Are you planning to have a baby? Even before you need a pregnancy test, it’s a good idea to make a budget. Write down everything you spend over a month, and note the areas where you could potentially save money. The key to successful household budgeting is realistic numbers and accurate information.
Set up a savings account
The next thing to do is start saving – now! If you've gone back to work since having your child/children, take advantage of your income while you have it, and put as much money aside as you can from each pay cheque.
Pay off debt
Then get stuck into repaying debt. Pay off any credit card or store cards as soon as you can, because even regular small amounts will make a difference. Websites such as www.sorted.org.nz are a great resource for planning a budget and working out ways to reduce your debt.
What to buy for baby
Budgeting doesn’t have to be all about skimping and saving, but more about getting good value for money. What will your tiny baby need in the first three to four months? Stick to the basics, such as a bassinet and bedding, nappies, wipes and cream, changing mat, season-appropriate clothing including hats, a car capsule, a buggy, a nappy bag, and perhaps a few things for the nursery, such as a room thermometer and night light. Ask friends who have had babies what their absolute essentials for the first three to four months were – and remember, this doesn’t include toys! Check out the OHbaby! checklist of what you’ll need for your newborn to figure out what you need and how much it might cost.
Save on your power bill
Power bills can escalate during winter if you’re not careful. It’s worth investigating your heating options: heat pumps deliver the cheapest heat to your home, while wood burners and natural gas flued heaters are next best.
Using a heater and a dehumidifier together will heat a cold and damp room more quickly and cheaply than a heater on its own, and fans help a room warm up faster and distribute the air more evenly.
You can easily compare plans and companies to find the cheapest deal in your area by visiting powerswitch.org.nz