Budgeting for a baby
There’s a lot to prepare for when you’re expecting a baby, and your finances are no exception. You’ll need to adapt your current budget to include funds for supporting a newborn. Although this may seem daunting, having a reasonable plan in place could help to ease some of the worries that you may have as you prepare to welcome the new addition to your family.
Here are some steps that you can take to budget for a baby:
- Have a look at some baby budget calculators online. These can help to outline your expected income and expenditure, so that you can see how much you may have left over. If these show that your plans could leave you with a negative balance, you may want to adjust your budget to avoid gaining debt.
- Organise your income. If you’re going to have a baby and have worked for an employer for a certain amount of time, you can quality for Statutory Maternity Pay, which is funded by the government. If you’re going to be a father, you may be able to apply for Paternity Pay. You may also qualify by Shared Parental Leave and Statutory Shared Parental Pay, which is when the mother and her partner share the time they get away from work to care for the child. You may want to check if you’re eligible for other types of financial support from the government, like Child Benefit or childcare tax credits.
- Try to get your finances in a healthy shape before your baby arrives. See if you can clear any debt you may have.
- If you’re having a baby shower, you may want to consider asking for specific items for the baby as gifts, to ensure that you’re going to get things the baby will need, so that you don’t end up, for example, with five different sets of baby monitors.
- Consider secondhand items. Some things, like clothes or toys, can be used secondhand if they’re in good condition and safe to use even though they’re not brand new. You may want to check if there’s anyone you know who’s looking to get rid of items for babies, such as someone whose toddler has outgrown its baby things.
- Buy in bulk. You may be able to get discounts on necessities like nappies,diapers, so make sure to check if this is possible.
- Think about the future. You’re currently planning a budget for a newborn, but you may also want to think ahead to when your child’s older. This may mean that you’ll start saving earlier for things like childcare or your child’s education.
These are some key things for you to consider when budgeting for a baby, but there’s also a wealth of knowledge information available online. Do your research, but remember that not all recommendations are one-size-fits-all. What works for someone else may not necessarily work for you, so make sure that you consider all suggestions carefully.
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