Every new mom's checklist includes a crib, changing table, stroller, and diapers. Often those items are purchased before your baby arrives home. Budgeting for daycare, wellness visits, and college shouldn't take a backseat. In fact, managing your money for current and long-term needs is doable thanks to a number of budget apps designed to help you save money while planning for your child's future.
The following budget apps are easy to use, work on iPhones and Androids, and will help you manage your finances.
YNAB (You Need A Budget)
Alison Norris, CFP, of SoFi, a personal finance company, recommends YNAB because "it shows you where you've spent your money and allows you to not only spend today but to save for the future. There's a small monthly fee ($7), but I wouldn't let that deter you. Most new moms who use this app got their money back by budgeting."
Lindsey Burgess, CMO, at YNAB, agreed, "One major result most moms find is they actually find more money in their budget once they start using this app."
Norris also recommends the budget app, EveryDollar. It has a free and paid version. Both give you an understanding of where your dollars are going. The free version provides a good analysis of how to manage your spending. The paid version, which cost $99 for the year, has more options such as showing you how to budget for those unexpected costs.
"These budget apps start you on the right path of knowing where your dollars are going and overtime lets you create the best financial environment for you and your child's future," Norris said.
Andrei Vasilescu, CEO of the money saving platform Dont Pay Full (without the apostrophe in don't), likes Mint, a free budget app that allows you to manage your money and track your credit score. "New moms can use the app to schedule payments and set a monthly budget," he said.
Mint, like these other budget apps, automatically updates and categorizes your transactions, which gives you a visual of your spending in real time.
Wally is a free financial budget app that Vasilescu recommends for moms who need to be on a strict budget. Like these other apps, Wally lets you compare your income to your expenses, shows you where your money goes, and helps you set and achieve your goals. "By summing up your exact expenses for the month, it shows you how to stick to a predefined budget," Vasilescu said.
Personal finance expert Rachel Cruze, host of The Rachel Cruze Show, likes shopping at Target and loves the store's free Target Cartwheel budget app. "It's a great way to save money on planned purchases," she said. "As a new mom, you need a new budget. There are lots of unforeseen expenses when it comes to your child, and you aren't exactly sure how much you're going to spend on diapers, wipes, etc. Be sure to add a line item to your budget for your child's needs, and I recommend overestimating that number. If you don't spend it all, you can roll it over to the next month."
"A budget should evolve as your circumstances change," Norris said. "Growing a family is the ideal time to budget for the present and for the future."