Baby budget - Money mistakes new parents make

It’s no secret that having children can completely change the way you live, and your perceptions of life around you.

So, to help you get your head (and new baby budget) around this new lifestyle, here’s a list of some of the new parent money mistakes to avoid, and some suggestions for what you could do instead.

Tip 1: Don’t forget the milk

We start with the age-old and often forgotten shopping list, where the key to having one is sticking to it. Tips for a budget-friendly shopping experience include:

  • Make sure everyone coming shopping has a full tummy beforehand. Seriously.
  • Check your pantry and fridge - if there are lots of leftovers or jars going off, try not to buy them again.
  • When you only need one of something, don’t buy three just because they’re on special (unless it’s nappies).
  • Try not to pay for convenience if you can help it – but if buying pre-cut carrots will help keep you sane, then go ahead.

Tip 2: Don’t let sleeping dollars lie

Spending time looking into some of the drier things in life like insurance isn’t exactly high on most people’s priority list (especially with a new family) but, it can be well worth it in the long run. Here are some things to research, to help you save money down the track:

Tip 3: Don’t leave your budget out in the cold

When your lifestyle changes, things outside your budget can crop up. If you have a partner, it’s a good time to sit down with them and agree how to best manage your money together. Here are some tips for your budget:

Tip 4: Don’t rely on your credit card

Credit cards can be convenient but they’re often more expensive than other loans because they usually have higher interest rates1. Plus, people tend to spend more than if they’re just taking out cash.

You also need to pay interest on any amount that hasn’t been paid off. So, to help get on top of your budget, make sure you pay down your credit cards first, and try to pay more than the minimum repayments. For more info, check out our article how can I be smarter with my credit card.

Tip 5: Make sure you have an emergency fund

One in eight Australians don’t have enough money set aside to cover a $100 emergency2. And, you don’t ever want to be in a position where you’re stranded with your little one.

An emergency fund can give you peace of mind and reduce the need to rely on high interest borrowing options. Get some pointers on how to set one up.

We’re here to help

Our starting a family education module and article on preparing for a baby financially both provide additional information to help you get prepared.

And if you’d like to speak to an expert about getting your finances in order, call us on 131 267 or use our find an adviser tool.

Don’t give up

It can be really tough learning how to be a new parent and juggling all the different hats you need to wear. Fortunately, there’s a lot of support around – sometimes it’s just about knowing where to go.

If you’re struggling financially, here are some free information sources you may want to access:

   
ASIC's MoneySmart www.moneysmart.gov.au
National Association of Community Legal Centres  www.naclc.org.au
Financial Counselling Australia www.financialcounsellingaustralia.org.au
Department of Human Services 

https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/families

or search for family support in your state

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