Even when a pregnancy is planned, the shift from parenting being an idea to becoming a reality can be overwhelming for many women. Those feelings can feel even more intense when the pregnancy is unplanned; one of the questions we hear the most is “how can I afford to be a parent?” However, it’s important to realize that while money and finances can be a concern, you’re not doing everything on your own! There are more resources and avenues of support all around you. Options Medical Clinic can provide you with free parenting education and resources, as well as material support to help you get started on your parenting journey. Keep reading for some tips on how you can start preparing financially for your family today, then give us a call at 770-741-2351 or text 770-741-2682 to learn how we can help you.
Building a Budget
Reducing your stress during your pregnancy is one of the best things you can do for you and your child, and finances are often the #1 stressor for expecting parents. The best thing you can start doing today is create a budget that is realistic for your situation. It can be easy to be overwhelmed at the thought of being able to set aside money from your paycheck, but it doesn’t have to be massive amounts at a time. Instead, set whatever you can aside each time; you’ll be surprised at how quickly it builds up.
For example, if you set a goal to put 10% of your paychecks aside each month, and each paycheck is $250, that’s $50 each month and up to $450 at the time of your child’s birth! That money can go a long way when it comes to baby supplies or when it comes time to begin your maternity leave and spend time with your newborn. In addition, many employers now offer workplace pregnancy accommodations to give you the support and understanding you need to balance work life with your pregnancy
Needs vs. Wants
Another way to increase your savings account is to look at your finances and separate everything out into two columns: needs and wants. The needs would be things such as your rent, utilities, and groceries, while your wants would be the things we often take for granted without considering the price tag: Netflix, eating out, etc. Take a look at how much money you’ve spent in the last two weeks and add up the total amount you put towards your wants. That’s how much additional money you could be saving! Some other tips would be:
- Choosing the generic brands rather than the name brands at the store.
- Seeing if your local grocery stores have apps that provide you with discounts or coupons.
- Creating a shopping list in advance before you go to the store. Be sure to check your list against what you already have at home to make sure you’re not doubling up on anything. Having a list with you helps to keep you focused and avoid impulse purchases at the store.
- Cooking at home instead of eating out or grabbing fast food.
- Having a movie night in by renting a Redbox instead of going to the theater.
Another great way to relieve stress is to prepare for your baby’s arrival at Options Medical Clinic. We provide childbirth preparation and education free of charge to women in our community to support them through every step of their pregnancy and early parenthood. Our parenting mentors help you set goals and create a plan that is specifically tailored to your needs and current situation. We do this with our Earn While You Learn (EWYL) program that allows you to earn Mommy Money as you attend classes that are designed to prepare you for what to expect at each month of your pregnancy and childbirth. Mommy Money can then be used to buy items at our Seeds Thrift Store (www.seedsthriftstore.com), such as baby formula and food, diapers and clothes, car seats, strollers, and much more!
We hope that these tips have shown that budgeting and preparing financially for parenthood is more attainable than you may have first thought. The important thing to remember is that you’re not alone in this journey. The question is no longer “how can I afford this” but instead is a statement of “we can do this.” The staff at Options Medical Clinic is here to answer all of your questions and provide you with the support and community you need to thrive as a parent. Call us today at 770-741-2351 or text 770-741-2682 to schedule an appointment and learn about our upcoming classes. We’d love to meet with you.