Having a baby with no money? Ok, life is about to get very “interesting” once the baby is almost and then actually here.
How you prepare financially for the baby will play a big part in how smoothly it goes.
Whatever happens, the arrival of a baby is messy, literally and metaphorically so let’s get a few of the financial ducks in a row long before we hear the words “get me to the hospital, NOW!”
How much money should you have before having a baby?
Should is a somewhat loaded word; this all depends on what sort of lifestyle you are expecting or wanting.
- Is it going to be all new designer clothes, furniture, toys and food or something more relaxed?
- Are you expecting to take a long-time off work or put your child into childcare asap?
- Are you expecting any help from family and friends and what form might this take?
You’re probably going to need a spending plan to figure out what it is going to costs for the lifestyle you want.
- What would a basic lifestyle look like?
- What would a comfortable lifestyle look like?
- What would a luxury lifestyle look like?
If you can put a figure on these, it will help you to understand what the gap is.
Once you have guesstimated out what the costs might be and started saving towards it the calmer you can hopefully feel. The more you have saved, the more options you have once the baby is here.
How do I prepare for a baby with no money?
So, if you are in a weak financial position, the good news is that you have approximately nine months to get into a better one. Better start planning now as time will rush by, and before you know it, you are in charge of another human being.
Start with the end in mind
- What would good look like realistically?
- What would not worrying about money look like?
- How much money might you have saved?
- What sort of things do you think you will need to buy and what might they cost brand new and second hand?
- If in 9 months you had sorted everything out, what would you have done?
Once you know what good might look like you can figure out a budget for what they might cost.
|Item||Brand new||Second hand / nearly new||Gift – who could get this for you and when?|
With the above information, you now have nine months to plan financially for when and where you might buy these things. If you spread the costs out over the period, it will be a lot more affordable.
When should you start buying baby essentials? You can do this whenever you feel like it’s the right time. Not too soon as you will start filling up the house but not too late, so it’s a panic. Slow and steady to spread out the costs.
People who say, they sleep like a baby, usually don’t have one.
How to prepare for a baby on a budget
Could you get it cheaper or free? This is a crucial question to consider on every item.
The supply of cheap and sometimes even free baby clothes, toys and basic equipment is endless.
I know it’s hard to believe, but the reason is that so many people have had babies before you. And they like many other people either overestimated or bought what they needed and now don’t want it cluttering up their house anymore.
And would you believe it babies keep growing, so you need to keep replacing what they once fitted in.
Local charity shops, baby groups, NCT groups (national childcare trust), Facebook groups, nearly new sales and on and on…..
With a bit of searching all or some of these can save you a fortune, especially on things your child might wear once(!)
Another trick is to plan out what clothes they will need and when. This is so that when people offer to but clothes you can steer them to what you want and for what season, i.e. buy us winter clothes for a six-month-old – because it will be winter when they are six months old. And not a pair of shorts because they were so cute but won’t fit until its actually winter (agghhhh!!).
What should I do financially before having a baby?
Figure out where you are starting from
Gather all your financial data together
What are your assets?
- Bank and savings accounts
- Pensions (even though you won’t be able to access them it will give you the overall picture)
What are your liabilities and debts?
- Car loans
- Credit/store cards
- Any other loans or repayments
With the above information, you can then figure out where you are starting from.
With these figures, you should be able to calculate what your net worth is, what savings you already have access to and what repayments you need to keep on top of.
“Beware of little expenses; a small leak can sink a great ship.” – Benjamin Franklin, politician
Should I pay off debt or save for baby?
If you have identified any debts, then you need to make sure you keep on top of those repayments.
Who do you owe money to and under what conditions, i.e. how expensive are these debts?
You need to make sure you keep up with the minimum payments to avoid going into further debt with additional penalties and interest.
Think very carefully before going into further debt and put a plan together to manage what you already have.
You could use the debt snowball or avalanched methods to start reducing your debts.
A few things to consider preventing further debts
- Lock away or get rid of your credit cards
- Cut email and social media alerts encouraging you to spend more of YOUR money with the latest hot sale offers.
- Put a spending plan together for where you want your money to go.
If you think no one cares if your alive, try missing a couple of car payments
What to do if you can’t afford a baby?
The first things to do would be to figure out where all your money is currently going.
Is it going where you think it is going and or where you want it to go?
Here’s where a spending plan (cunningly not named a budget) would be handy.
How much do you spend on essentials and how much on your lifestyle?
Tracking your spending either from bank statements and spreadsheet or through apps, will help identify if or where there are leaks.
What opportunities there are for cutting back, reducing, or changing the way or places where you spend your money.
Could you shop at cheaper supermarkets and shops?
On the flip side of cutting down your spending, could you earn more money in preparation for a baby? This could be a job move or more hours to try and increase the incoming funds.
Either way, reducing outgoings and or increasing your income you then need to set up a savings plan to set aside as much money as comfortable to build up your funds to cope with the new arrival.
“You know you’re a mom when you have more baby wipes in your purse than cash.” – Anonymous
Build up an emergency fund – as an emergency is nine months away
For many 3-6 months, living costs are a good starting point for an emergency fund – and a baby might be part of this emergency (or additional to it).
Start saving towards this amount of money in your emergency fund and or your baby fund. Whether you need more might be dictated by how long you think you might be off work.
Set up a sperate bank account and start saving every month towards an emergency fund right now, you won’t regret it.
Sometimes things run smoothly, and sometimes they don’t. Far better not to have money worries on the other side of a baby arrival if you have to have an extended time off work.
“A father is someone who carries pictures where their money used to be.” – Anonymous
What benefits can I claim if I have a baby?
Depending on where you are in the world and who you work for, there might be a number of benefits you can tap into.
- Maternity and or paternity pay and leave
- Family income and or tax relief
- Free or reduced medical bills
The best thing to do is check with your employer and local advice services (UK) as to what might be available in your particular circumstances
Summary: Having a baby with no money. How to financially prepare for a baby
Plan, budget, and save for what you want life to look like when the baby arrives.
Get your paperwork together to understand what you own and owe.
Deal with your debt. Put a plan together to ensure you meet all your minimum payments but also don’t take on any further debt.
Figure out where all your money is currently going and see if you can cut down, cut out or change how much you spend.
Build up an emergency fund of 3-6 months or longer-as an emergency is now on its way.
Figure out what benefits you might be entitled to through your work or government schemes.
As a financial coach, I can help you to think about how to financially prepare for a baby and what your options for budgeting, saving, and investing might be.
Through this education and guidance process, you will be able to make informed choices for yourself and start taking action towards your Financially Happy life now before it becomes even more painful and expensive.
I won’t be recommending specific products or trying to sell any. If you need specific debt or product advice, then a financial advisor might be your best call.
Contact me here for a free chat about what options you might have for making money work for you.