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3 Money Mistakes I Made As a New Parent (And How to Avoid Them)

Apr 27, 2017

So you are having a baby or just had your baby — congratulations! You’ve made all the necessary preparations for your new bundle of joy and dropped a couple of hard-earned coins in the process, and rightfully so. Your baby deserves the best and there are so many things they require. Babies need diapers, car seats, strollers —the list goes on and on. And, just like your sleep patterns, your finances will also never be the same.

I’m not trying to scare you. It’s the truth of the situation, but with a little insight, you’ll be able to prevent common money mistakes we tend to make as new parents. Trust me, I know, I made tons of them.

Mistake #1: I Wasn't Prepared

This one hit me hard. I knew that I was going on mat leave and that this would mean reduced finances. However, I didn’t realize I had to apply for mat leave. I thought that once my employer submitted the paper work, the process would begin on its own. Rookie mistake! It did not start on its own and as a result, it took an additional three months to get paid. In addition, my finances were reduced and now, money management was key.

Moral of that story is: Don’t get caught off guard. Do the necessary research, start setting money aside before the mat leave so that you have some financial wiggle room. Be aware of the finiancial shift that's coming, and be prepared. You have a new baby and you want to be able to focus on being a new parent, not what you don’t have in your bank account.

You'll Also Love: Raising Money-Savvy Kids: Start With Yourself

Mistake #2: I Bought Expensive Stuff My Baby Didn't Need

It’s so easy to overspend when it comes to our kids. We want to get them everything, especially if there’s a promise that it will facilitate things for you and your child. I remember buying a $20 spoon. Don’t judge me (lol). It was a fancy spoon and, at the time, it made so much sense to get it. How did it work? You would put the contents into this rubber-like connecting part of the spoon, then you would screw the spoon head back on and in there was a tiny hole. As you squeezed on the rubber part, the food would make its way onto the spoon and you could then feed your baby mess-free! Brilliant, right? I still think so. HOWEVER, I only used it twice and 20 bucks on a spoon doesn’t sound like such a good idea anymore.

Spend wisely.

Mistake #3: I Didn't Get an RESP Right Away

I was told that we would have been able to not only save more, but also receive a higher percentage from the government contribution had we started with an RESP immediately. Now, I’m no financial expert, so I won’t go into details on this point, but I will state the obvious, which is that more money set aside for your little one's education is always a great idea. Plus, you can always use a portion of the child's benefit you receive every month to help out should you not have enough wiggle room in your budget. #winning

What are your best money tips for preparing for a new addition?

Article Author Daniella Osman
Daniella Osman

Read more from Daniella here.

Daniella Osman, born and raised in Toronto, is your everyday woman. Although she started off studying nursing, she later decided to pursue her dreams of being a TV host. She studied television and broadcasting at Seneca College and now has a YouTube channel, Danie O, which aims to inspire and motivate women to reach their highest potential. When she's not catering to the needs of the virtual world, she takes on her most favourite role which is catering to the needs of her three-year-old little bundle of joy. You can follow her on danieo.com.

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