Expecting a baby is sensational news! However, all the items you may need for your special little bundle of joy do not come cheap. From prams and cots to countless dummies, the costs can add up fast. But don't worry: it’s time to create a new baby budget. Simply rethink your finances with our expert tips, and your little one won’t break the bank.
A Head Start
Since your baby will take around nine months to come into the world, this means you’ve got plenty of time to plan ahead. With the birth being the finish line, consider the pregnancy as a marathon for your finances. Over this time, make any spare money that you have count: shop around well in advance for the cheapest options.
When it comes to buying baby supplies make sure that you don't panic-buy expensive essentials when your due date approaches. Likewise, if you have friends or family members who have recently had a baby, don't be too shy to ask whether they would be willing to lend you items which could cost a small fortune- such as newborn prams, slings and car seats. Since babies grow so fast once they are born, these will be as good as new; why not put them to good use again?
From the moment you discover the exciting news that you’re expecting, open a savings account specifically for baby costs. This should remain untouched until the baby is born, and will help to cover to day-to-day expenses of parenthood. From endless supplies of nappies and baby lotion, to sleepsuits and clothes which are outgrown after just a few months of use, your budget can remain unscathed if you have a parent-specific savings pot set aside for these essentials.
Again, when spending this money, always be savings-savvy: seriously stock up on baby-goods when they are on offer, and tap into this sensible supply when they return to normal price. If you’re on maternity leave from work, invest your pay into the pot. If not, explore your eligibly for a Maternity Allowance.
Healthy Mind, Healthy Mum
Pregnancy is a tiring time for many mums-to-be. Since stress can lead to complications with baby’s health, it is ideal if mum is relaxed and happy. As such, debt does not go hand in hand with pregnancy. If you’re in a difficult financial situation and are expecting a child, try to be proactive. Stop debt in its tracks by making sure that you keep within your monthly budget and, if possible, start paying back the debt bit by bit. Likewise, make the most of 0% balance transfers: these enable you to pay off existing debt with a new credit card which offers a significantly lower interest rate. This means that you’re then free to pay off the debt itself from thereon out as opposed to just paying off ever-mounting interest!
Baby Shower Bonus
Since expecting a baby is something to celebrate, baby showers are now commonplace for many of us. If this is the case for you, take advantage of the situation: your friends and family will be more than happy to buy you gifts, so why not make these practical ones? Drop subtle hints or simply be direct - giving your loved ones guidance will help them to help you. Given that the whole point of a baby shower is to celebrate the upcoming arrival of little one and to provide encouragement for the parents-to-be, your friends and family will no doubt jump at the chance to tick off your baby to-buy list!
Nesting Turned Nest-Egg
When a woman reaches her fifth month of pregnancy, she may experience a ‘nesting’instinct. This is an uncontrollable need to clean and organise the house in preparation for baby’s birth! Make use of this instinct: gather all unnecessary clutter, then sell any items of value on eBay. From boots to wall art, the saying goes that one man’s trash is another’s treasure - so test this out and put any profit into the aforementioned Parent Pot!
Know Your Options
When baby arrives, your parental duties will be never ending. Whether you decide to return to work or not, know your options when it comes to the support available to you. If you opt to stay at home as a full-time mum or dad, you may be eligible for Income Support or other such financial help. Alternatively, should you decide to return to work for over 16 hours per week, you will be eligible for tax credits: explore this on HM Revenue & Customs.
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