You’ve finally come back to Earth from the initial rush of the good news, and now reality is sinking in. You want to make sure that you, your family, and your budget are ready to receive your next bundle of joy, so you want to know what you can do now to prepare.
As with most other big financial goals, this one is going to start with paying off debt and freeing up as much disposable income as you can. To help make sure you don’t forget anything, we’ve put together this list of ways you can make sure you’re financially ready for Number Two to join the family.
Consider If Upsizing Is Necessary
Many people will automatically look at upgrading their home to include another bedroom, or their vehicle to include another seat or row of seats. If you find that you absolutely do need to upgrade, consider when it makes sense to do so, since you may be entering into years worth of payments. Can your kids share a room for a while? Is there a different car seat that would fit better in your present vehicle?
Be Reasonable About Baby Gear
This isn’t your first rodeo. Remember all the sweet baby gear you picked up and were gifted, that you ended up barely using? Don’t spend hundreds or more on new clothes that are only going to fit for a couple of months, when hand-me-downs or hitting the thrift store can fill the same dresser for just a few bucks.
Evaluate Your Childcare Options
If you already have one child, you know childcare is a major expense. Begin planning for childcare now, and shopping around if needed. Some options will offer discounts for subsequent children, but even with those, some people decide to become stay-at-home parents to eliminate the expense entirely.
Brace For The Grocery Bill
Once the new baby gets here, your grocery needs will change immediately. Even if nursing, the baby may need formula for traveling or supplements. Once they are out of the formula stage is when the real damage will start, so be sure you’ve got the wiggle room in your grocery budget to feed another small human. You may also consider bulk buying before the birth, so there is a cache of supplies ready.
Emergencies Will Happen
An emergency fund is always good to have, and now that you’ve got two kids depending on you, you should start putting away a few dollars here and there into a savings account or short-term investment. An emergency will eventually happen, and with two children those emergencies can become very expensive. Having a fund that you’ve already started can help cushion the blow.
You’ve Been Here
When it comes down to it, a baby is coming and your budget needs to be flexible and prepared. You’ve been here before. Take your time to think about all of the changes your finances endured when Baby One came, and try to cover all of the same bases. You won’t be able to prepare for everything, but every little bit helps.