Whether your child is planned or not, affording a baby at any time of your life can be stressful. This is magnified when either one of both of the parents is studying. It is important to be rational and understand your income in comparison to the projected needs you expect your child to have, monetary-wise.
How much money will Whether your child is planned or not, affording a baby at any time of your life can be stressful. This is magnified when either one of both of the parents are studying. It is important to be rational and understand your income in comparison to the projected needs you expect your child to have, monetary-wise.
If you do make the decision to have a baby whilst studying, you should be sure that you have planned and understand what to expect. Being a college student does not mean you cannot have a child, however, it will make the experience a little more challenging. Below are our top 18 tips to help you afford a baby whilst studying at college.
This is the most important starting point for any new parents, or parent, especially if they are still in college. You must be real with your income and what you can afford to save or spend in the run-up to giving birth. Budgeting will allow you to forecast what you will have saved, your monthly spend and what you will need in order to support your child. This will help you to see where a lot of dead money is going, on items such as takeaways, travel or unnecessary purchases and how to save a lot on these.
2. Wise Spending
Now that you have a budget set, it is very important to stick to this. You have already planned your money, so every purchase should be thought about and not just bought on a whim. This can drastically help you save some extra cash for more important items such as babies.
Possible ways in which you could cut down even further on some of these superfluous costs include:
-Minimise going out by making use of the home environment i.e hosting parties at ours rather than always going out treating yourself to a meal etc
-Sorting rooms into playrooms and bedrooms; minimizing time spent tidying up
-Visiting free attractions such as museums and art galleries
It goes without saying, but do not neglect the studies you are trying to get into! This can be done by simply planning study time into your day or week.
3. Get Creative
These days it is much easier than ever to start up a business, which could help many college students with the costs of having a child. For example, using the top internet supermarkets such as Ocado will help you save money on items such as food without compromising quality or taste. How about starting an online shop for children’s clothes? These can often pay off pretty quickly and would actually keep people coming back because they love your style/designs compared to other shops where they may not have anything they like. There are endless possibilities out there waiting to be discovered!
4. Offer To Watch Other People’s Children
This may seem like a very easy option, but you must ensure that you are using safe and reliable childcare before taking on the responsibility. This could be an amazing extra income for your family and will allow you to spend more time with your own children as well as learn new skills such as first aid and CPR. How about offering to do some housekeeping/childcare in exchange for having your babysat? You will feel much better knowing that they are being looked after by someone who loves kids, rather than a stranger at a day nursery.
5. Work Out How Much It Is Going To Cost
Make sure to work out exactly what costs you can expect from both being a college student a lot of money goes on items that are not essential or relevant. Money can be spent on a myriad of things that really aren’t important or that you even want to spend it on half the time. As you will be becoming a parent you need to think about the your child’s needs and prioritise these over your own. Spending wisely in the months prior to your child’s birth and thereon after will allow you to save, collect needed items and other essential things.
6. Talk To Friends & Family
The best place to go for advice is to the people that have been through this already, your friends and family. Not only will this allow you to hopefully pick up some gems of advice, but you may also receive hand-me-downs, old toys or items that can be really useful for you and the child. A problem shared is a problem halved, this too can be said in those months prior to giving birth. If you are having financial issues or queries talk to those around you and incorporate their inputs into your plan and budget.
7. Get Insurance
Ensure that your insurance include that of your baby too, if not you should look for other quotes to make sure this is covered. Healthcare can be very very expensive; getting this sorted out now will greatly improve your chance of being able to afford this without any nasty surprises down the line.
8. Secure Part-time Work
As a college student, you would not be able to secure full-time works, but the idea of getting part-time or temp work should be explored. Whilst a lot of people do not hire pregnant women on full-time contracts, part-time, temp, or seasonal staff does not have these same barriers to entry. You should ideally be looking for office clerk-based roles, as this usually brings in the most money. However, working in hospitality has a lot more openings and it is easer to secure a role.
9. Apply For College Loans
Most colleges offer student’s loans that are considered risk-free, or lesser risk to that of banks. It is important to let your colleagues know you are pregnant or expecting a baby too, they may be able to offer you financial aid or at least a visit to the finance/support teams they have on campus to help you plan. Definitely include your college throughout the whole pregnancy process as they have a lot more to offer than one might think.
10. Apply For Scholarships
Depending on how well you are doing in college, you may be able to apply for scholarships based on your work. Whilst many college students think that this is reserved only for the extremely academic, there are loads of scholarships you can apply for based on many different factors.
11. Reduce Your Debts
Naturally, you will have student debt, this is something that is unavoidable unless you have a nest egg to pay for this up front. For the most of us, this is not an option. Worrying about this debt is not going to help make any impact on saving money for your child’s birth, considering the other debts that you have and reducing these will make a massive impact on your ability to save in the future. If you devise a plan to reduce these whilst expecting your child when they come you will have more money to be able to support them.
12. Use Community-led Sites
There are various online sites that offer loads of great items at a fraction of the price as they are used. Check which sites run in your local area and use them to your advantage, most of the items are either very cheap or free. This is a great way to save money and get the things needed for your child.
13. Visit Different Stores
Try to visit many different stores in order to find a good deal, this could include stores you would not usually frequent, such as charity shops or discount stores. You will be really surprised to see what bargains can be found in these places and the savings you can make.
14. Borrow Items From Your Support Networks
Once you have devised a list of things you will need, to save money you should ask your support network if they can help out. Usually, they will be able to help with a lot of things, especially those that have been through this before. Regardless of if they have or not, any help is better than none, especially for a college student.
15. Practice Living On Your Baby Budget Amount
Once you have devised a plan, you should trial the budget you have set to live off of prior to your baby arriving. This will help you see if it is doable, what sacrifices you will have to make and how these will impact your life. This helps you to re-evaluate what you think is important or not.
16. List All The Items You Need
Plan, plan and plan again! It is important to devise lists of items that you need, that you want and that you desire. These are three completely separate concepts and need to be tackled in different ways. The babies needs must go first, if you have all the items you need to be identified then this can be your focus.
17. Save A Nest Egg
Whilst this is an ideal situation, even saving a little bit of money prior to the baby arriving is a great achievement. Being a college student the premise of this may be difficult, however, it is not completely unachievable if you plan.
18. Get The Necessities Only
This is one of the hardest concepts to envisage for any expecting parent, but for one still studying it is a must. Identify only the items you need and focus on these as opposed to toys and fun items for the child, these can come once they are born or are required.
Affording a baby at any time is difficult unless you are avidly trying and have no financial constraints. For expecting parents at college try to remember that you can only do what you can, you should plan and ensure that all the babies needs will be met prior to their arrival to the best of your financial ability. Remember that your attitude and readiness for having a child is much more important.
If you or a friend is expecting a baby, don’t worry. It’s a tough task but not impossible to complete college while having a baby. If you’re going to school now and pregnant or thinking about pregnancy soon, here are our 15 practical tips for handling the logistics of college with a baby: