Having a family

Claire, Enrico, and baby number two

3 min read

When we last met Claire and Enrico they were looking forward to the birth of their first child. Like all new parents-to-be, they were right in the thick of it as they set about preparing for the arrival of baby number one. They’re now a couple of years down the track and expecting their second child. We checked in with Claire to see how things went and how their experiences have changed now that they’re going through it for a second time.

Dealing with the drop in income

Aside from the imminent arrival of the baby and all the pressure that goes with it, Claire told us it was the drop in income that really weighed on her and Enrico back then.

“Before our first baby, the whole going down to one income thing really freaked me out,” she says.

To help get through this, Claire and Enrico prepared by using tools such as the BNZ Baby Calculator to give them an idea of the costs they’d be facing and made a budget to guide them through their new financial reality.

“I was making lots of spreadsheets and kept saying to Enrico ‘we’ve only got this many pays before I don’t have any money coming in’, so sitting down and making a budget helped”.

Changing shopping habits

After the baby arrived, Claire says they changed their grocery buying habits to a big shop once every three weeks to make budgeting easier. She also started getting the groceries delivered, which not only meant she didn’t have to stress about taking the new baby to the supermarket, but it made sticking to the shopping budget easier by removing the impulse buying that happens when you’re in the store.

No sacrifice necessary

However, making changes like this wasn’t the big shock she thought it might have been.

“One of the things I learnt was that my spending habits just naturally changed. Instead of being in an office each day and going out for coffees, lunches and paying for my travel everywhere, I was hanging out with people who were also on one income and together we were all really conscious about spending money. We’d have coffee at someone’s house and one of us would bring baking. I didn’t feel like I was sacrificing anything,” she says.

Stay in touch with other new parents

Claire points out that for her, it helped to be talking to people who were also raising a new baby.

“Once we were focused on looking after the baby, the fact that we weren’t going out shopping didn’t seem to matter anymore. You end up buying things for your child and not for yourself.”

The benefit of experience

This time around Claire says that, even though their financial situation hasn’t really changed, things have been different and both her and Enrico are much more at ease with the arrival of a second baby.

“This time I’m way more relaxed about it because I know we’ve done it once already and survived.”

Claire laughs when she tells us how she’d only been back at work for a week when she found out she was pregnant with their second child.

“We never really got back to having that disposable income again. I’d barely had my first pay and we were already back into saving for the new baby.”

Any last tips for new parents?

“Make the most of all the free activities that are out there for mums. A lot of places do coffee sessions for mums with cheap rates. We’d organise our group catch-ups around things like that. It all adds up”.


Having a Family with Plunket

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