How to Budget When You’re Expecting A Second Child
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Yay, another baby is on the way! But, now what? Having a second child may seem pretty scary when you think about it, but you’ve got this. Let’s talk about how to budget things around the house when you’re expecting a second child.
Don’t Rush to Upsize
Usually, the first thought that comes shortly after finding your second child is on the way is, “Do I have enough space?”, while your current home may not be as big as you hoped, the space can probably accommodate a growing family. Think twice about upsizing when a second baby is on the way unless it’s completely necessary. Always bear in mind, babies themselves don’t need a lot of space. Hold out on upsizing until your kids are a bit older and you’d like them to have more space to enjoy.
If your heart is set on a larger space, be sure to sit down and make a proper budget to ensure you can afford to absorb the new expenses that come with a bigger space. Another great course of action is to speak to a professional financial adviser to gain a true understanding of your current finances.
If you’re considering a new car, think about getting a well-maintained used car instead. You’ll still get the space upgrade that you’re looking for but won’t have to worry about a higher monthly payment for your car note or insurance.
Keep the Nursery Simple
Keep your baby’s nursery simple and functional. We’re not saying to only have a crib and changing station by any means. Add personality to your baby’s nurse with adorable nursery decor and functional items that you can transition to toddler gear or pass down to other family members.
Keep Furniture Expenses Low
Tying into point number two, keep furniture expenses low. The reality is, kids grow incredibly fast. Shop discount kids furniture to ensure your kids are comfortable while they’re adorably tiny, while also avoiding spending tons on furniture that they will only be able to enjoy for a short period of time. While discount furniture is much more affordable, you and your family will still enjoy quality products that add value to your home and lives.
Don’t Overthink Baby Gear
These days, there are thousands of cool baby gear and gadget options. However, if you already have one child, we’re pretty sure you’ve figured out that having an abundance of baby gear is simply not necessary. If you have items in good condition from your first baby, it’s time to pull them out of the closet and put them to use. You can use baby carriers, strollers, and even car seats for your second baby—of course considering they pass the necessary safety requirements.
Weigh Childcare Options
Regardless of your location, childcare is usually expensive. And if we’re being honest, how expensive childcare truly is, is often a big shock to most new parents when they find out. Weigh your childcare options and consider which may work best for you and your family. If a trusted family member or friend can offer free or low-cost babysitting, that’s definitely a route you should explore.
In other cases, it may be more affordable for a parent to become a Stay-at-Home or Work-from-Home parent in order to cut back on daycare costs. Of course, this option can be a huge sacrifice for both parents. While you’re saving on childcare expenses, one person is not able to make advancements in their career and the other is now absorbing all of the family’s living costs on their own. Take time to discuss the pros and cons of all of your childcare options in great detail as soon as you can.
Be on the Lookout
Even if you think you’ve planned every detail, there are a few sneak expenses you need to watch out for. While budgeting for new baby’s, grocery and utility costs are often overlooked. If you’re planning to buy formula, baby food, diapers, and other associated costs with newborns, they can quickly rack up points on your grocery bill.
If you’re able to, scout out different stores and find the best prices for the items your new baby will need before their arrival. Even if you’re planning to exclusively breastfeed, prepare homemade purees, and use cloth diapers, all of these parenting options also require additional grocery and utility costs.
Whether you have children or not, an emergency fund is a non-negotiable factor for all families. Plan to have and maintain an emergency fund, retirement fund, leisure or travel fund, savings fund, college fund, and any other family funds you may feel are necessary for you and your children to have a higher quality of life. Keep your funds separated from your daily expenses and be disciplined. If you’re in desperate need of a family vacation, you should not have to tap into your retirement fund.
Even if you’re not able to add thousands of dollars into each fund every month, we still encourage you to have them. Putting $50 into your funds as often as you can, is much better than having them at a balance of $0.00.
Plan for Medical Costs
Being blindsided by a hefty medical bill is not fun and unfortunately, giving birth can become an expensive experience. Prepare and plan for your medical costs as much in advance as you can. Pregnancy involves frequent doctor’s visits, copays, standard insurance payments, and more. Prior to becoming pregnant with your second child, have a discussion with your insurance to ensure you fully understand your coverage and policy.
You’ve Got This Mama!
Alright, now that we’ve discussed the facts, it’s time to take a deep breath. Whether you’ve planned for a second child or it’s a complete surprise, please understand that you’ve got this mama! Plan for as much as you can and try your best to handle the things you may not have expected.