The Money-Saving Baby Checklist
It’s one of the more important considerations facing all would-be parents when starting a family — money. Babies are life-changing, rewarding, stressful, fun and joyful all rolled into one — but they also have a significant impact on your wallet. In fact, recent research suggests that the cost of raising a child born today will average at around £230,000 until they turn 21. In addition, around 30% of your gross income as parents is likely to be dedicated to bringing up your youngster — and that’s if you only have one!
It need not be a scare story or a deterrent on having kids. What it does mean though is that it becomes imperative to be sensible with your money, and find ways to save wherever you can. Whether it’s a few quid here or there, or a long-term savings plan, thriftiness is a state of mind you should be trying to get into as soon as possible.
Here are six easy money savers to get you started…
Stay away from branded clothing
In all their excitement, so many new parents will head to the shops and get sucked into buying designer or trendy clothes for their newborns. Opting for labels can be a real waste though. Babies simply need comfortable and safe clothing, and will grow out of it in no time anyway. You also don’t want to set any precedents which could risk them becoming materialistic from a young age. Even family and friends may be inclined to splash out on such clothing items for a baby shower. Perhaps you can quietly urge them to put their money to better use instead.
Get your free dental and meds
A lot of women aren’t aware that those who are pregnant, or have given birth in the last 12 months are entitled to free dental treatment and prescriptions throughout the UK on the NHS. It’s a freebie that can save you hundreds of pounds, and all you need is a valid maternity certificate (or maternity exemption certificate).
Get your full maternity and paternity pay entitlement
If you’ve been with the same company for 6 months or more by the time you take time off work for the birth, your employer is responsible for paying a minimum level of your salary (£140 per week or 90% of your salary). This should cover you for up to 39 weeks.
The same statutory minimums apply for dads too, albeit only for two weeks. Remember too that as parents, you can also share this around. Either way, make sure to collect all the pennies that are due to you.
Get a helping hand for free
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-stop-shop or manual to guide you in your quest as a parent. Luckily in England alone, there are more than 3,000 Sure Start children’s centres which offer a multitude of services including advice on breastfeeding, maternity help and parenting support. What’s more, most have free play areas and other activities for babies too, so they can easily keep themselves entertained while you’re there.
Get on the second-hand hunt
This goes well beyond just second-hand clothes. The scope for savings on things like strollers, car seats, toys and more is huge, and websites like Gumtree and eBay make it oh-so easy. This goes both ways too, so if you’re looking to sell these items up in the future, you can make some or all of your investment back. Keep an eye out for platforms like these on social media too, with Facebook groups dedicated to buying and selling baby goods.
Get car savvy
Up-sizing the car is just a reality of starting a family for most, so the time to ditch the little run-around in favour of a family vehicle may have come. But do it sensibly. Will diesel or petrol be cheaper? How big a car do you really need? Can you haggle on the price? What will it cost to insure? It’s important to clamp down on the cost on all these fronts. In addition, if you’re needing car finance in order to fund the purchase, shop around. There are plenty of low-cost loans out there, so be sure to choose wisely.
Being savvy with money extends to a whole lot more than just the above, and there are many ways you can save. Of course, you don’t want thriftiness to become a complete obsession, and it goes without saying that you as a family should make the most of this new adventure every step of the way. But a few easy measures here and there can really go a long way to keeping your finances in order.
This is a sponsored guest post. Second image credit: Freepik.