When it comes to planning for your pregnancy, time can easily sneak up on you. Before you know it, the nine months will fly by and you’ll be bringing your little one home. Taking the steps to plan out out your financial assets and your life (including a new family member) may seem like a daunting task, but can easily be done with a few easy steps. As this time can be uncertain, staying patient and calm can help make the journey more enjoyable.

Use these nine practical tips to help prepare your budget for a new addition in the coming months:

  1. Use a baby budget planner: Are you someone that needs a little help staying organized, or do you prefer to write out your budget for a better visual? Print out these baby budget planners for each trimester of your pregnancy. Having a baby budget for each trimester allows you to plan out financial goals you may have, as well as current expenses and purchases in increments of time. The overall goal of using a baby budget planner is to analyze your current spending habits to see what you can move around to allow for more money to go towards your future baby expenses. 
  1. Create an emergency fund: Along with planning your baby budget, putting away increments of money every month before your delivery is a smart financial move. Having an emergency fund on hand is helpful for unexpected expenses or expensive purchases like hospital bills. An emergency fund allows for a bit of financial cushion that should remain untouched unless necessary. 
  2. Take “nesting” one day at a time: It is common amongst mothers to begin the period of “nesting” towards the end of their pregnancy. As exciting as this time can be, it can also be stressful. To avoid last-minute stressors, start organizing and preparing your home months in advance. Start in one room at a time if need be, working your way to the baby room. Decluttering your home is great to do early on in your pregnancy when you tend to have a bit more energy for strenuous tasks. 
  3. Focus on eliminating existing debt: If you found that you have racked up quite a bit of debt, you may want to consider paying it off before your delivery. Starting the first year may be more stressful than needed if you have the added burden of exceeding debt. Eliminating debt can also help you build a healthier credit score, which will help you down the road with medical bills and other larger baby purchases. This is recommended to do right when you are planning for a pregnancy and even beforehand. 
  4. Squash down on unneeded expenses: Going along with your financial budgeting, take stock of your current purchasing habits. If there are expenses that you deem unnecessary, eliminating them from your budget will help make room in your baby budget. If you find that you and your partner tend to eat out a lot, making the transition to cooking meals at home will not hopefully prepare you for future family meals, but is much more cost-effective. Things you currently purchase now may not make sense when you deliver your baby, so making the transition during the pregnancy is smart. 
  5. What you should be purchasing: When it comes to purchasing products for your baby, following these guidelines should make it easier once you deliver. Buying a minimum amount of products like bottles and pacifiers is smart because you never know what your baby will like or dislike. Once you know, then buy more of those products so you do not waste your money. When it comes to diapers and wipes, buying these products in bulk is cost-efficient. You can find great bulk deals for baby products at wholesale stores. Along with the baby budget planner, using a one-time purchase planner is also useful for big buys you’ll only need to get once, such as a car seat or stroller. 
  1. Take local classes: Taking prenatal workouts and pregnancy courses locally is a great way to prepare yourself during your pregnancy. There are a variety of courses to choose from, and there are many online courses to do as well if you are not looking to leave your home at the moment. Taking a pregnancy class with your partner can also be a great bonding experience as you both take on the new journey of parenthood. 
  2. Take time for yourself: This precious time is meant to be enjoyed by you and your significant other. It is perfectly okay to take time for yourself during this stressful time. Whether this is a day at the spa, or planning a babymoon mini-vacation. This is also a great time to set new life goals for yourself. Practicing meditation with essential oils and journaling are great tools to use if you find yourself too anxious and stressed out.
  3. Keep your body healthy: As obvious as this is, with the addition of added stressors, sometimes your body can be easily worn out. Eating a proper healthy diet, stretching, and exercising are all important things to do daily. Going on short walks around the neighborhood is an easy way to stay active without overstraining your body energy. Staying healthy will also help you maintain a healthy mindset throughout the pregnancy journey. 

Preparing for a baby can be tiresome with countless informational books to read and doctor appointments to attend. Remember to take one day at a time when it comes to financial planning. Start early in your pregnancy to alleviate stress as you near your due date.