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Baby-proof your budget

Babies may be beautiful, but they’re not cheap. With this in mind, the more opportunity you have to plan financially before your new arrival the better. Here are some steps that could help get you on your way.

Get a clear picture of your current financial situation 

Where does your money go? If this will be your first child, knowing where you spend money may not have been a priority, but with the arrival of a new baby you may be facing a lot of new (and ongoing) expenses. 

A budget may help you identify areas where you could cut back on your spending. 

Look for where you could cut back spending in your budget 

This will mean different things to different people. Perhaps you’ll get used to cutting down on eating out as often or ordering takeaways. Or maybe it’s going home after just one after-work Friday drink (they can add up pretty quickly). 

Start thinking about baby costs 

Once you’ve identified where you can cut down on spending, you may have a better idea of how much money is left over to start planning for your baby. Here’s a list of what you’ll likely need to budget for before your baby arrives: 

Furniture and accessories 

  • Crib

  • Car seat

  • Stroller

  • High chair

  • Changing table

  • Cot or bassinet

  • Baby bath. 

Clothing and supplies 

  • Nappies

  • Food and formula

  • Clothes

  • Baby linen

  • Change table supplies

  • Bottles

  • Bath supplies. 

The list might seem daunting (and endless) but keep in mind you don’t have to buy everything new – you could make big savings by buying pre-loved items. 

Don’t forget medical bills 

Aside from decking out the nursery and stocking up on supplies, there are likely to be some ongoing expenses in the first year that you’ll need to take into account. The most obvious of these are medical bills. Now might be the time to review your private health insurance as not everything may be covered by Medicare. 

Know your costs? It’s time to get saving 

Look for an account that’ll pay bonus interest when you meet certain conditions, such as making a minimum deposit and not making any withdrawals within a month. 

Are you eligible for government assistance? 

Do your research to see if you’re eligible for any government help – it could make a huge difference. This includes potential government benefits such as Parental leave Pay^, Family Tax Benefit^ or Dad and Partner Pay^. 

^© Commonwealth of Australia.