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This Mom Shares Her Budget Breakdown to Prepare for BabyThis will be very helpful especially if you're a first-time mom.CREATED WITH EASTWEST BANK
As a first-time mom, you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed with all the changes coming your way. Not only do you have to adjust to the changes in your body, but you also have to deal with the never-ending list of things you need to prepare for once your baby comes.
First, don’t panic. A lot of women have survived and thrived to become veterans at motherhood and parenting, and so can you. Plus, you don’t need a large bank account to be a good mom. Just be smart about managing your expenses and do the best that you can.
This is precisely what Patricia “Pat” Rodriguez-Carranza, 29, did for her first child.
Mom of two Pat works as a part-time instructor at a university and blogs on the side at @mamaatbp. Her husband, also an educator, works as a values formation coach at a private school. They’re both juggling working in the academe, finishing their graduate studies, and taking care of their children, ages 3 and 1.
They’re also living independently. Pat, her husband, and two kids live in an apartment near the university—without any house helper or yaya. They do, however, have a reliable support system in their extended family who pitches in to help the young family every now and then.
*Disclaimer: This is only this mom’s estimation of their family’s expenses in preparation for childbirth and not the total tally of their finances for raising their child.
To manage their expenses, Pat was strategic about her budget and was not shy to ask for help. She said she was also lucky that she and her husband had supportive families and coworkers.
She also recognized that she was fortunate with her doctor, who gave her a considerable discount on professional fees. Not only that, during her pregnancy, her doctor also advised her to visit a clinic that charged lower consultation fees so Pat could save money.
When it came to the birth of her baby, Pat’s doctor also recommended she go to a small private hospital in Rizal. In the end, the delivery cost came out lower than expected because the hospital’s private rooms were all booked, and Pat ended up staying in a two-person room.
Here the mom of two shared her learnings when it comes to managing expenses:
1. Buy just enough baby clothes.
“We bought only the bare minimum—two to three onesies, tie-sides, pajamas, and mittens. People gave us gifts during the baby shower and after the baby was born,” Pat said. “When people asked me what we wanted or needed, I wasn’t shy about being specific about our needs. We also got a lot of hand-me-downs, which we loved because newborns outgrow clothes so quickly.”
2. Take advantage of government benefits due you.
Pat said she made sure to prepare her SSS and PhilHealth documents in advance. She explained that expectant moms should probably do the same so they, too, can use these government-mandated benefits.
3. Be healthy.
Moms-to-be need to prepare their bodies for motherhood, particularly breastfeeding. “Eat healthy, especially if you are breastfeeding! Your body needs to recover from all the stress,” she said. “Healthy and happy mommy, healthy and happy baby!”
4. Breastfeed if you can, but don’t stress if you can’t.
It will save you money but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t, or your doctor advises against it. Every situation is different, and that’s okay.
5. Wear your baby.
Practice babywearing if you can, Pat said—especially if you don’t have a helper at home. For the first few months, babies just want to be close to their moms. Skip the fancy bouncers and booster seats. You’ll end up carrying your baby anyway.
Throughout her journey as a first-time (and eventually second-time) mom, Pat said the most essential factor in managing their finances was how they made it into a family affair. Her husband was very hands-on with any financial decisions. They also gratefully accepted their parents’ gifts, which helped ease their financial burden.
Having a trustworthy and accessible bank is also key to managing your money.
EastWest Family Ties is a bundle of products offered by EastWest Bank that makes it more convenient for you to distribute funds to your loved ones.
Many features make it accessible for modern parents. EastWest Family Ties’ online and mobile banking allows you to pay your bills, monitor your balance, and most importantly, disburse funds to your loved ones via cash cards.
You can get three cash cards with an initial deposit of at least Php100,000, or five cash cards with an initial deposit of at least Php150,000. You can also open checking accounts with a checkbook.