From Money To Mothering… Looking After Your Family With A Newborn
From the day you discover you are pregnant, the floodgates are opened to a mixed bag of emotions. Joy, sadness, massive highs and crushing lows, and of course, worry. Worry comes in various forms during the pregnancy, and when the baby is born, all the attention goes on their welfare, but the worries may continue to come in the form of money anxiety. There are so many families that are on a single income, and when there’s another mouth to feed the feelings of concern can be magnified, especially when there are so many parents now that are still renting accommodation instead of paying a mortgage. Some work part-time hours because that’s all they are offered, or they are on freelance contracts which don’t have maternity or paternity pay. And with a baby comes a lot of stuff! Car seats, toys, bottle sterilizers, more toys, clothes, and yet more toys! Yet you don’t want to feel that you are spending your baby’s formative early days just panicking about money either. Stress can take its toll on the late nights, early morning feeds, and everything in between, which can cause your relationships to become slightly frayed, which is no surprise due to the lack of sleep. So what is the best way to overcome, not just the financial worries, but the personal ones?
Make The Most Of Your Support… In Every Sense Of The Word
Support doesn’t just mean from the in-laws, although they are a massive help when you need them. Have you checked to see what financial support you can get as a single-income family? Depending on where you are in the world, you could be entitled to an extra top-up which can help with paying a bill or towards rent. Do some digging, and you can find a whole myriad of financial help based on where you live. The problem is that it isn’t usually communicated that well to the public, so get online and search. Everything you are entitled to, you may as well apply for. It could make a massive difference. Income support, child tax support, rent support, whatever support you can get. With the lack of sleep that comes with a newborn, you need as much support as you can from every angle. Communicate to your partner that you are exhausted, or you need to sleep. It’s amazing how many of us bottle up everything and it comes out in a mass breakdown of tears and shouting. The little things mean a lot, and this is for all the men reading too!
Bargain Hunting Needs To Become Second Nature
When you are sleep-deprived, and you need to get some food to satisfy your hungry baby, you are very likely to get the nearest thing to you in the baby food aisle, and you won’t care how much it costs! I get it, we’ve all been there. However, when you look at it from a financial point of view, you can spend so much on baby food it could bankrupt you! I’m not saying spend time looking for the bargains, that is not feasible when you have a baby screaming at the top of their lungs, but you can look online to see where your staple food items are cheap and then you can stock up on them. Baby food has such a faraway “use by” date, that if it is on offer somewhere, then you may as well get as many as physically possible. The same goes for medicines that really come in handy in those first few months, like drops for colic. That way, you aren’t doing the 2 am supermarket dash for baby milk or medicine! Shopping online is a lot easier now too because the big supermarkets deliver to your door. And if you like to shop on the internet, there are ways to get money back through cashback portals like Ebates, which work with a lot of the big-name shopping sites. Getting some money back by shopping for your essentials, either online or just by finding the best bargains is a habit you need to get into. The thing about learning how to save money is very much down to habits, and once that habit is ingrained, you can stick to it easier. Much like trying to get some sleep when you can, make sure you get the bargains when you can also!
Much like when you are looking for bargains, you can stock up on things to make life easier for you down the road. Batch cooking is one of those things that really makes a difference to your life when you have a newborn. It’s something that everyone told you before your baby was born, have a load of meals in the freezer ready because when the time comes, you won’t want to cook! They are right. But it’s not just for ease when you haven’t eaten for 12 hours (not counting those 7 coffees)! It’s also a great way to cut back on unnecessary expenditure. Buying food items in bulk, spending a day cooking them, portioning them up and freezing them is not just a cheap way to have healthy meals, it’s a massive time saver! Your baby won’t sleep, and you have spent over an hour cuddling and singing to them? Your food won’t go cold because you can just put it in the microwave when the baby finally goes to sleep. And it will be the best-tasting meal in the world. Health is the one thing that can go out the window when your child is born. You spend all your time and focus on them that you completely neglect yourself. As a result, you become tired and sluggish, and you cannot be bothered to cook. So what happens? The takeaway brochure comes out, and it’s fatty, fried, MSG-filled stodge that barely fills you and is in no way good for you!
A newborn is the most wonderful yet tiring thing in the world. And the best thing you can do for them and yourself is to cut down on unnecessary stress. Finances are the biggest stress for a lot of us at any point in our lives, but there are simple ways, just like these three methods, to take the edge off, financially and emotionally.