A new baby makes saving money more important than ever
Your brand new bundle of joy is tiny, cute, cuddly, and also one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. It’s estimated that a child can set you back as much as £7,200 in the first year alone. So however busy life has just become, don’t forget to save wherever you can.
Here are our top 5 straightfordable money saving tips for new mums and dads:
1. Buy after the birth
With a bump on board, it’s easy to get caught up in baby fever and splurge on every gadget and gizmo going.
But it can make sense to save your money until you’ve met your little one. Buy the essentials for the first few weeks, and then pick up everything else when you need it. You may find you don’t need half the things on your list.
Budgeting tip: There’s no shame in asking friends and fellow parents if they have any new born clothes and equipment they no longer need.
2. Remember, tots don’t care about the price
Little ones judge a gift on fun factor alone. Ever marveled at a child more fascinated by the box than what was in it? So why not check out the nearly new sales, sites like eBay and Facebook mums’ groups?
Budgeting tip: Kids grow quickly, so many items are as good as new and you’ll get lots more for your money.
3. Check what money you may be entitled to
Make sure you get your maternity and paternity pay entitlement. Talk to your employer too, as they may give you more than the statutory amount.
Tax credits cover many situations including childcare if you’re working. This HMRC calculator is a helpful tool to see what you could be entitled to.
Budgeting tip: You can claim free dental treatment throughout your pregnancy and for 12 months after your baby’s born. Depending on where you live, you may get free eye tests too, so it’s well worth asking.
4. Learn to love a list
Plan out your weekly shops, decide what you need to buy for your baby - and stick to it. Noting down your outgoings can also help you keep on top of your finances. When you’re constantly paying out for essentials like nappies, milk (and the occasional medicinal slice of cake) - it’s good to know exactly where you stand.
Budgeting tip: Plan the family’s meals in advance so you only buy the food you need.
5. Find cheaper alternatives
The big baby brands spend millions trying to convince us that only their nappies or wipes will do for baby. But why take their word for it? Try out the many cheaper alternatives and see how well they compare.
Budgeting tip: It’s also worth signing up to the big retailers’ free baby clubs. The likes of Boots and Tesco are keen to bag your custom with money-off vouchers, free samples or extra points.
Saving for the future
Everyday small savings can make a big difference. Why use our savings calculator to see just how much small changes in your spending add up? Or for more tips on saving money, read our Money Saving Tips for homeowners and car owners. Putting what you save aside will mean you’re better prepared for unexpected costs too.
If you’re thinking about starting to save for when baby’s all grown up (it will happen!) and would like to know more about saving money in a Cash or Stocks and Shares ISA we also have a useful guide explaining how ISAs work. Whatever you do, saving money can bring peace of mind and help you make the most of your new life as a family.