Let’s face it; having a child is expensive.
While there’s plenty of excitement and wonderful moments to look forward to when you have your own bundle of joy, it’s important to remember that according to some statistics, a child can cost about £4,000 a year. That means that you’re going to need to figure out how you’re going to get your finances in order.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways that you can cut down the costs of your new baby – without compromising on their quality of life.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Get as Many Freebies as you Can
Parents are big spenders, so retailers are naturally keen to attract the attention of as many mothers and fathers as possible. The good news is that you can sign up to schemes and newsletters to get freebies and save some cash on the initial things you need. For instance:
• Tesco’s baby club offers unique discounts based on your child’s age
• Members of the Toddler and baby club at Asda get to know about discounts before anyone else
• The Boots parenting club gives you extra advantage points when you buy baby items
• Amazon gives you freebies when you set up a Wishlist for your baby.
Browse through social media and look for “baby clubs” online to find out more.
2. Don’t Cut Corners with Life Insurance
You’ll save yourself a lot of financial headaches and heartache in the future if you figure out your life insurance now. While you probably don’t want to think about dying or leaving your child without a parent, it’s important to know that you’ve got something in place to protect them if something goes wrong.
Remember that your life insurance policy could make all the difference in ensuring that your partner can continue to raise your child without you if you pass away. Bite the bullet and start looking into policies straight away. Just as you can compare loans to get a better deal on your interest rates and fees, you can also compare insurance too!
3. Network with Other Parents
There are hundreds of social media pages and apps available for parents who want to get to know other like-minded individuals. These apps can help you to network with other parents just like you and share handy tips for saving money.
Apps and networking sites are particularly useful for single parents or people who don’t have a lot of other friends who also have children. You could find that a little time on social media at the end of the night alerts you to free things to do with your kids during the holidays, great saving ideas, and more. If there are local parents in your area, you could even set up a babysitting club to save money on childcare.
4. Know if You’re Eligible for Help
The UK might have some problems, but it does offer support for parents who need it. If you have children, then you might be eligible for child tax credits. The only way to determine how much you’re entitled to is to speak to a professional, so consider setting up an appointment with the citizens advice bureau, or a similar group.
Remember that there’s also the option to claim child benefit, which is available to people in the UK if their child is in approved education or training and under the age of 20. You can earn about £20.70 per week for your first child with this benefit, then £13.70 for subsequent children.
5. Focus on Buying the Essentials
When you’re awaiting the arrival of your new baby, it’s easy to get carried away, making emotional purchases. You want your child to have the very best, so it’s easy to lose perspective when you see an emotional advertisement online, or spot yet another adorable toy.
However, until your baby arrives, focus on purchasing just the essentials. You can always stock up with extra items after your child arrives, and you’ll find that your friends and family will be able to give you a lot of hand-me-downs, clothes, and toys leading up to the birth too.
6. Make the Most of Maternity
Finally, make sure that you’re getting the best value out of your maternity entitlement. If you’ve been working at a company for more than 6 months, you should be entitled to statutory maternity pay. However, there’s also the option for some businesses to offer an enhanced maternity allowance for the first 6 weeks of your maternity too.
Before you go on leave to prepare for the arrival of your baby, make sure that you know what’s available from your employer. Additionally, ask about days that you might be able to work from home to earn a little extra cash.