Baby on the Way

Having a baby is a great joy for many people but saving for one when it is on the way...

Saving for the Baby on the Way


Having a baby is a great joy for many people but saving for one when it is on the way is certainly not an easy thing to do. With a due date looming, it can often seem that there is an extra strain on your finances, rather than it being a time to save. If you are trying to save but finding it difficult during pregnancy, then there are some tips that you can follow which will undoubtedly help. Nevertheless, you should be prepared for some additional expenses - especially if it is your first baby - and bear in mind that not everything you splash out on will be money down the drain. There are often methods you can use to bring your overall spending down without compromising on the sort of things you are buying for the new addition to your family.


How Much Do Babies Cost Parents?


The answer to this question - one that is often asked by parents-to-be - is that there is no fixed figure. There can be little doubt that babies do put an extra strain on your financial resources, but these need not be as severe as you might think. While the baby is young, you will probably naturally cut back in other areas of expenditure without thinking about it very much. Your usual spend on entertainment and dining out will probably drop. And, if you need to, you will usually find it is possible to cut back on other areas of expenditure as well. Try a few online calculators which can help you to assess where the real financial strain will come and where you are best going to be able to cut back. This financial adjustment will be as unique to you as your baby is, so remember that there is no right or wrong way to go about it. Focus on the essentials first - things like baby clothes, food and bedding. Other items can simply be forgotten about for now. Remember that it is important to create a secure environment for the baby, so not falling behind on rent or mortgage payments is essential. Likewise, your domestic utility bills are a priority when it comes to expenditure. Other things, with the exception of food, can go on the back burner.


Big Ticket Items


Some baby things are dear and there is no getting around it. A high-quality pram can cost hundreds of pounds. Likewise, a baby travel seat is another expensive item to buy. If you have twins, it can seem like all of your costs are doubled. However, there are some tips on saving money. Firstly, you are going to be doing a lot of washing when the baby arrives. But ask yourself whether you really need a new washing machine to cope. Baby items of clothing can be washed quite quickly and don't always need a boil wash, so keep hold of your current model and turn the thermal control down, which will help to save money. Secondly, consider a pram, car seat and pushchair that all integrate together. Although this may cost more upfront, it can often be cheaper than buying the items separately. Remember that prams are often only used for 18 months to two years. As such, there are usually plenty of second hand ones available that are in very good condition. Buying a big ticket item, like a pram, second hand means that you can often pick it up for half the retail price.


Juggling Your Finances


If you can, buy items with zero percent finance and spread the cost. This can be of great benefit to lone parents who don't have a partner's salary to rely on. If you are only being paid maternity or paternity pay, then being able to spread the cost until you are back at work can help a great deal. Remember to claim for any tax credits that you might be entitled to as well as claiming child benefit from the government. When saving for the future, don't be so austere that you don't enjoy the present, especially at a special time with a youngster new to your life. Try to set aside a little in tax-free savings for the child's future. Remember that many savings products for children won't charge tax. Even if it is a very low commitment to begin with - whilst your finances are tight - it is a good idea to build a future nest egg like this because it gets you into the habit during pregnancy.


Finally, if you find yourself needing to borrow money until you are able to earn more, then don't be tempted to go to high-interest or so-called payday lenders. They are often extremely convenient ways of raising short-term funds but you tend to end up paying through the nose for it. Instead, talk to friends or family first. If that does not work, try a personal loan from a more reputable outlet, like a bank. Finally, try to negotiate a payment 'window' or break for something like your mortgage, if other avenues have been explored and found not to be quite right.


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