Tuesday 22 September 2015

Budgeting after babies.

Becoming a family and having children was truly life changing for Lee and I. From the moment we found out we were expecting our first baby our priorities changed and we embraced the responsibility of being parents.

Many aspects of our lifestyle and routine changed when we became parents, one being the importance of watching our finances and putting the needs of our children before ours. As our baby grew inside of me during the 9 months of pregnancy we swiftly realised that having a child would put a new strain on our finances, with our baby needing baby essentials many of which were costly. Not only would our money be needed for baby things it would be needed to accommodate our child’s growing needs beyond being a baby, from baby throughout childhood all the way to adulthood.

Our spending changed when we became parents, we said goodbye to reckless spending and luxury treats for ourselves and hello to a tight family budget where we had to manage our money carefully and devote our money to all things children related.

Now that we are parents of two children the importance of a careful household budget is even more significant than ever.

As well as keeping a close eye on our budget, tracking our outgoings and incomings, we also try to save money and make our tight household budget stretch further without having to go without by doing a number of things, a few of which are below –

* Shop around for the best deal to save money on things such as insurance, broadband, phone etc.
* Use vouchers and loyalty points to save money or even get things for free
* Snap up bargains during the sales (but only buy things we actually need) and shop around online for discounts
* Buy second hand items from charity shops and online sites such as ebay
* Get advice and tips on how to make our money go further by reading such articles as Legal & General’s budgeting techniques for parents
* Use freecycle to get and give items for free
* Embrace free or very cheap places to visit for fun family days out that don’t affect our family budget

Whilst we have a lovely life, of course if we had more money left over from our budget, or if having to stick to a tight budget was not a necessity because money was not a problem – we can all dream can’t we? – there are a many things I would love to buy and do.

If we had more room in our budget I would firstly love to have a family holiday, a fun filled holiday with my little family where we could make lots of memories and enjoy a number of memorable experiences. I’d also love it if our money stretch so I could get a sibling photo session done, buy fingerprint jewellery to capture my children’s precious prints, buy a Mr Wunderland wrap and treat Bug and Jelly Bean to a few things that they can enjoy and benefit from.

Hopefully one day our tight household budget will stretch a little further (or we will win the lottery) so we can fulfil some of our dreams and treat our little family to a few lovely things, until that day we will manage our budget carefully and do the best that we can and enjoy life as a family.

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