Having a baby is a hugely exciting time in your life, but it can also be a huge learning curve, especially in budgeting.
Baby equipment is big business and we all want the best for our children, but it is important to remember that much of it will only be used for a few weeks and isn’t worth spending big money on.
Planning a baby on a budget is a challenge, but can be achievable but it is important to start saving as soon as you find out you are pregnant.
My Top Tips on Planning a Baby on a Budget
My first tip is to attend a Baby Show, where you can see what items you need or like.
There are very often some special offers at these shows, but it is important not to get carried away.
Buy Second Hand
You have been to the Baby Show and seen what you want, now look for that item second hand. Most baby equipment is only used for a few weeks at most and will still be in fantastic condition, but make sure you view it first.
The one thing I recommend you invest in, and buy new, is a new car seat as you wouldn’t be able to tell if it had been in an accident.
Unless you are the first to have a baby in your friendship group, many friends will have baby equipment tucked away and will be happy to lend it out.
When you have a baby, friends, family and work colleagues naturally want to help, so it is worth putting together a gift guide of what you want.
That way they can either club together to buy that big ticket item, or help buy the little things that you really need or want.
Save money whilst you are still working
Although maternity packages have improved over the years, it can still be a huge shock when when SMP (Statutory Maternity Pay) kicks in.
SMP is payable for 39 weeks, so unless there are medical reasons for finishing work early, I recommend you work as late on in your pregnancy as possible.
For the first six weeks it is paid at 90 percent of the average weekly earnings. The following 33 weeks will be paid at the SMP rate (£148.68) or 90 per cent of the average weekly earnings whichever is the lower.
After the 33 weeks has finished, you can still have up to a year off, but at no pay, so having some savings in your bank will help you get through this tricky stage. You can also take holiday immediately before or after your maternity leave if you want to spend more time away from work.
Enter Competitions / Giveaways
Most baby companies have social media pages and often run giveaways and competitions for their products.
There is also a huge online comping community out there which is easy to join and when you start, you will soon find yourself being tagged in giveaway posts.
How did you budget for your baby?