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How to Make your Budget Work After Having a Baby



Having a baby is an amazing experience, but it can also be pretty nerve-wracking too. After all, when you're a first-time parent, you not only have to think about developing strategies to look after your new youngster, but you also need a plan for how you're going to handle the costs of a new baby too. 

If you're earing less as a household because one parent is spending some time away from work with the baby, then you have even more of a budgetary issue to consider. The good news is that with some careful planning and plenty of communication, you should still be able to make your budget work after you've had your bundle of joy. 

Start by Finding Out Where You Can Get Help
Before you can start sitting down and working on your budget, it's important to make sure that you understand where you are in your financial situation. This means learning how much money you're going to get in paternity and maternity leave, and how much help you're eligible for from government schemes. 

In the UK, there are plenty of programmes out there designed to help new parents find their footing in a complex financial situation. Child tax credits and other benefits can make it much easier to manage your income when you're welcoming a new arrival into the world, so speak to an agency like the citizen's advice bureau to see what you might be able to collect. Once you know exactly how much income you can expect, you can begin to work on your family budget. 

Working on Your Family Budget
Often, having a child means making a few compromises. As you start to explore your budget, you'll need to look for ways that you can cut down on the money you've spent up to now. For instance, can you get rid of that rarely used gym membership that you keep promising yourself you're going to take advantage of? 

On the other hand, if you're signed up to several different streaming services, then it might be helpful to cut down to just one service at a time. Work as a family to find places where you can siphon a little extra cash out of your budget. 

Know When You Need Help 
Sometimes, you might find that no matter what you do, you still don't have enough cash for all the things you need to buy. If you didn't exactly plan your pregnancy, or you don't have a lot of savings in your bank account, then you might struggle to pay for all the big items that your baby needs, like a cot and a pushchair

If you need a little help spreading the cost of those expenses out over a longer period, you can always consider looking into a personal loan. A personal loan is a form of unsecured lending that provides you with money you can spend however you like. All you need to do is figure out how much you need, then compare providers to find out which one will give you the best deal on interest and APR. 

Remember to Talk Regularly about Money 
As partners with new responsibilities like a baby, couples need to know how to make decisions together about their future. This means that they'll need to learn how to talk frankly and honestly to each other about money issues. If everyone within a family knows how to talk about money freely, there's less chance that financial surprises and secrets will come back to bite you. 

Make time once a month to sit down and look at the family budget and discuss any changes that might need to be made. During this time, you can also set ground rules, like agreeing not to spend anything over £40 without discussing it with the rest of the family first. 

Find Your Preferred Way of Managing Money
Ultimately, making your budget work when a new child arrives is about finding the solution that works best for you. There are various ways to share a family budget, including: 

* Keeping both incomes separately and splitting the bills equally.
* Sharing everything and making sure that you both contribute to the expenses of your new child
* Divvying up cash into "yours, mine" and "ours".

Ultimately, the key is finding a money management solution that not only allows you to pay all your bills on time but also stops you from arguing about cash when you have more important things to focus on, like your new child.

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