Baby budget: How to pay for that bundle of joy

It seems as though there has been a celebrity baby boom in 2014. With the recent news that Canadian Ryan Gosling and his partner, Eva Mendes, welcomed their first child into the world, Consolidated Credit looked into what other celebrities became parents in 2014. The list includes such names as:

– Megan Fox

– Gwen Stefani

– Simon Cowell

– Drew Barrymore

– Mike Meyers

– Kelly Clarkson

– Jimmy Kimmel

– Christina Aguilera

Although these wealthy celebrities may not have the same financial pressures as the rest of us, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada executive director, Jeff Schwartz, has some advice for all new parents –

“From a financial perspective, the great thing about having a baby is that you have nine months to prepare for it!” jokes Schwartz. “From the moment you hear the good news, start thinking about how to budget once the little bundle of joy arrives. A well-thought plan will help you stay out of debt when you have the added expense of taking care of a child.”

For all the expecting parents out there (I’m looking at you, Prince William and Princess Kate), Consolidated Credit has some tips for how to make the financial transition to parenthood:

Nine months of preparation – As the big day approaches, you may need to brush up on how to budget your money with the addition of a new member to the family. For those welcoming their second or third child to the fold, you probably already have an idea of how much a new child costs. But for first-timers, reach out to your more experienced friends and family for things like debt advice, saving money tips and how to avoid credit card debt when raising a child (additionally, Consolidated Credit also offers a free booklet called Money Savers for New Parents).

Borrow, beg and steal (well, maybe not steal) – One of the frustrating things about raising a child is the cost of clothes and toys, which are both things that your little one will grow out of and render useless in pretty short order. Thankfully, there are people all around you who have gone through the same situation and probably have boxes of these things collecting dust in their basement. Ask around and see if you can take some of this stuff off their hands and give it a second life. Living debt free starts with staying out of debt in the first place – and utilizing free or discounted products is a great first step.

The childcare conundrum – Childcare expenses can take a bite out of anybody’s income, so it’s important to look for savings if you can find them. First, make a decision if mom or dad is going to stay home and take care of your baby instead of returning to work. Make sure you’ve prepared for this decrease in income. If you plan to continue working, you’ll need to have someone take care of your beautiful baby boy or girl. Start researching early to find a childcare centre that offers the best combination of affordability, trustworthiness and standards that you want for your child. You should be able to fit it into your baby budget if you plan accordingly and this will help you avoid dealing with debt down the road.

If you want to learn more about making responsible financial decisions, check out Consolidated Credit’s free Personal Finance educational section. If you’re struggling with debt, call one of our trained counsellors today at 1-888-402-9720 for a free debt analysis.

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