Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Financial planning when you're pregnant

Bringing a new life into the world can be one of the most rewarding and exciting things you can do - but it’s an expensive business, writes James Yelland from The Money Charity.

It costs an average of £22.95 a day to raise a child from birth to 18. 

So if you’re planning on starting a family, or have a child on the way, we’ve compiled the key things to start thinking about that should help baby-proof your finances.


1. Plan It

Have you thought about what you’re going to do when baby comes along? Back to work, or dreaming of quitting to stay at home with the kids? One way or the other, life will never be the same. Understanding exactly how your income and expenditure will change will go a long way in helping you make these crucial decisions.

2. Budget Baby, Budget

It’s likely you’ll suddenly have a bunch of new expenses, and significantly less income, so make budgeting a priority. Find out the cost of everything, then find space in your budget for them or ways to cut costs. Implement this budget before the baby comes and you’ll be in best possible shape. This free Budget Builder app can help.

3. Debts & Savings

The last thing you want when you’re focused on the little one is the added stress of debt hanging over you. Your new budget will help you find where you can cut costs, so if you possibly can, try to pay off any outstanding debts before baby arrives. If that’s simply not possible, you still need a clear plan to make at least minimum repayments and hopefully more each month.

If you’ll be shifting from a double to single income family, now is a great time to start saving too: having a bigger net for emergencies will make a difference, and the earlier you adopt the saving habit, the better.

- What’s Coming In?

Make sure you know exactly your organisation’s maternity/paternity package. This can vary greatly so speak to HR asap. Find out exactly what you are entitled to and what support is available. Do your sums around how shared parental leave could work for you too.

- What’s Going Out?

It can be difficult to curb spending when you see how cute tiny clothes are! But while it’s important to equip yourself with the essentials, do you really need every baby accessory? It’s worth thinking hard about what’s a priority and where you can make do. Are there things you could get for free? Do you have friends that can lend you stuff? Or can you find bargains in charity shops or ‘baby sales’?

Don’t be afraid to shop around with your regular payments too and switch if you can get better deals, haggling on energy packages, mobile contracts and insurances can yield great savings.

Don’t forget about hefty childcare costs if you go back to work and plan accordingly.

5. Be Honest

If you have a partner, talk openly with them to ensure you are both singing from the same hymn-sheet. Don’t keep money secrets and there won’t be any nasty surprises down the line. Also, talk to family, friends, or whoever is there to support you.

Aaaaand……Enjoy It!
If you have given thought to the above and put some plans in place, you are much less likely to have to worry about the money side of things, leaving you free to enjoy every second of this exciting new experience.
*·         The Money Charity is the UK’s financial capability charity. We believe that being on top of your money means you are more in control of your life, your finances and your debts, reducing stress and hardship, and that being on top of your money increases your wellbeing. Find out more at https://themoneycharity.org.uk/

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