Finance | How to budget for a baby

During this period allot of things change and finances is one of them.
Financial concerns can be a huge stress on expectant parents. Pregnancy may be a time of uncertainty for the immediate future as well as the long term.
As your home will most likely will become a single income home, budgeting and planning will be essential.

Having a new baby in your life is an emotionally enriching and rewarding experience. However, it is also a financial drain. It has been estimated that the cost of raising a child to age 21 in the UK is approximately £195,000. A lot has been achieved in the name of sexual equality over the years, but there is still a lot of expectation and pressure on men to financially support their family. Expectant Fathers feel particularly anxious about how they are going to afford baby things, childcare and protect the future of their growing family.

Coping on a single income:
Some families simply do not have a choice but to continue on double income. But for some it is a financially viable option, particularly considering the cost of childcare.

Look at your bank statements for the past 3 months and see whether living on a single income is plausible. Are there any unnecessary regular payments? Factor in the cost of childcare, research benefit schemes and do the maths.

If a single income won’t cover the cost of living then you might want to consider part time employment or a position that allows you or your partner to work from home.

Just as expectant fathers still feel obliged to provide for their family, there is equally a lot of pressure on women to stay at home after the baby is born. Sit with your partner and discuss how you are feeling. If either of you decide to stay at home make sure that it is what you/she really want/s to do. Resentment can be very damaging and it is important that you can both communicate your concerns.

Be flexible, situations and feelings continually change. Fathers to be can feel very differently about a situation when they are fathers that are. You will both be much happier if you feel you can alter your situation to issues as they arise. It might be easier to call the first few months a “trial run” where you can both see how well you are coping in your new roles.

Benefits
Over £1million worth of child benefits go unclaimed. Always check to see if you are receiving your full child benefits entitlement. While you are still a father to be, ask your employer about childcare schemes, some employers offer childcare vouchers.


Big Shocks

It is shocking how much stuff you need for your baby, and how much stuff you go through.


Baby nappies and wipes
are perhaps the biggest shock to new parents. The tip is to bulk buy and seek out good deals. Don’t be precious about a particular brand of nappy, unless a brand is irritating your child’s skin it is all much of a muchness. Even supermarket value nappies can be better than the ones we were in as babies.


Baby formula and food

Breast milk is not only advisable for the health and development of your baby, it is also a lot cheaper. But if you have no choice but to use it then be prepared for the added cost.

Considering our readership is mostly comprised expectant fathers, you probably won’t find this out for at least another 5 months but just so you’re prepared, those tiny jars of pureed goo are deceptively pricey. Homemade baby food is a cheaper alternative. There are lots of recipes available on line that you can make in bulk and freeze into smaller portions.

Baby Clothing
While your wife may go weak at the knees strolling through the children’s department remember that babies grow at an alarming rate. Never refuse hand-me-downs, this will save you a lot of money. Baby clothes can be quite difficult to come across in charity shops because parents tend to keep them as keepsakes or hand them to friends and relatives, but if you do manage to find some, snap them up.

Here are a few other suggestions to discuss with their partners whilst planning for the future.

Establish an Emergency Fund:
Write a Monthly Budget:
Ensure You Have Enough Life Insurance Coverage
Review and Update Your Wills

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