Starting a family can be the most thrilling time in your life, but with it can come a whole lot of hard work and planning. From making sure you have enough funds to cover the income drop when you’re on maternity leave to baby proofing your home, there are several financial considerations to make.
With this in mind, the money saving experts over at Jolly Good Loans have put together some top financial considerations and budget planning tips to get you ready for your newborn.
Budget while you’re pregnant
Whether your pregnancy is planned or a pleasant surprise, you will have around 9 months to get financially ready for the bundle of joy that’s about to enter your life. By the time your baby arrives, you want to try and have a healthy bank balance so you’re not under financial pressure from the get go – so use these months to budget carefully and get yourself in a safe financial position.
Make a list of any outstanding debts you may have and make an action plan of how these can be paid off – put a timeline in place and stick to it. Have a look at switching car insurance companies, TV packages and utility providers to cut down on monthly costs, ensuring you have the best deal possible. The money that you save by bundling packages together and changing providers can be put towards buying the essential baby items you’ll need in time for the due date and the effort needed is minimal. It’s also worth looking into life insurance and setting up cover if you don’t already have it.
If you want to be super savvy with your budgeting, allow room to be putting money aside in a savings account that will keep you topped up once you’re on maternity leave. If you can start to save money for living costs once you’re no longer working, you’ll take some of the financial pressure off yourself in those immediate months after having the baby, so you can enjoy the baby bubble you’ll be in. Once the baby arrives and you’re in a position where you no longer need to be saving, why not consider keeping your savings account to start a fund for the baby?
Prepare for a household income drop
Not only do you need to budget for the months prior to the baby’s arrival, but also for when you’re on maternity leave. Whether you’re taking one month or your full entitlement of maternity leave, it’s highly likely you’ll be facing a drop in household income.
If you’re a single parent then your budgeting and financial preparations for the income drop need to be watertight. There will be extra financial help available from the government – such as child tax credits – so do some research and see what’s available to you. If you have a partner and can rely on their monthly income, you still need to allocate what the money can and should be spent on and what sort of lifestyle you’ll be able to realistically live. If you’ve budgeted well during your pregnancy and made back up financial reserves for the income drop then the pause in income won’t be as much of a shock.
Make the most of gifts
For something so tiny, babies need a lot of stuff to welcome them in to the world! Moses baskets, prams and clothes are just some of the items to mention. With baby showers becoming more and more popular across the UK, this is the perfect time to make the most of the generosity your guests will be gifting you with. Friends and family will be only too happy to buy things for your new arrival, so use this as a chance to suggest practical items that will take a little financial pressure off you. Remember that when you have the baby people are likely to gift you with newborn clothes and cuddly toys, so maybe avoid asking for these sorts of things at the shower.
It might be that your friends are arranging a surprise baby shower for you, in which case make sure your bestie or mum has a general idea of the things you still need to get so they can share the list amongst the attendees. You never know, they might all group together and buy you the just-out-of-budget buggy you’ve had your eyes on.
An interior update
With a pending new arrival comes the opportunity for interior fanatics to get their style kick by starting the planning of the baby’s room. From planning which room the baby will have and keeping the design simple to making sure your plans fit within your budget, you have quite a job on your hands. The designing doesn’t just end at the baby’s room either, you need to think about how you’re going to baby-proof your home and the types of baby items that might invade the living room.
Planning is key here, and the chances are you will have family and friends who will be able to give you second hand things that they no longer have use for in their family home, or there may be a family heirloom that you’ll inherit now you’re pregnant. Use a list to get organised from the onset of your pregnancy so you’re not having to buy any last-minute expensive items and then work out where all of your newly acquired items will be kept. This will be super helpful if you’re planning a bigger family.
So, there you have 4 financial considerations to make when it comes to getting ready to start a family and have your first child. Enjoy the new adventure you’re about to embark on!
Keith Harrison is a content creator and writer for Jolly Good Loans – your online personal loans encyclopedia.