Published on: 9 Apr 2018
Are you thinking of starting a family or are expecting any time soon? Is the cost of bringing up baby giving you sleepless nights even before the little one has arrived? Well, with reports that the cost of raising a child from birth till 21 has now reached a whopping £231,843*, it’s easy to be scared. But here are some tips to help keep you MoneyFit and sane.
Budget for the arrival
Find out where your money is going by working out your budget. Not only will you have extra expenses but if you’re a two-income family, you’ll probably be earning less. Use our Budge planner, it’s simple and it will do the sums for you. If you’re a couple, then talk about how you’re going to manage your money going forward – see Budgeting.
Rein in the expenses
It can be tempting to buy lots of baby clothes, nursery items and gadgets – but stop and think. Ask friends and family who’ve had babies, what they actually needed and used. Lots of people share baby clothes, as they grow out of them very quickly and most are hardly worn.
Also things like sterilisers, buggies and high chairs can be bought second-hand. Make a list and check out your local mums' network online. Share your wishlist with family and friends so they buy you things you need. Find out more tips in Cost of having a baby.
Be brave and save
Whatever big expense you have coming up, it’s always better to save up as much as you can. Open an easy access savings account or if you’re planning in advance try a fixed term or regular savings account where you might get a better rate of interest. Use our GoalSaver to see how quickly you might reach your goal.
Maternity leave and pay
If you’re a serving mum-to-be, check out the Armed Forces Occupational Maternity Scheme (AFOMS) Chapter 24. It provides qualifying women with full pay for the first 26 weeks of Ordinary Maternity Leave. To be eligible for this you must have at least a year’s continuous service and intend to return to work for a minimum of 12 months following maternity leave.
For everyone else, you’re entitled to a year’s Statutory Maternity Leave no matter how long you’ve been in your job. Statutory Maternity Pay is the legal minimum your employer must pay you while you’re on maternity leave so long as you’ve worked for that employer for 26 weeks before your due date.
If you're self-employed or earn less that £113 a week, you might be entitled to Maternity Allowance instead. For more information see Maternity leave and pay.
Paternity leave and pay
Adoption leave and pay
Baby checklist - 50 tips from MoneySavingExpert
Baby costs calculator - Money Advice Service
* LV Cost of raising a child research
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