If you are used to spending more and saving less as a couple, planning for a baby will mean you need to curb your spending habits to set aside more money for your child.
This does not mean that you should stop buying new clothes or going on holidays altogether. But you do need to make sure that you do not spend beyond your limit. Here’s how:
• Save before your spend:
Discipline yourself to put aside a percentage of your income into a baby savings fund the minute you receive your pay.
• Set aside money for the “necessities”:
After deducting the savings, set aside money for the “necessities” first. By “necessities”, we mean expenditure that you cannot avoid paying, such as utility bills, rental, phone bills, groceries, insurance and transport expenses.
• Clear all debts:
After allocating money for the “necessities”, start clearing debts, such as paying for housing or car loan instalments or paying off your credit card bills in full.
• Budget for the “good-to-have”
You have paid for the necessities and cleared all your bills and debts for the month and you still have some money left over? Good for you! Now’s the time to reward yourself (prudently) by getting those “good-to-have” items. These include movies, clothes, cosmetics, skincare products, fine dining, spa and other expenses that to help you to “feel good”.
Remember, you don’t have to spend all the balance of your earnings on “feel-good” items. If there’s any leftover money, you can always channel it back to the baby savings fund or better still, to your own personal savings for a rainy day.