
If your grocery bills make up a big part of your living expenses; you might need to take a look at what you’re buying. Branded products can charge hefty mark-ups and often have the same ingredients as white-label alternatives. You may even consider making your own baby food from fresh ingredients.
More affordable housing.
A baby is a big investment, and under certain circumstances, it might call for big sacrifices. If you are really struggling to save up any money, you might need to look for a more affordable house or apartment.
Automate your savings.
Most banks will allow you to set up a scheduled transfer into a savings or investment account. This means that you can automatically put your money into a baby fund on a regular basis.
Use a term deposit – with all these savings, you’re going to want to protect them. Term deposits are a great way to earn interest on your money while keeping it safe until your baby arrives.
It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Saving for a baby isn’t always easy. It can depend on many factors, like your lifestyle, living demands and budget. But, it’s never a bad idea to be conservative with your spending. It’s better to save too much than too little.
This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice. ©Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714.