If you thought that planning for your first baby was tough, try getting your finances into shape for the next one.
While many families choose to have more than one child, it can be difficult to adjust your budget so that you feel comfortable paying for more than one hungry youngster.
Whether you're simply trying to make ends meet when it comes to paying for nappies, food, and clothing, or you want to make sure that you have enough cash left over to create a savings account for each child, proper budgeting can be the key to success.
The following tips could help you to have an easier time of preparing for an even bigger family.
1 - Know Your Budget
As always, the easiest way to know how much money you need to find each month to pay for your new bundle of joy is to figure out how much cash you have coming in and going out of your account.
If you need to go back to living on one income for a while, it's important to take this into account when you're budgeting for a new arrival, even if it means you need to seek some assistance.
Sites like Readies.co.uk can help with this. And remember that you can always check out government programs and schemes to find out whether you can get additional support to make ends meet.Once you have your budget in mind, you can start to think about all the expenses that you're going to have to pay for when your new baby comes.
2 - Plan with Your First Child's Expenses
The great thing about planning for a second child is that you already have the experience of budgeting for your first child to guide you. This means that you know, on average, how much you're going to have to spend on milk, baby food, and nappies each month. Create a list of everything you spend which is specifically linked to child costs and add it to the money you need for a monthly income.
Remember, another good thing about already having one child is that you might be able to recycle a lot of the things that you had to buy first-hand for your youngster. For instance, if your first baby grew out of clothes that they left in good condition, you can use those for your second child, along with toys, and other essential accessories.
3 - Look for Support Wherever You Can Find It
Twice the kids mean you're going to need twice the support. To some extent, this will mean turning to friends and family for help with babysitting so that you don't have to constantly pay out for childcare costs. However, there's more help there than you might think.
Think back to all the free things you might have signed up for when you had your first baby. There are plenty of brands that allow new mothers to apply for gift bags with nappies, toys, and essentials in them.
These freebies are still available to you when you have your second child, so make sure that you make the most of them. Keep an eye out for baby-based coupons and vouchers online too!
4 - Look for Additional Sources of Income
With two kids to look after, you might find it difficult to have both parents working at the same time - particularly if you don't have a reliable source of childcare available.
However, that doesn't necessarily mean that you can't find other ways to make money and add to your monthly budget.
The remote working economy and the opportunity to take part in freelance jobs has meant that many busy mothers can earn some supplemental income from their computers at home.
For instance, if you have an eye for the written word, you can sign up to a freelance website and write blogs in your free time. While this might not make you a huge amount of extra money, it could help to pay the bills.
5 - Start Saving as Soon As You Can
Unfortunately, the arrival of a new baby means that you're probably going to have to go back to the drawing board with your budget.
Not only will you need to cut back even further on luxuries, but you'll also have to look for additional ways that you might be able to cut costs by switching utility suppliers and giving up subscriptions wherever you can.The earlier you can start saving up an emergency fund, the better off you will be when your new baby arrives. In fact, you might even find it helpful to sell some of your old belongings online so you can add a little more cash to your savings account.