How to make your budget work to afford a second child

If you're expecting a second child, your spending and savings habits will necessarily have to be modified. Here are some budgeting tips to help you adjust to the arrival of the new baby.  

Having kids is anything but cheap. If you’ve had your first child, you already know this. From diapers to daycare to future extracurricular activities it all adds up. 

While you may feel like you need no advice, overlooking tips to prepare financially for a second child could be bad news for your bank account. Fortunately, affording a second child is more than possible with the right planning.

If your new baby is on the way, consider these budgeting tips for a second child:

1. Think carefully about upsizing

When asking yourself if you can afford to have a second child, consider whether your current home and car can fit your growing family.

Running the numbers through a mortgage affordability calculator can give you an idea of how much a bigger home might cost if you need one.

Changing your current car out for something larger may also be on your mind, but upgrading could mean adding an expensive car payment into your budget.

Buying a used car can help stretch your budget when you’re trying to afford a second child.

2. Be frugal 

It’s tempting to go out and buy all-new items for a second baby, but preparing financially for a second child should include reusing as much as you can from your first child. That might include clothes, furniture, blankets and toys.

Accepting hand-me-downs and buying used items will help your budget greatly.

3. Analyze your childcare options

You may already realize how expensive daycare can be for just one child, but that doesn’t mean affording a second child will be impossible.

If one parent’s income is going solely toward childcare, for example, it could make more sense for that parent to stay at home.

Parents should think about the trade-off between both parents working if it means paying more for daycare. 

4. Prioritize financial goals in your new budget

Most tips to prepare yourself financially for a second child focus on spending, but don’t neglect to create line items for saving in your budget.

An emergency fund, paying off debt and saving for retirement should also be on your radar. You might even be thinking about starting to save for your children’s college.

Conclusion

Having a second baby may be expensive, but if you budget correctly it won't catch you off-guard. Remember, the earlier you begin planning, the easier affording a second child can be.
 

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