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Budgeting for a baby: “We saved tens of thousands in one year”
By MyBudget Editor

Things were going to plan until news of a baby on the way made this Adelaide couple rethink their approach to life and their finances. This is how they prepared financially for a baby and ‘doing life together.’ The truth is, however, that these principles apply to any big life events—babies, weddings, leaving home, buying a house, retiring and everything in between.

This article is brought to you by Mamamia.

“Now we had someone we needed to plan for.”

When Adelaide couple Jaz and Reid first met, they had no idea that their relationship would turn into a “life” together.

In those early days, they didn’t have to think about planning for big things. But, as things got more serious, so did the reality of being financially ready for it.

They both had personal debt that they managed to clear, and once they had a solid grasp on their finances, they bought a house together.

Things seemed “on track” and they didn’t think they needed any financial guidance. Until one thing came along to change the engaged couple’s mind: the impending birth of their now one-year-old, Jack.

“We were planning and ‘doing’ a life together – but we hadn’t combined finances,” Jaz explains to Mamamia. “We wanted help to do that, and then to take those combined finances to the next level. We thought, ‘We can’t be having a baby and still have different accounts personally’.

“We always had healthy savings, but now had someone we needed to plan for.”

Jaz and Reid had all the expenses new parents have - but they were prepared.

Reluctant to give up their lifestyle

Jaz, 31, who’s in sales, and Reid, 35, a construction supervisor, had been together for four-and-a-half years.

When Jaz was 21 weeks’ pregnant, she and Reid decided they had to do something to grow their savings to prepare for their new life. They had a good friend who knew a lot about that – Tammy Barton, the founder of personal budgeting service MyBudget.

Jaz was initially reluctant to seek the services of MyBudget, as she was concerned about having to sacrifice her lifestyle (a very valid worry for a lot of parents!).

“I still wanted to shop,” she says. “We wanted to renovate our house and go on a holiday.

“I didn’t want to be restricted, because we’d already worked hard to get where we were. I wanted to still enjoy what we’ve worked for.

“I didn’t know about the potential structure it would involve, and I was apprehensive about it.”

Money worries are top of mind

Nerves about personal finances and how to structure budgets are more common than you think. Recently, MyBudget surveyed 1000 Australians for their 20th anniversary report, and found that 49% of people think about money more than they do about sex.

For women, in particular, money worries are front of mind. From the survey, 60% of women said they worry about money "frequently", as opposed to 47% of men.

There are many reasons for this, whether it be a consequence of the gender pay gap, saving for maternity leave or steering the ship of a family and/or a business.

For Jaz, her worries were settled once she had a 12-month budgeting plan in place, covering off both current expenses and future goals. If she'd done it without professional advice, the results wouldn't have been nearly as remarkable.

Having a budget in place gave Jaz peace of mind.

Blown away by how far their money could go

“We saved tens of thousands of dollars in one year,” she says.

“We wanted to save as much money as we could in a short amount of time, and MyBudget helped us do that. We were blown away by how much money we saved, while still living how we wanted to.”

One of the features Jaz loved about the service was that it gives you an idea of where you’re going - it’s not just about ‘existing’.

“I loved the 12-month prediction of our finances,” Jaz shares. “We had our prediction on how much we could save, but they could give us more detail.”

For those worried about the work needed to even get to the first consultation, Jaz advises not to stress.

“At first, I thought it’s too hard to get all the details together. But they made the whole process really easy – they can do some of the dirty work for you. And it is so worth it.”

Achieve their financial goals faster

The couple has certainly come a long way from when they first met. But Jaz is sure they never could have come as far as they have since then were it not for MyBudget.

“People think I work for the company, I’m so passionate about how good it is,” Jaz laughs. “But if you want to get forward, MyBudget can help you get in front faster. You just need to shift your mindset and not think of the service as just being about debt.”

After getting on top of their baby budget, Jaz and Reid had two new goals they wanted to finance: a wedding and a holiday.

But then, they decided they wanted something else – a puppy for Jack.

“We also bought a puppy, Arthur – and all expenses were budgeted for. So it didn’t feel like an extra expense, and something that would blow the budget out if there was an emergency.”

The couple’s only debt is their mortgage, but Jaz explains that knowing they’re kicking their savings goals is a great feeling.

“Peace of mind is priceless.”

“MyBudget is setting us up for the future,” she says. “And more importantly, for Jack’s future.”

Jaz reveals as of this week, they’re also saving for someone else, because she’s 18 weeks pregnant.

“It was totally unplanned,” Jaz excitedly shares. “I just went back to work! But I feel more confident about our lifestyle during maternity leave after MyBudget.”

Jaz firmly believes using the service was the best thing they could have done for their savings.

“One thing I want people to know is even if you think you’re OK, experts can show you a way to do better.

“We live more comfortably now, and that peace of mind is priceless.”

If you're looking to take your savings up a notch or need help organising your budget ahead of a big lifestyle change, give MyBudget a call. Our personal budgeting specialists work with you to create  a free customised budget that’s yours to keep. Call 1300 300 922 or enquire online.

Download a free budget template, read more about budgeting, discover how MyBudget works, sign up for money tips via the MyBudget Blog or follow MyBudget on Facebook.

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