A happy couple lovingly holds their young daughter

6 Budgeting Tips That Yield Financial Freedom for New Parents

Proper management of finances is a pain point for most individuals to the extent that the idea of discussing this subject is not welcome. Unfortunately, those who are not keen on taming their spending habits continue sinking in credit card debts, and financial freedom becomes evasive. Exercising shrewdness in financial matters is not an option especially for new parents who intend to raise their child in the best way possible because parenting comes with new responsibilities.

Here are some budgeting tips that new parents can consider adopting as they adjust to their new lifestyle.

Evaluate and Prepare for A Possible Drop in Income

Understanding the maternal and paternal benefits your employer or state offers is critical for anyone who is set to become a new parent. So, part of the preparations you should make is seeking information on whether there are any benefits you should expect when the newborn arrives. In some cases, some employers have no maternal or paternal benefits for their employees depending on company policies, which suggests that there is no compensation for staff members who take leave from work on such occasions.

Anticipating a possible drop in income can eliminate the shock of becoming a new parent by helping you to budget accordingly in advance.

Proper Management of Expenditures

The joy of welcoming a newborn encourages prospective parents to buy clothes, diapers, wipes, among other supplies they will require after receiving their new bundle of joy. When attending to the basics as first-time parents, you should also consider other unforeseen expenditures that may overstretch your budget.

Some of the additional expenses for new parents include the cost of emergency medical visits, babysitting services, infant daycare expenses, among others. Any strategy that can help you minimize wasteful spending as new parents will go a long way in reducing pressure on your finances.

Research Child Care Options in Advance

Striking a balance between work and taking care of a child is challenging for most new parents and for that reason exploring child care options in advance is a necessity. Several child care facilities may be available within your locality, but that does not imply that each of them is ideal for your child. Identifying the best child care establishment for the best price should be your priority as a new parent, and the only way to achieve this is by researching the options you have in advance.

If you wait longer than necessary, you will most likely settle for a child care facility you may not like and at a higher cost. Enquiring if there is a dependent care savings option from your employer is also a wise idea because it will help you prepare in advance, which can attract some savings.

Avoid Overspending

The temptation to acquire expensive items that are unnecessary in a bid to entertain a baby for long hours and help them sleep better is irresistible for most new parents. Investing in the basics for your child’s development and opting for additional items when the need arises discourages overspending.

Start Saving for College

Most parents desire to give their children the best possible education they can afford, and that may not be a challenge in the early stages. The uphill task is when you have to part with hundreds or thousands of dollars for the sake of financing your child’s college education. If you start saving for college when your child is born, you will eliminate the stress that comes with dealing with budgetary constraints and paying for college when your child is ready to join one.

Experiment Meal Planning

Creating time to bond with your child after work as a new parent is paramount, but you may not have sufficient time or any energy left by the time you arrive home. In most cases, the priority for new mothers after work is to prepare a quick meal for the family to eat before resting for the night. Preparing meals in bulk is a wise idea because you will enjoy more time with your family. There are several inexpensive meal planning resources you can consider if you need help to save on cost and the time you spend preparing food.

If you are burdened with high amounts of credit card debt and are struggling to make your payments, or you’re just not seeing your balances go down, call Timberline Financial today for a FREE financial analysis.  Our team of highly skilled professionals will evaluate your current situation to see if you may qualify for one of our debt relief programs.  You don’t have to struggle with high-interest credit card debt any longer.  Call (855) 250-8329 or get in touch with us by sending a message through our website https://timberlinefinancial.com.

Happy grandparents chase laughing children on the beach

5 Easy Ways to Save Money Towards Your Next Vacation

Thinking about your next vacation, but not sure where the money for it will come from? It is never too early to start saving. Here are five easy ways to set funds aside that you may want to consider.

1. Open a dedicated savings account for your vacation funds

Setting up an additional account may seem like extra work initially, but it is an easy way to start saving for vacation. First, placing money in a separate account from the one you use for everyday or emergency expenses ensures it will be there when you’re ready to start booking. Second, watching your vacation savings grow is a great incentive to keep setting money aside.

If this is something you have already done, you’re already in good shape.

2. Set up an auto draft for a specific amount every week/pay period

After opening a dedicated savings account, another great idea for saving money towards your next vacation is an auto draft. Pick a set amount to send to your vacation savings and how often you want to send it ($25 per week is a great place to start), then set up the auto draft. If you only want it to occur during a specific time period, you can set it up to include that information as well.

After that? Sit back and watch your vacation funds grow without lifting a finger.

3. Use cash-back sites and apps for online shopping

These days, most people do at least some of their shopping online. You can earn some cash back on qualifying purchases through cash-back sites and apps like Ebates and ShopAtHome. Some may have browser extensions to make it even easier. Once you reach the specified minimum amount, you’ll receive a check. Just deposit it into your vacation savings for an extra boost beyond what gets auto drafted every week.

4. Cook at home/Bring your lunch to work

Yes, eating dinner out is easy. Yes, grabbing lunch with your coworkers can be a great break from the stress of the office. The problem is that these easy solutions for resolving your hunger also dig deep into your pocket book. Try cooking dinner at home. Or, if that’s something you already do, start bringing leftovers for lunch the next day. It may not be as much fun in the short term, but the extra bucks you save will get you a few steps closer to the vacation you’ve been dreaming about.

Are you more likely to stop off for coffee in the morning than go out for lunch or dinner? Invest in a coffee maker and brew your own cup before you leave in the morning. You can save more than you thought. Maybe you’ll get lucky and come up with a coffee drink that’s better than what you order now.

5.  Clean out your house and sell what you’re not using

Most of us have things lying around the house that we never use and other people are looking for. Sell them online and earn some extra spending money for your vacation. Apps like OfferUp, Letgo, and Close5 make the process quick and easy. If apps do not appeal, websites like eBay still exist, and even Facebook’s Buy and Sell Markets can be put to good use. With this tip, you will be able to kill two birds with one stone – earning money for your vacation and getting rid of what you’re not using.

For a more complete list of apps you can use to sell things you are willing to part with, check out Well Kept Wallet’s 28 Best Apps to Sell Your Stuff Locally and Online.

If you are burdened with high amounts of credit card debt and are struggling to make your payments, or you’re just not seeing your balances go down, call Timberline Financial today for a FREE financial analysis.  Our team of highly skilled professionals will evaluate your current situation to see if you may qualify for one of our debt relief programs.  You don’t have to struggle with high-interest credit card debt any longer.  Call (855) 250-8329 or get in touch with us by sending a message through our website https://timberlinefinancial.com.