While all the talk has been of the royal baby lately, beyond William and Kate and the media attention there are thousands of expectant mothers waiting to give birth around the world. The son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will want for nothing, but the same cannot be said of the vast majority of children born today. And while Britain is by no means the worst place to raise a child, there is enough financial strain on parents that budgeting and saving are the everyday reality of starting a family. If you’re soon to be mums and dads the last thing you want to do is spend time thinking about how to best prepare financially for the newborn, so we’ve come up with some genuine nuggets of advice from overlooked costs and money-saving tips.
Don’t forget that, even before they’re born, babies can be cause for a lot of spending. There are essentials that you will want to budget for such as a cot, a pram, and a car seat; but these items don’t have to break the bank. Consider second hand cots and prams (never car seats, however); why not see if any friends who have older children still own any baby items they would give away for free, including clothes and toys? You might not know anyone who can give you some hand-me-downs, so search for bargains on Ebay and Gumtree or in vintage shops. With so many great parenting websites and forums, there’s not much need these days to invest in expensive books on pregnancy.
More and more women are choosing to work for as long as possible up to the birth of their children. The financial strains of raising a child are usually compounded by the mother having to take a significant period off work and poor or non-existent maternity leave pay; so the household is usually living off one income for a short period but with more outgoings. It’s time like these that credit can be a real life-saver – a loan or credit card can help spread the cost of purchases in those difficult first years. Before applying for a credit card account, it is necessary to check your credit score to get an idea of your likelihood of getting credit. If your rating is low then it might be difficult to get banks to lend to you. Open this site to begin the process of getting your family’s credit scores and seeing where you stand financially. From there, you can begin budgeting accordingly and seek out viable options for financial support if necessary.
While decorating the baby’s room and kitting it out with furniture will usually be one off expenses, there are a myriad of on-going costs to think about. If you have a partner, sit down and look at both your financial situations, including salary, bills, debt, and any pay for leave from work. Use this to work out a tight budget because all those nappies and meals aren’t going to come cheap. Factor in the cost of new clothes which will need to be bought several times in the first few years; not to mention thereafter. You’ll inevitably accumulate a lot of stuff from baby showers and your own purchases so it’s a good time to think about de-cluttering – selling some of your old stuff can be a great way to make a bit of extra cash.