One of life’s most exciting experiences is having a baby, but also one of the most expensive experiences too. Preparing for the arrival of your little one shouldn’t be overtaken with stress and worry of how you are going to financially manage, you need to be relaxing and taking everything in your stride. Which is why I am supplying you with five simple hacks that will help you budget ahead of your little ones arrival and hopefully supply you with a little guidance.
Get to know your spending habits
Get to grips with knowing where your money is going every month and whether there are any areas of spending that could be reduced, and by monitoring your spending habits it will help you to create a realistic budget of how much you are able to afford each month.
For example little things like your trip to costa coffee every morning which costs £3.45, by cutting this out it could save you £1255.80 over the space of a year.
Even weekly takeaways or meals out which could come to £30 will save you £1440 a year. Don’t cut your little treats out altogether, try having a takeaway once a month instead and buy a flask where you can take your coffee around with you instead.
The next step is getting to know how much you are going to be spending, or average costs at least. The baby cost calculator provides you with an idea of how much people spend on average on particular items throughout the first three years of a child’s life.
Familiarise yourself with Maternity options
Statutory maternity pay is only paid for up to 39 weeks and for the first 6 weeks of that you will receive 90% of your average weekly earnings and the remaining 33 weeks you will receive either £139.58 or 90% of your weekly wage, depending on which one is lowest.
For example if you are paid £200 a week you will receive £139 in maternity pay instead, whereas if you receive £120 you will receive 90% of that wage for your maternity pay.
Although you may chose not to take maternity leave at all, but your employer has an obligation to not let you work for at least two weeks since the birth.
On the other hand if you want longer and don’t want to miss out on your pay try taking your holiday straight after maternity leave finishes, this provides you with a few extra weeks for your little one to settle comfortably into a routine.
Prepare for childcare costs
With childcare costs averaging at £10,000 a year we need to find some serious ways in which we can reduce this.
Luckily our government have introduced 15 hours of free childcare for 3-4 year olds which already saves parents around £425 a year and the hours are set to increase in 2016 to 30 hours per week. Also, don’t forget about those trusted friends and family who are probably more than willing to look after your little bundles of joy!
Create a checklist
Making a checklist of everything you and your baby will need is important, and will also help you out whilst walking around shopping and buying online- thinking what you’ve got and what you need.
Although try not to buy everything at once, purchase all the essentials your newborn is going to need right away. For example a high chair can be brought a couple months later, providing you with a few more months to save.
Where to buy and save money
Many people feel the need to spoil their little ones with the most expensive and luxurious items and feel guilty when they aren’t able too, just remember all your baby needs is you!
Buying second hand is a great way to save yourself some money, especially since little ones grow out of their clothes extremely fast.
Have a look on local selling sites near you like Facebook and online selling sites like Gumtree and EBay, as there are often big bulks of clothing for sale for great prices and in good condition.
Not only clothes but you will also be able to find furniture and toys for their nursery. Be careful about buying pushchairs without the British Standard Sticker, mattresses, baby bouncers, breast pumps, electrical items and most importantly car seats.
If you don’t like the thought of buying second hand then you can still save money. Don’t ever miss a sale and make sure you search around for the best possible offers, sometimes things are cheaper online than in store so always check.