Once you start a family you’ll soon realise that you need to look at your personal finances very differently than you did pre parenthood. Little one’s are expensive, from nappies and wipes in the early days to the mega amount of clothes they go through, clubs and activities and then education costs. Child poverty action say the cost of raising a child in 2021 until they’re 18 has risen to an eye watering £160000.
I thought I’d put together a post full of some of my best budgeting tips. As a single parent budgeting is particularly essential as I’ve no one else’s income to fall back on. To create my budget I initially created a list of my priority bills like rent or mortgage, gas, electric, internet and any other household type essentials I know I need. Don’t forget to include any monthly debt payments in here too. Getting behind on debt payments can completely obliterate even the best budget.
You then need to figure out other necessary monthly payments like car and petrol costs, childcare costs and food. The cost of nappies, wipes, bath products and other baby/toddler essentials really adds up so make sure you factor this into your budget.
Finally whatever you have left needs to be split between savings and disposable income. Savings wise you should aim to have enough money kept away for emergencies, for example if your car was to break down and need expensive repairs or if you were to need to take long term sick from work you’d need some money to rely on while you don’t have an income. As a parent you’ll likely have to take some unpaid sick leave to care for your little one’s so having a safety net so you can focus on them rather than worrying about money will make things much easier. Alongside this, keeping a savings pot to put towards future child costs, whatever they may be is a sensible idea.
For disposable income you want to have money for things like activities for your little one’s, new clothes, treats and days out. Don’t forget to keep a little aside for you too whether that’s for a nice spa day, a trip to the beauticians or even a night in with a takeaway and a new book.
If you’re looking for some more budgeting ideas then click here for some more tips to help you get on top of your finances.
If you’re struggling to save money then a really simple way is to start putting away change. Pick a coin whether it be a £1, £2 or even 20p’s. Every time you have some in your change pop them in a money box. You’ll be amazed how quickly it adds up over the year without feeling the pinch.
If you don’t tend to use cash then you can sign up to a range of different apps that collect change for you by rounding up your transactions to the nearest pound. My favourite is Plum which I’ve written about previously.