How to budget for a baby

  • September 22 2016
  • Ben Emerson

If you are expecting a baby, you will receive copious amounts of advice from everyone you know, and occasionally from complete strangers, about everything to do with your pregnancy and baby from feeding to health and discipline. Filtering this advice for

Things you will need to pay for in the first year

For such a small person, your baby will cost an amazing amount of money, even if you stick to the basics. There are ways of reducing the cost of what you will need, by borrowing items from family and friends or searching out bargains online or in the sales, but you will need the following items to make caring for your baby easier:

  1. A cot and/or Moses basket – note that if you buy a Moses basket your baby will quickly outgrow it, probably before the age of six months when they can safely be put to bed in their own room. It may be more economical to simply buy a cot and place that in your bedroom for the first six months and move it into the nursery thereafter.
  2. Bedding and blankets and perhaps baby sleeping bags
  3. Clothing – allow for the fact that you will be doing a lot of washing and will need multiple basic baby clothes such as baby-grows and vests.
  4. A baby monitor
  5. A pram and car travel seat
  6. A high chair
  7. A set of drawers
  8. A change bag – a good tip is to buy travel-sized empty pots designed to put your own toiletries in for holidays and fill them with nappy cream and handwash – this will save a lot of space in your change bag and a lot of backache from carrying too much around.
  9. A play mat and toys
  10. A stash of nappies for those first few days at home

How will you pay for this?

Everyday expenses such as food and nappies will ultimately come out of your income (remember to research possible benefits and tax credits that may be available to you that will boost your income). You can also increase your amount of disposable income by checking that you are getting the best deal on all of your current outgoings (by comparing the cost of your utility bills against other energy providers, for instance).

blog budget for baby image

However, the items in the list above will have to come out of your savings, or you will need to save up for them throughout your pregnancy. You should have several months to save up, but if you come across a bargain that is too good to miss, or if you want to pay for something during your pregnancy such as a 4D scan, you might consider taking out a small personal loan or dipping into your overdraft to pay for it.

Before you do this, you should check your credit score. You can get a free trial* credit report from Credit Angel to see how favourably a lender would view your application for a loan, credit card or overdraft facility. If you don’t check before you apply, you could be rejected or have high interest rates quoted, and shopping around for more competitive deals could damage your credit score further through having repeated credit checks run against your name.

By understanding your credit score and seeing how it could be improved, you can get the best deal on your loan, card or overdraft to help you to pay for the essentials. You might need to clear some debts, close some accounts or take simple steps such as registering to vote, all of which will improve your score. Make sure, though, that your income will cover the cost of the repayments of any loan or form of credit before you commit to borrow, because the very last thing you want when starting your family is to have a pile of unaffordable debt around your neck

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