Creating a Budget for a Growing Family - Where Do I Begin?

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I've been feeling fortunate lately. Everywhere I go, there's a pudgy, smiley baby for me to squeeze! It's the life stage that many of my family and friends are in and it's been such a fun time. What I didn't expect however, was the realization that I know so little about babies. Take for example selecting a car seat: safety, cost, vehicle compatibility, etc. The complexity that is picking a car seat was an eye opener to say the least. 

One of the biggest changes I've witnessed is the various approaches my loved ones have taken in creating a family budget. Not unlike other big life changes (ie. university or moving in with a partner), these changes require a lot of adjustment. Unfortunately, we don't often seek honest advice from those closest to us because discussing matters related to money is still taboo. 

So in our current state as DINKS (double income no kids), I decided to do some research into what is required in creating a budget for a growing family. What I've discovered in my early discussions with seasoned parents is that it's important to consider your goals and priorities. It's okay to factor in non-financial elements. In my case, my husband and I are integrating more sustainable practices into our lives, which includes shifting consumption choices to be more earth-friendly. This can result in us spending a bit more money on certain items but these choices are important to us and thus an important part of our family budget. 

Over the next few months, we will be tackling some big questions about adjusting finances, financial decisions and budget planning to account for the needs of a growing family. Here are some of the pieces we plan to explore:

- Unexpected costs of starting a family
- Identifying family financial goals
- Tips on adjusting to a new budget
- How to plan a baby moon on a budget
- The diaper decision: to reuse or not to reuse

What other big questions do you have about preparing financially for a growing family? Do you have any tips? 

Written by malou motherhood co-founder Audrey Taylor

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