I often ponder on the idea of having children, and while I’m not particularly enthusiastic at the moment, I realise that there may be a time when this changes.
But financially, I’m definitely not ready yet.
I think that planning the finances of having babies is tricky, because there are so many things to consider, yet only a short time to do it in. The best time to plan in my opinion is before you even get pregnant.
I remember reading a tweet from a man who already had a “baby fund” created, but no partner and no babies!
While that is a *tad* extreme, he had a point. The only reason why times like this can be stressful financially is when there is no planning involved and suddenly someone is left without any savings, in debt, and a baby on the way.
It’s not always easy to plan, I know. I work in general practice, and the majority of women I see are pregnant by happy-accident. In fact, there is a UK statistic that says that 1/3rd of births are unplanned, so it’s clearly not just where I work….
If you’re planning a pregnancy, currently pregnant, or just had a baby, don’t panic. There is still plenty you can do from right where you are. I did a video on this for my community recently, and the resources I spoke about are below it.
I also asked the UK Money Blogging Community what they thought, and here are the responses they gave – there are some fab tips in this list!
Tips From UK Money Bloggers
Adjust Your Budget
“When you get pregnant (if not before) work out what money you will have coming in and what childcare is going to cost you. Then try to live on that while pregnant. It helps you adjust to your new baby budget and you won’t feel the change once baby is born.” https://tuppennysfireplace.com/
“Check to see if your eligible for a maternity grant, this is a one off payment which you can use for essentials.
Also remember you get free dental treatment and prescriptions from the NHS when expecting which can help as things like gaviscon can really add up through pregnancy.” www.nottaughtatschool.co.uk
Batch cook and freeze as many meals as possible before baby arrives – you will not feel like cooking and it’s easy to resort to takeaways and convenience – especially when you’re sleep deprived!
Amazon Bestsellers and Wishlists
“Save money while you’re still working. There are so many unexpected expenses, especially if your child is unwell once born, and not having the added pressure of working about money for bills (or just hospital parking) is a great relief! Also, check out the bestsellers on amazon while pregnant. Set up a wishlist of items and ask people to buy from it instead of bringing more cute newborn outfits your little one is unlikely to have the time to wear!” https://katykicker.com
Don’t Buy All The Things
“Don’t think you need to buy ALL THE THINGS – there’s so much baby stuff you think you’re gonna use and never do – save money by only getting what you actually need – for example your baby can be bathed in a sink or your own bath, bottles can warmed in a mug of hot water rather than a bottle warmer, nappies don’t need to go in a special bin and so on.” https://missmanypennies.com/baby-on-a-budget/
“I’d say to try and get as many things as possible second hand (although not car seats or mattresses). There are so many hardly used baby things – because so much is bought brand new when they are tiny and not used! The main costs in my opinion after baby has arrived are nappies and milk, so it’s worth looking into the costs of those and seeing how you can do them as cheaply as possible.” https://frompenniestopounds.com
“I wish I had realised that babies only need a few changes of clothes and not loads of cute outfits… they never got worn! Also, not everything has to be brand new- Nearly new sales, such as the NCT Nearly New Sales, are a fantastic way to buy good quality baby items at a fraction of the original cost. There are some things that are worth paying more for, such as good quality nappies, pushchairs and car seats.” http://www.findingthepennies.com/
Grab A Bargain Online
“eBay and Facebook selling groups and local selling events are great for picking up bargains. You can often get eBay clothes bundles that work out around 50p per item. Facebook sales groups are often good for the bulkier stuff like pushchairs and high chairs. We paid about £10 for a second hand pushchair that would have been over £100 new.”
Once Baby Is Born
“Sign up to bounty.com. They give free packs to mums-to-be and parents of newborns. They come with free products and samples as well as vouchers.” www.householdmoneysaving.com FYI – there was another comment about bounty from another blogger who felt that they were quite “pushy” and “salesy”, so just be aware of this. Not everyone has had experiences like this though and actually really appreciated it. I used to work on maternity wards, and I don’t remember there being anything uncomfortable about bounty, and it looked like people were happy to receive their packs!
So I’d just say use your own judgement, and if someone is getting too much, ask them to leave and ensure you mention this to the labour-ward staff. None-the-less, I think freebies are always helpful!
“Start a weekly savings pot for Christmas to make sure you have enough put aside every year to ensure your little one has everything they need/want at the most important time of the year.” https://www.dailydealsblog.co.uk
“Accept any offers from friends and family for hand-me-down items. So many things are used for such a short period of time, that it’s not worth buying them and babies don’t care whether things are new or not!” www.yourmoneysorted.co.uk
“Don’t feel under pressure to have the best of everything because your baby will honestly never remember what brand of stroller they had or what designer clothes they wore. And also, don’t go over the top for their first couple of Christmasses – just buy things you know they need.” www.frugalfamily.co.uk
“Use reuseable nappies or old clean towels instead of disposables. Breastfeed for as long as you can(if mum can and wants to). Not only do you have food always readily available, mum does not need to buy water, bottles, formula or use up electricity to make the formula! Breast milk is naturally heated, has all the water content and it comes with its own bottle. I hope this is useful.” https://www.sawyerrshousemoneylifestyle.com/
I hope you found those useful and inspiring to get you started with your planning. Here’s my take on the whole process, and I have included some resources for you at the end.
Resources Mentioned In This Video
I suppose the main thing I’m trying to get across in this post is to plan ahead as much as possible. While your pregnancy may have been a surprise, you still have 40 weeks to get organised. Ask for help from those around you, and speak to your midwife about things you can do. You may be entitled to all sorts of help, so start looking for it!
But ultimately don’t forget – money is a tool to help you be/do/have what you need and want in life. I don’t want that to be the over-arching thing you worry about. Above everything, enjoy your pregnancy and your baby! Don’t let the money be the source of stress – the baby will be enough!
Until next time,