How To Avoid The 10 Financial Mistakes Many New Parents Make As a new parent, life can be pretty tough. Trying to take care of baby on 3 hours sleep, seeing every innocent object as a potential danger hazard and struggling to keep up with the never-ending mountain of chores, can leave very little mind-space for anything else – especially finances!

It’s easy to let finances slip when you have so many other things to worry about. However, if they do, eventually it could lead to potentially serious and stressful problems. The good news is, there are ways you can get on top of your finances early on to prevent them from spiraling out of control. First, it helps to be aware of the mistakes you could be making.

Here, we’ll look at the 10 financial mistakes many new parents make and how they can be avoided.

1. Buying Exclusively New Baby Supplies

Woman holding shopping basket. Mom is choosing newborn baby product in supermarket. Pregnancy and shopping. Woman choosing baby stuff at baby shop store.Having a baby is exciting and you obviously want to give them the best of everything. For many parents, that means buying exclusively new baby supplies. The trouble is, babies need a LOT of stuff. From nursery equipment to toys, clothes and a never-ending supply of diapers; the list is seemingly endless. So, if you commit to only buying shiny new things, it’s going to quickly break the bank.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s some things you should always buy new. However, it’s more important to be wise about your spending. If you are buying new things for example, make sure you invest in high-quality items so they’ll last a longer period of time. It’s also better to shop at online baby stores as that minimizes the chance you’ll buy things on impulse. With online shopping, you have to think about it more, so you’ll make much wiser spending decisions.

2. Failing To Accommodate A Drop In Income

If you’re taking maternity or paternity leave, it’s very unlikely it will cover your usual salary 100%. That means, there’s going to be a period of time your income drops. Many parents fail to take this into consideration, quickly finding themselves in financial hardships.

The trouble is, your income drops, but your living costs increase due to all of the baby supplies you’re going to need. So, it’s really important to get on top of the situation before it becomes a problem.

One of the best ways to avoid getting into financial trouble is to look at where you can make cut backs. Could you cut your grocery bill down? What about little luxuries such as meals out? Avoid buying too many large items and make adjustments before the baby gets here so you are used to it when they finally arrive.

3. Not Having Adequate Insurance

When you’ve just had a baby, the last thing you’re going to be thinking about is dying (hopefully!) It’s not a nice thing to have to think about, but it is important to make sure you invest in good life insurance. You now have a little person who depends on you, so what would happen if the worst were to happen?

Taking out life insurance gives you a peace of mind that your little one will be provided for. So, shop around and compare the different plans on offer. It might increase your monthly spending a little, but without it, if something does happen, baby and your partner could end up in serious financial difficulties.

If you already have a sizeable amount of liqud assets, life insurance may not be necessary. Still, it’s important to think about these scenarios, however unpleasant they are.

4. Failing To Take Advantage Of Benefits

Adult and children hands holding paper family cutout, family home, foster care, homeless charity support concept, family mental health, international day of familiesMany parents have no idea what benefits they’re entitled to. For example, many employer’s offer a range of great benefits which could benefit new parents. Check to see whether you’re entitled to a flexible spending account, subsidized childcare or a dependent care account. At the very least, you may be entitled to discounts at various stores.

Also, research which tax benefits you may be entitled to. Seeking advice and taking advantage of any benefits available to you can drastically improve your financial situation.

5. Not Saving For Your Child’s Education Early Enough

putting money coins saving in glass bottle for concept investment mutual fund finance and business, placed on the textbook. content money saving for education.Many countries will have you unique plans in place to help you save for your child’s education well in advance, with many offering tax advantages such as the United States’ 529 plan. The cost of education can be notoriously high, so the earlier you start to save, the better.

Some countries handle it a little bit differently. With Canada’s Registered Education Saving’s Plan for example, the government actually matches the annual contributions made into the account by 20%. There is a maximum limit of $2,500, but this can make a massive amount of difference when it comes time to pay for your child’s education. The earlier you start to save through the plan, the more interest it will generate for you and baby.

6. Not Spending Enough On Date Night

Close up of young couple holding glasses with red wine while have romantic dinner

Having a baby is hard, and often, it can really take its toll on your relationship. This makes date nights extremely important, not just for your relationship, but for baby too. The happier the parents, the happier the child. Plus, date night gives you a chance to take a little time out for you.
You don’t have to do anything overly extravagant. A movie night, a picnic or a simple walk along the beach will all do wonders for your wellbeing. Don’t have a partner? Host a date night for yourself! Just taking some time out to focus on you will do you the world of good.

Try to aim to have date night once a week if you can.

7. Failing To Save For Emergencies

Bottles of cash with coins in saving money conceptAs well as saving for long-term events such as college, retirement and life insurance, it’s perhaps even more important to save for those unexpected emergencies. If something were to happen, would you have the funds available to cover it? If not, it’s important to start saving for those “just in case” moments.

Now, the trouble is, many new parents simply don’t have spare cash to save each month, even after making cut-backs to regular spending. If this sounds like your situation, the best thing to do is to get friends and family to give you money, rather than gifts, on special occasions.

If you’re really not comfortable asking for money, you could always ask for gift cards instead. Ideally, you’ll want to ask for MasterCard gift cards, but even ones dedicated to specific stores can save you money that can be added to an emergency savings fund.

