As your child grows, your love for them will grow too. You'll start to appreciate their little quirks and personality, and realise that all of the hard work of parenting really does pay off. However, it's worth noting that while there are a lot of great and positive sides to be a parent, there are some challenges to consider too.
For instance, having children means that you're going to be limited on money. The cash you used to have to put towards things like paying for meals with friends and going to the cinema is now going to be spent on extra clothes and food. The question is, how do you continue to save money when you're looking after children, as well as yourself?
Budgeting may be boring and even a little worrisome for some people, but it's also one of the best ways to get more control over your finances. If you don't have a budget yet, the arrival of a child is the perfect time to sit down with your partner and look at the cash you have coming in and going out. You need to know what you afford to put towards everything from emergency savings, to long-term goals, and monthly bills.
Budgeting will also help you to figure out whether you're going to need some extra help initially with your finances. For instance, you might need to borrow some cash with a personal loan to pay for bigger items of furniture when your baby is firstborn.
We're living in a world where it's very easy to spend money and not think about what you're spending. You can click a button online to make a purchase in a second, or even flash a card without entering a pin and still get the items you need. However, when you have a child, you'll need to start thinking more carefully about every penny that you spend.
For instance, planning your meals in advance and taking a list with you when you go to the grocery market will mean that you're less likely to over-spend on food and end up with things that you need to throw out at the end of the week. Additionally, planning meals can also mean prepping them in advance, so you can have an easy meal when you need one.
It's easy to assume that you'll need to give up on your social life when you have a child, but the truth is that having plenty of friends around you can also save you money in the long term. As well as spending time with the friends you have now, try joining mothering and parenting groups on Facebook and social media.
Consider local parent and baby/toddler groups including swimming classes. This is a great chance to get to know new people who can give you advice on how to save, and even act as a cheap source of childcare when you're desperate for an emergency babysitter. Having a wide social circle comes in handy.
Disposable things like kitchen towels are one of those things that you just can't afford when you're living on a tight budget. You can get just as good of a clean by using a dishtowel as you can by using paper towels, and you'll save a fortune that way too.
If you're feeling particularly daring, and you want to take a green approach to saving money, then you could even consider switching to reusable nappies for your babies. These options aren't for everyone, but they are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in an environment where everyone wants to do what's best for the environment.
Finally, from a young age, it's important to teach your children the value of pre-loved items, which also means that you need to be willing to buy second hand. You can get a lot of great items for a huge discount if you're willing to buy them second-hand from a social media marketplace or a site like eBay. Additionally, if you're buying for a baby, you'll usually find that the items for sale have only been used once or twice before they were no-longer suitable.
Don't be afraid to check out your local charity shops when you're looking for a bargain. Remember to look for refurbished products when you're buying technology too!