Cutting Costs When You’re Expecting a Child
There are few things in life that kick you into gear like expecting a child. As soon as you find out that you are going to become responsible for a little one, you have to start being a whole lot more responsible for your own actions. Finances quickly become one of the most major aspects of your life. After all, if you’re in debt, you’re likely to experience stress and hard times – neither of which are good for your child. You want a stable and comfortable environment for them to be raised in. Now, raising a little one is a notoriously expensive experience, so you want to make sure you have as much cash to dedicate to baby-related essentials and extras as possible. The best way to do this is to cut the costs of your current lifestyle. So, you need to make a budget and reduce your outgoings in as many areas as possible. Here’s how to make your budget and a few different areas that you should focus on when it comes to cutting costs!
Creating a Budget
We should always try our hardest to live within our means. However, when you’re starting a family of your own, this becomes an absolute necessity. This can help you to secure a reliable financial path without worrying about sinking into debt. A budget allows us to examine our personal finances, analysing what we are earning and how we should spend it (or perhaps more importantly, how we shouldn’t spend it). When people are unaware of how much they should outlay on certain aspects of their life or how they should divide the money that they have, they end up overspending. So, where should you start? Well, first you should write down your total salary after tax. Once you know your total income, you need work out how much you need to fork out for absolute essentials, including rent or mortgage payments, household energy bills, and food shopping. Deduct this from your salary. The figure that you are left with is your disposable income. This is the money that you have left over to spend on other things that you may want or need. No matter how much you may spend, never exceed your disposable income! Now that you have a budget, let’s look at a few ways to save on the items that come out of your disposable income.
Phones are essential nowadays. We use them to make calls and send and receive messages, sure. But thanks to developments in technology, smartphones play a much larger role in our lives than just this. We can use them to access social media, send and receive emails, carry out online banking, engage with online shopping, apply for jobs, blog, keep track of our calendars, set alarms and timers, and a whole lot more. So, you want to ensure you have the best phone possible without having to pay all too much to a service provider. Check sites like moneypug for comparing mobiles contracts. You want to find a package that has unlimited texts and call minutes, so that you’re not stuck with extra charges for exceeding your limits. Then you should look for sufficient data too, but bear in mind that if you’re connecting to WiFi most of the time, you probably won’t need excessive amounts of data. You will also need an insurance policy, as if you break or lose your phone you don’t want to have to buy a new device outright. However, don’t opt for the first one that comes along. Compare policies and opt for the cheapest one with sufficient coverage.
If there’s one area of family life that you want to wisely invest in, it should be your family vehicle. Now, public transport is brilliant in so many ways. Using public transport can help the environment, prove more cost effective than driving, and can get you from A to B quickly. But at the end of the day, if you’re going to have kids, you can make life a whole lot easier for yourself by investing in a car. You wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to navigate public transport with little ones. Crowded platforms and getting everyone and everything together in time to dismount your train or bus at the right stop can quickly become extremely difficult if your children don’t feel like cooperating and trying to silence a tantrum while trying to avoid the judgemental stares of early morning commuters can send your stress levels through the roof. However, investing in a family vehicle is no small decision and should be something that you think through thoroughly. So, to help you to come to the right decision, here are a couple of areas that you might want to focus on.
Deciding Between New and Used
Driving is expensive enough in and of itself. You have to cover the costs of fuel, tax, insurance, and maintenance on a rolling basis. So, it’s not all too surprising that price can prove to be a huge determining factor when it comes to picking out a new car. We know we have a whole host of other costs that are going to be attached to driving, so we want to make our initial purchase as cheap as possible. However, at the same time we don’t want to cut any corners when it comes to vehicle safety or quality. So, how can we get a good deal without compromising on other important factors in our decision making process? Well, you should remember that purchasing a brand new vehicle means that you have a warranty and that you are less likely to experience major repair costs for worn or faulty parts anytime soon. This can actually save you a whole lot of money down the line. You also don’t have to pay tax on vehicles that are under three years old and insurance is likely to be less too! However, if you can find a used vehicle that has low mileage and a good track record, you could find yourself better off opting for the used option. Remember that new vehicles lose a lot of value the moment you drive them off the forecourt, so if you can find someone who’s changed their mind early into their car ownership, you could find a vehicle that’s essentially new but at a much lower price.
Too Big Is Better Than Too Small
Another way that you can save costs with your vehicle is to choose something that is slightly too big for your needs over something that just about meets your family’s needs. No matter how much room you think will be sufficient for your family, chances are that you are going to need more, whether this is immediately or in the near future. Opting for a vehicle that has more than enough room in the first place is much easier than buying a vehicle that isn’t big enough and having to trade it in every time your family grows or expands.
When people find out they’re expecting an extra addition to their household, they may decide to make a move before the little one arrives. Perhaps their current accommodation isn’t quite large enough for a family, or isn’t very child friendly. It makes sense to move before the baby’s arrival, as moving would be way too hectic once they’re here, kicking, making a fuss, and requiring the bulk of your attention. However, how can you minimise moving costs? Here are a few ideas.
Use Professional Removals
The majority of us think that we can easily move all of our belongings from our current property to our new property ourselves. This would involve renting out a van and shifting things back and forth through multiple trips. But there are several problems with this. First of all, you don’t want to lift and move heavy items yourself when you’re pregnant. This isn’t safe. You are also likely to damage your items, as you won’t have much experience in how to properly arrange everything and how to get things in and out of the van safely. This results in having to fork out for replacements or repairs. So, make use of professional removals to do the work on your behalf. It’s worth the investment.
Offer Payments Up Front
Many estate agents request guarantors for individuals moving into their properties. But these come with checks and fees. Instead, if you save and offer rent up front, you can avoid the extra fees and also give yourself peace of mind knowing that you are secure in your property and don’t have to worry about paying rent for a little while.
These are just a few different ways to save costs when you’re expecting a child. Any savings that you make will be more than worth the time and effort, as they can be put towards your little one and their needs! So, get started with the steps above as soon as possible!