Trying to keep on top of a family budget is difficult, and a new arrival can add a lot of financial strain to the family. Although it may seem like it is impossible to stay on top of mounting costs, there are things you can do to keep your expenses down and stay in control. Here are some of the ways that you can cope with the costs of a new baby.
Plan Your Meals
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A lot of families waste unnecessary by buying food from expensive convenience stores because they have run out of the cheaper food from the supermarket. They might also be eating out because of bad planning. If you make a weekly meal plan, you can buy all of the ingredients you need at the cheapest prices possible, without having to pop out to expensive shops everyday. This will also help the whole family to eat a lot healthier so it is a win win situation.
Making one weekly trip to the shops will also help you to save money on gas. Taking a daily drive, even if it is only a short journey, can soon add up to a large amount of money.
If you have children already, you can use some of their old clothes for the new baby, rather than buying lots of brand new stuff. You should also ask friends and family if they have anything spare that you could use, this way you can get all of the things you need for the new baby without having to spend a penny.
Pear285 at English Wikipedia [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
If you do need to buy new stuff, try buying wholesale clothing, that are a lot cheaper than buying from standard shops. It is also a good idea to practice your sewing skills and repair small tears in the clothes. This will help you to keep them for longer before needing to buy new ones.
The financial strain of a new baby can be difficult for the whole family, but it doesn’t mean that the rest of the kids have to miss out. Brand new books and toys are very expensive but if you buy them second-hand, you can get them so much cheaper. The quality of second-hand goods needs to be questioned though, because you don’t want to waste money on something that will just break.
Good places to get second-hand things are thrift stores and garage sales, and you’ll be helping somebody clear their house out by buying it too.
Be Energy Smart
One of the biggest outgoing for any family is energy bills, but that doesn’t have to be the case. If you are conscious of the amount of energy that you are using, you can really push those bills down. You can make it into a game for the whole family, seeing if you can beat last month’s record. It is also worth shopping around to see if you can get a better deal from a different provider.
If you follow these steps, you should be able to take on the financial strain of a new baby without sacrificing quality of life.