Four Tips to Help You Prepare for a Bigger Family

family life

For as long as you can remember, you have always wanted a big family. Now that you are married and have settled down, you and your hubby are already proud parents of a couple of amazing kiddos. As you are happily preparing to add another baby to the mix, you are realizing that you and your spouse will soon be outnumbered by your kids — and you want to be ready in as many ways as possible for your expanding brood.

Fortunately, preparing for a larger family is not impossible or overwhelming — it merely takes some pre-planning and a proactive approach. For example, check out the following tips:

Focus On Organization

The more family members you have, the more you have to juggle. Creating a large family calendar is a great place to start; use a magnetic dry erase board to keep track of everyone’s schedules — if you want, you can assign each family member his or her own color. In addition to noting when the well-baby checkups and school picture days will take place, the calendar can also include child-specific info like who needs to bring his gym shoes to school, when science fair projects are due, birthday party invites and more. Creating a Google Calendar is another great way for parents to stay organized and updated on any last-minute schedule changes. Near the calendar, establish a spot for important things you use all of the time and don’t want to lose like your car and home keys, as well as a basket for permission slips and bills.

Consider Upgrading Your Vehicle

That cute little sedan you bought when you were first married is now bursting at the seams with your family members. Before your next little one arrives, it is definitely time to shop for a larger vehicle that is capable of safely taking everyone where they need to go — as well as hauling all of your gear. A great big family vehicle that can handle an expanding family well is a high performing pickup truck like the Chevrolet Colorado. The Colorado is roomy, comfortable to ride in and drive, and it feels more like a car than a truck. The 2017 model is a budget-friendly $21K and gets 19 miles per gallon in the city and 26 on the highway. The Chevy Colorado also boasts plenty of safety features, essential to your growing family.

Save Both Money and Specific Items

While you are excited to expand your family, your paychecks will probably not automatically grow along with your number of kids. Learning to save money, spend less and keep key items will go a long way in helping to prepare financially for a big family. Strive to set aside a certain percentage of every paycheck — start with five percent and if possible go up to at least 10 percent; this will give you a great nest egg over time as well as help pay for those rainy day emergencies like new tires for the truck and braces for your daughter. In addition, save all of your baby items — everything from the crib and stroller to clothing and toys and use them again for each new family member. While you probably will have to toss some mashed carrots-stained bibs and broken rattles, you can save a ton of money by not having to re-purchase all of the baby essentials.

Carve Out Couple Time

As your family grows and you spend more and more time caring for your little ones, don’t forget your significant other. Try to establish a regular “date night” with your honey; if money is tight you can go grab coffee at a local café or head to the dollar cinema for a funny film. Consider trying out a new hobby or eating at a new restaurant by signing up for discounted activities in your area. Weekly date nights are a great way to catch up with your husband and have adult conversations about topics other than Thomas the Tank Engine and tween drama. If hiring a babysitter is on the pricy side, consider trading child care with a close friend.

Whether you hope to eventually have 3, 5 or 10 kids, spending some time preparing and thinking long term will definitely help you prepare for an expanding family. By the time you are done having babies, you and your sweetie will feel like seasoned pros in the large family department, and can maybe help advise young couples who are preparing to bring their first baby home.