So you’ve just found out you’re pregnant and you have a million things running through your mind. Trust me, I know! You’re probably wondering about everything you need to get your little one whether it’s a car seat or crib. Before you begin thinking of everything you need to buy, let’s take a moment and look into the budgeting aspects of having a new baby.
Cutting Back on Unnecessary Spending
When it comes to budgeting, I know this is a subject many of us try to avoid especially when we feel we have enough income, have enough money to buy and do what we want and still have money left over. This may be ideal when it’s only you but getting prepared for a baby, you kind of have to have a different mind set because as you may have already heard..babies are EXPENSIVE! Even if it is only you, budgeting is still a good thing. You’ll be surprised at how much you could save.
If you’re anything like me, when I first found out I was pregnant, budgeting was the last thing that was on my mind. Not because it wasn’t important but I just didn’t think much about it. All I was thinking about day in and day out was getting prepared for the baby, not even understanding or realizing that this was an important factor in “getting prepared.” As I look back, I could have cut back on the amount of money spent on fast food, lowered my cell phone plan, and found alternatives to cable plans in the beginning of my pregnancy. I guess its better late than never, right? I would like to share with you what I believe I could have done differently that could have saved me lots of money and I hope to help you along the way!
Fast Food Spending
Chick Fil-A, Waffle House, Zaxby’s, and there are so many more places that I can name but that’s just to name a few. From 7 weeks when I first found out that I was pregnant, I was eating fast food everyday and in most cases, multiple times a day. I know, that was terrible! Let’s take a look at my fast food spending and break it down.
Just think about it for a moment, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Okay, let’s say for breakfast I ate Waffle House and my meal was about 8 dollars, for lunch I ate Chick Fil-A and my meal was about 7 dollar, and for dinner, I didn’t eat out. In one day, that’s already 15 dollars so let’s multiply that by 7..I spent approximately 105 dollars a week on fast food. If we look at it that monthly, I spent about 420 dollars on fast food! If you are heading down this road, please stop now because you can save so much money. Money that I can guarantee you will need for the new arrival.
It’s so easy to look at small amounts like that and not really think of it as a big deal. By the way, it’s only 8 dollars, right? Yes it is and small amounts add up very quickly as you can see, especially if you aren’t watching what you spend and how often you are spending. As I am writing this post, I’m almost getting angry at myself just seeing that in 9 months I could have saved almost 4,000 dollars or more that went toward fast food! Shame on me!
Re-Evaluating Cell Phone or Cable Plans
If fast food isn’t your thing like it was mine and you are trying to decide where you can cut down costs, try reaching out to your phone and/or cable company to see where you can lower costs. During my pregnancy, I had a phone plan with unlimited everything which was probably the most expensive plan and I also had WiFi and cable. Along with my out of control spending on fast food, I could have lowered my monthly phone plan maybe by 20 to 30 dollars and did away with my cable and just got WiFi but I didn’t think about this at all. See the tips below on how you could maybe cut back on these expensive wireless and cable plans.
- Get WiFi only plan. If you decide to ditch the cable and get a WiFi only plan which you can get from Xfinity or AT&T Uverse for as low as 30 dollars a month , you could use your WiFi to watch television directly from your phone whether it’s YouTube or Netflix or a movie app, which brings me to Tip #2
- Get a Netflix or Hulu account to stream your favorite TV shows and movies. You can get a Netflix account for as low as $8.99/month and depending on how much much streaming you plan to do, you can alter your plan but $8.99 a month is much better than $100+ a month for cable and internet! You can also also try Hulu for $5.99/month, you can’t beat that!
Tip #3:Invest in a Roku or a Fire Stick. Roku sticks can be purchased at Amazon, Best Buy, or Target for 30 dollars, in store or online. There are some that are more expensive, it just depends on what you prefer. Fire Sticks are a bit more and can also be purchase from Amazon or Best Buy for 40-50 dollars. You can sometimes catch them on sale on Amazon. I think this is a great investment and a great alternative to spending all that money on cable each month! You can watch live television, movies, television shows and much more!Roku Express | Easy High Definition (HD) Streaming Media Player Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote, streaming media player (Includes $45 Sling TV Credit)
Even if you aren’t preparing for a baby you could still use the tips I mentioned to lower your monthly costs. Sometimes we look at the small amounts we spend daily and don’t realize how quickly they can add up over time and sometimes we have unnecessary bills that we can really eliminate or re-evaluate. I hope you enjoyed reading this and I hope that I provided some useful tips!