Having a baby is not cheap.  For most people, setting up for baby and taking time off work to stay home with the newborn is a major stretch on their available resources.

Being organised, clear on what you have and what you want are important steps to being as comfortable and prepared as you can be.

The overriding principle - set your priorities.  Whatever the task, know what your priorities are.

  • Understand what you spend every month.
  • Get your house in order – quickly. Understand your outgoings, potential      savings, and any incoming moneys you will have while on parental leave.  Money causes stress and a lack of it means you lose control (of your own life).  Make sure that you know exactly what you need.
  • Work out what you need for a comfortable parental leave based on your essential expenditures, spending money and safety net for unexpected expenses.
  • Set out the saving plan and stick to it.  Be realistic but be firm with yourself. Sticking to your plan may mean having an extra month or two of leave to spend with your baby.
  • If parental leave will make finances a bit of a strain, consider stockpiling non-perishable household items while you are working (e.g. cleaning products). Stockpiling non-perishable items means there is a whole range of products you won’t need to keep buying when you are on leave.  Buy extra product every time you go shopping while you still have two incomes and your stockpile will grow      fairly quickly without too much additional pressure. You can also save a bit on these products by keeping your eye out for sales and discounts in various stores.  You will be surprised how much you can save.
  • Know what your entitlements are from Family Assistance – make the most of the      government support available through either baby bonus or parental leave      payments.  Make sure to plan for these effectively. Whilst we are a long way behind Europe with respect to parental leave payments, it’s great to have some money coming in.
  • Set the budget for the nursery – it is what it is. There are pre-loved purchase options and rentals available if you are don’t have enough to get exactly what you want form the high street stores. There are some things that you do not want to buy second hand (car seat/s and mattress) but there are plenty of things that can either be bought pre-loved, rented or that can wait until the major sales are on.  
  • Utilities, mortgages and other household costs – now is the time to re-evaluate      suppliers and make sure you are getting best value for money.
  • Make sure that your estate planning is up to date – life insurance and a will.