8. Falling For “Must-Have” Purchases

Young family buying a car in a car showroomIt’s easy to be sucked into “must-have” purchases. These include things such as a bigger car, a fully-equipped nursery and even a bigger house. Of course, there are situations where a bigger house may be needed, but the truth is, even a one-bed apartment is initially enough for the majority of new parents.

All cars will comfortably fit one child seat in the back. So, it’s only really parents with more than one child who may need to upgrade to bigger cars and houses. As for the nursery, most equipment is useful to have, but not essential. So, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you absolutely need to upgrade – the truth is you probably don’t need to.

9. Paying For Everything With Plastic

OK, so credit cards can be a really useful thing to have in emergencies. However, it can be really tempting to start using them to pay for everything once baby comes along. They’re convenient, especially if you’re making lots of trips to the grocery store for baby supplies. However, they can also cause you to spend more.

When you don’t have to think about what you’re spending right away, it’s easy to rack up a pretty high bill. So, if you want to avoid getting into financial trouble, it’s worth paying for small items with cash. Save the credit cards for larger items you can’t easily afford.

10. Living Beyond Your Means

Couple facing debt problems, not able to pay out their mortgage. Thoughtful woman looking frustrated, holding pen while managing family budget, making calculations using calculator and notebook pcYou want your child to have the best of everything, it’s understandable. However, living beyond your means isn’t only going to cause you a massive amount of stress, but it’s also going to set a bad example to your child.

If you want them to grow up to be financially stable, you need to show them how to do that. If they see you frequently using your credit card, or spending more than you can afford, they’re going to grow up to do the same. It might not feel like something you need to worry about right now, but the earlier you can get into a habit of being more financially responsible, the easier it will be to teach your child about money when they’re old enough.


Overall, it’s easy to make the above financial mistakes; most new parents do. However, taking the time now to plan ahead and know exactly how to avoid the most common financial mistakes is going to help you and your family enormously.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

  1. We are pretty blessed when it comes to the financial situation because both me and my partner have good and steady income, on top of being able to get help from our family if we ever needed it. But even with that being said, we always tried to save when it came to supplies and toys. There isn’t any point in buying the most expensive products because many of them have a fancy price tag just because of the brand’s name.

    Also, in my country, we actually don’t have to pay for college or university. You just have to qualify for it. The only things you have to buy are the books and that is it. I can only imagine how hard it must be for parents from countries like the United States. Just knowing how much the future education of your child will cost, you have to start saving as soon as possible. Great tips!

    1. Wow! Good for you, Jane. Your country definitely knows how to help its citizens because it has unburdened parents of one of their biggest responsibility.

      And you’re right — even if parents have the financial ability to spend on baby needs, it’s still important to save money for the child’s future. One never knows what expenses await parents in the future.

  2. I personally think that the steadier the income of both partners, the better the chance of not falling into financial instability. If both partners earn well, there is much more buying power and an ability to possibly even save every week or month. If both partners combined earnings are not adequate enough, it simply leaves us with the unfortunate outcome that mediocre activities such as date nights needs to be eliminated from the equation.

    Priorities come first!

    I have to comment on taking advantage of company benefits because I can tell you right now what a wise and beneficial decision that is especially when you have a family!

    1. True, Shiraaz. Parents should have a priority list for baby needs. A baby will eventually grow up and require more things and needs so parents should plan for those. Otherwise, as you said, there will be a need to sacrifice some of the things parents also need to spend on, oftentimes, things they need for themselves.

  3. I think that babies are the priority for us so saving for the kid’s needs is very important in my opinion.
    Just taking care of a baby it’s so important and making him feel good is also very good.
    Also if you earn a lot of money you should not be falling in the financial mistakes altought it can happen to everyone.
    Thanks for the article!

    1. You’re so right, AlexJPro. Saving for the baby or child should be the priority because they do have a lot of needs while growing up. A responsible parent should ensure the child’s needs are met.

  4. When my wife and I were getting ready for the baby, we also looked for the ways to cut expenses on baby supplies. My sister came forward to help us. She gave us baby blanket,mattress, and a pillow, which her two kids had used, and which were in perfect conditions. When I did not have to buy a baby blanket, mattress, and a pillow, I saved a lot of money. My sister also gave us baby clothes that were worn by her kids but looked new. Since a baby grows very fast, he outgrew clothes very fast. Therefore, the old clothes my nephew and niece had used were not old.

  5. In my opinion, I think everything is all about saving enough for the coming of the bay. I like the point you made about the parents trying to buy everything new which can cause a big dip in the bank accounts of the parents. Both pints really got to me for I always wonder why mom, when she had my youngest sister, had to continue using most of the things she used for us in babysitting our sister. Probably, she had to save cost and it worked!

  6. I totally agree with the things you have mentioned above. The common mistakes I see are mostly about not saving early enough for education and emergencies and living beyond means. I often hear people saying “You don’t need to save while you are young and single.”or “Saving is for people who will get married.” which I totally disagree because I take these things seriously. I believe that you don’t have to wait to get married before you start saving. This is the reason why most new parents are broke. Another thing I usually see is that people live beyond their means. Some of them are afraid of being called poor. They practice instant gratification and end up being broke when they get married.

    I am currently an investor in the stock market ans I came up with an idea of incorporating it to the things I want to save for my future child. Stocks has the highest returns among all investment instruments. It will be nice to have a separate account where I can put all the savings for our child. After four years of saving and growing money in the stock market, the money is almost doubled. This will be a good start for the child’s needs.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

We're social! Follow Us Here:

Share this