Babies change things don’t they? And they certainly have an impact on your finances. Whether you return to work or not you’ll definitely have to readjust your spending habits when you become a parent. We spoke to financial adviser Becky Goddard-Hill for her top tips on baby budgeting. Why not pick out a few that will work for you?
Activity classes are lots of fun and a great way to meet other parents but not all suit every baby. Ask if you could try before you buy, it could save you from an expensive mistake. I’ve asked for classes as gifts before now for my children’s birthdays or Christmas. This is something grandparents are often happy to provide. Consider trying out your local parent and baby groups too.
For £1 you both get to relax, have a drink and socialise. These are FAR cheaper than baby-activity classes.
Preloved is price-less
Accept hand-me-downs and pass on your stuff too. Share-and-you-will-be-shared-with is something I have found to be oh so true. Babies have no clue whether what they’re wearing is new and neither does anyone else.
Consider buying preloved items too, check out eBay, charity shops in rich areas and NCT nearly-new sales, there’s bound to be one near you and the quality is always great. These are not only cheaper options but green too and we all want a better world for our kids as well as a fuller purse.
Communication is key
Do tell family your situation. They’ll understand why you’re more frugal and may even offer support (e.g. free babysitting, budgeting tips from ‘the good old days’!) It will also help them understand why a gift list is a really good idea. After all who needs 20 sets of newborn clothes?
Do tell your friends that you’re more financially restricted now. It will save you refusing endless social situations that you can’t afford and everyone getting embarrassed / upset. Instead you can then plan frugal treats likes meals at each others’ homes, long walks, even a pamper night in.
Make sure you get all the benefits you are entitled to (see www.direct.gov.uk), it can make such a difference to your life quality. Whilst money is a necessity and of course matters a great deal, a shift in attitude can make the world of difference. When you think back to your own childhood I bet your happiest memories are of the simple things like making perfume from flowers, a caravan by the sea, friends to sleepover… NOT having a posh car, a well dressed mummy or a designer pram.
Breastfeeding, reusable nappies and reusable wipes are significantly cheaper options. It’s worth giving them a really good go (but if no joy there is nothing wrong with home brands). If you have a talent such as hairdressing why not exchange it with a friend who can make your child’s birthday cake.
Swapping skills is fab. If you can build a community around you that is increasingly self-sufficient it massively reduces expenditure!
Becky really knows her stuff when it comes to money matters. Check out her previous Kiddicare blog post: Holidays on a budget. Becky also writes a daily Baby Budgeting blog and for the wider/older family she blogs at Family Budgeting. She is the author How to afford Time off with your Baby (Vermilion 2009) and has just published the eBook 100 easy ways to be a thrifty family.
For all your bump to five essentials – with a rock solid price match guarantee – visit kiddicare.com.