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How to Deal with Debt during Pregnancy

pregnancy and debt

Preparing for the arrival of your bundle of joy is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. Not only will you have to make room for the baby in your life, you’ll also have to make financial room for the added expenses of parenthood. Expenses such as clothes, diapers, formula, baby supplies, and baby furniture will be added to your household budget. These can make dealing with debt very stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips on how to deal with debt during pregnancy.

Reassess Your Budget

First things first: review your budget. If you don’t have a budget, now is the time to create one. A budget is a list of all of your income and expenses broken down in order to help you manage your money. A budget helps you see if you are spending less or more than you earn. Here’s a quick way to create a budget:

  1. Write down everything you earn each month, including your salary, benefits, and other payments.
  2. Write down everything you spend each month on priority debts such as rent or mortgage and utilities. Then, write down everything you spend each month on other day-to-day expenses, such as food, travel, and personal care.
  3. Subtract all of your expenses from your total income. Whatever amount of money is left is considered “disposable” income that you have available to spend on paying off debt, saving, or whatever else you want to do with it.

Reduce Expenses

If you find that you don’t have any disposable income available, you may have to trim down some of your nonessential day-to-day expenses. Reducing expenses may free up money so you can pay down your debt faster by paying more than the minimum required. The best way to reduce expenses is to minimize your budget busters—these include eating out frequently, expensive smartphone plans, or excessive cable bills. Instead of dishing out the dough on things you don’t need, consider reducing those expenses and reallocating the money toward paying off your debt faster. The little savings over time will make a positive difference in your budget.

Ask for Help

If you feel you won’t be able to pay your debt, connect with a debt management nonprofit organization, such as CESI Solutions, to get help from a professional debt counselor. Everyone’s debt circumstances are different. A certified debt adviser or debt counselor can help you develop a debt management plan that will be suitable for your situation.

If you’re worried that you won’t be able to afford your debt payments during or after your pregnancy, a debt counselor can assist you in creating a debt management plan and negotiating with your creditors. Although a debt management plan may cost you more in interest in the long run, it will help to relieve some of the financial burden so that you can prepare for the arrival of your new baby.

Being in debt during pregnancy can be a challenge, but doing these three things will help ease your financial stress as you plan for the big day.

Image source: Flickr

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