Now that you have a working budget "with baby," and you are aware of personal variables that will impact your savings needs and goals, it’s time to get down and dirty with your current spending and savings patterns to make room for baby. So your budget is suddenly pregnant…it just needs a little help and tweaking from you to adjust to these new changes. So here, your goal is now twofold: you want to cut unnecessary expenses ("cutting corners") and enhance income ("boosting earnings"). There are many ways to achieve both of these goals—here are some ideas you can use to help you brainstorm your own solutions.

Cutting corners 

The easiest (and least painful) way to begin the process of cutting corners is to separate out your "needs" and your "wants." An example of a "need" might be paying your rent or mortgage. An example of a "want" might be getting a latte from Starbucks every morning. While it may feel excruciating at first to eyeball your current lifestyle and contemplate changes, remember that your entire lifestyle itself will change once baby arrives. In fact—best case scenario—you may actually find your budget effortlessly cuts itself as you rearrange your life (and sleep) with baby at the top of the list!

Here are just some of the many ways other expectant parents have cut corners:

  • Start couponing: Couponing is a great way to save and even earn cash and rewards. Using the tips found here on KCL, even as a beginning couponer you can find great discounts and deals without spending a lot of extra time.
  • Trim expensive "extras": No matter how frugal you already are, there are always "extras"—you don't have to give them up forever, but for now, it can make sense to cut back. Common extras may include eating out, cable television, magazine subscriptions, designer clothing, a "weekend" vehicle, etc.
  • Go for "economy" service plans: Whether the cable bill or the cell phone plan, switching from deluxe to economy packages can save you big bucks.
  • Opt for used over new: There are so many babies born every day, and they only need those newborn cribs, strollers and accessories for a short time. Look for co-ops and exchanges that offer quality, pre-owned baby items, and you may find great deals that help you save.

Boosting earnings

Boosting earnings begins with cutting corners, but it doesn't have to end there. The goal here is to temporarily boost your earnings starting right away so you don't have to stress about money in the first few months after baby arrives.

Here are just some of the many ways other expectant parents have boosted earnings:

  • Rent a room in your home: If you have a nice spare room you are not currently using, you can rent it out for extra cash.
  • Downsize: Sure, you need to "upsize" for baby, but you can earn the extra cash to do that by downsizing for yourself. Go in with friends and have a big garage sale. Learn how to sell on eBay. Open an Etsy store to sell off your extra jewelry and accessories.
  • Set up a baby shower fund: Instead of having a registry for your baby shower(s), set up a cash or gift card fund (if you use gift cards, you can designate a "registry" of your favorite stores). This way, you can spend most judiciously on what you really need.
  • Find parttime work: If your schedule permits, consider taking on some extra temporary work–either by working online, by participating in money-generating apps, or even at a brick-and-mortar retailer.
  • Set up an affiliate blog that generates passive advertising income: The easiest way to accomplish this is to find a popular blog topic (for instance, being a new mom) and use Google AdWords or a similar service to add in advertising links. This can generate a modest amount of passive income—more as your readership grows. Just be sure you have enough time to keep your blog updated if you go this route! We’ll even show you how to create your own coupon blog!
Budgeting for Baby Part 3: Cutting Corners and Boosting Earnings