Ah, yes. The first panic alarm once you’re done celebrating the fact you’re pregnant…
Can we afford a baby?!
First, I want to reassure anyone thinking of having a baby or already pregnant. Yes babies cost money – but with some simple, effective budgeting you really don’t have to become boring, predictable, lifeless hermits.
Marnie is 7 months old and we still have a life.
Start saving when you’re pregnant
It’s very easy to get carried away when you’re pregnant with buying everything and anything for your new arrival. Stop.this.now.
All you need to do is buy the basics. I was good and didn’t go overboard, and I still have bags of clothes that Marnie has only worn once or twice. It’s embarrassing. Babies grow so quickly, you don’t need to go silly.
Tip: Everytime you go to buy something that you don’t need for the baby, put that money in a jar instead. This jar will become you’re emergency baby fund for when you really need that money. Once you’re on statutory maternity pay, you’ll be relying on this jar for emergency nappies/wipes/milk/food. (Emergency bottles of wine…).
Before I became pregnant, Matt and I had a very active social life. Meals out with wine, pub visits with friends. This all changed once I became pregnant. Wine turned to water. hallelujah.
Tip: Set up a separate savings account for the baby. If like us, you found you were saving money when pregnant because you weren’t going out as much, transfer this money to this account so you don’t end up spending it on things you don’t need.
The first 4 months after your little one is born will fly by. And, if you’re like me, you probably won’t get out much. This isn’t a bad thing at all.
Matt and I cherished our weekends more than we ever did. He got to spend quality time with our brand new Marnie, and I got to catch up on sleep.
Because of our super lovely family and friends who showered us with gifts we really didn’t spend very much at all. I was still in my baggy maternity clothes so wasn’t in the mood to shop, I was breastfeeding so still off the alcohol, and I couldn’t leave Marnie for more than 2 hours before she needed feeding. Home was a safe haven for me.
Tip: Do your food shopping online. Not only does this help save money (you’re not being tempted by all the offers in store), but it’s something to keep you occupied during the nighttime feeds. Plus, once you’ve given birth, you really won’t want to be walking around a big supermarket for an hour (ouch).
SMP + weaning + finishing breastfeeding + growth spurts = a poorly bank account.
Once 6 months hit, our bank account took a battering. Even more so when I finished breastfeeding 2 weeks ago. Formula costs around £9 a tub (you’ll go through at least one a week). Once your baby is on the weaning train, you can easily add on a quarter to your weekly food budget until you find your feet with meal planning.
Tip: Become a coupon king. Start shopping wisely. I’m awful for forgetting my Sainsbury’s vouchers and letting them get out of date. Or ignoring the supermarket baby events. I know people that save ££s by using their coupons and keeping an eye out for sales.
Not only this, but your supply of baby clothes diminishes. I’ve found myself short of basic vests, sleepsuits and sleeping bags. You’ll be so thankful for that emergency fund jar, and the little baby savings account that you set up.
Tip: If people ask you what you need for the baby, ask for a range of baby clothes in different sizes. Then you know you’ve got a constant supply, until the new influx at their first birthday!
I hope this is helpful to as many new parents as possible. I’ve definitely lived and learned. If you have your own tips, please tell us. We’d love to know. x