From pregnancy and beyond, the staggering costs of raising kids mean it’s crucial to get your planning and budgeting right. Look at our ideas on saving from the start of your little one’s life and find out how you can safeguard their futures.
1. Making room for your arrival
First, you’ll need to think about making room for the new arrival. If you’re renting and you’re worried things might be a little cramped, it might be best to stay where you are for now, as you won’t want the extra costs and added stress of moving too.
Instead, utilise the space you already have and if it needs freshening up, do this in advance to avoid any decorating when the baby comes. Ensure the room is somewhere the child can get into a good and peaceful routine. Remember, the NHS recommends newborns sleep in the same room as you the first six months. If you’re still looking to upgrade to a bigger property, use this time to plan how much a move will cost and what you can realistically save once your maternity period ends.
If you’re a single parent, work part-time, or already claiming a benefit, enquire with your local Jobcentre how the change affects your entitlements.
2. Save on the initial costs
You don’t have to buy everything brand new, especially when it comes to big one off items such as cots, car seats, and prams. Look for barely used items on eBay and Gumtree for a fraction of the original price. Once your baby arrives, try to bulk buy necessities such as nappies when you see an offer at the supermarket.
Be sure to sign up to parenting forums, websites and newsletters to find as many money-off vouchers for the essentials. Don’t forget to sign up to child benefit too, as this is not given out automatically.
You can find out what benefits you're entitled to after pregnancy here.
3. Budget better and create a nest egg
By making a few spending cuts and becoming thriftier with cash, you can start getting into the routine of putting a little aside. You can use this nest egg for one-off costs such as redecorating the baby’s bedroom or buying a new pram.
As your child gets a little older, you may choose to build up their nest egg and get them into the habit of saving early on. Children’s savings account can pay better rates than standard savings accounts, especially if you lock them in for a set period of years.
If they can afford to contribute, the grandparents could also prove a big help, especially if they open up a savings account like a Junior ISA. This could be the perfect place to stash Christmas, birthday or any other money gifted to your child. Over the years, this will grow to a nice little sum and benefit from being a tax-free incentive.
4. Plan for their future
The moment you have a child, you need to consider safeguarding their future in case you become ill or die. Life insurance secures your family and their finances if you should pass away. It’s important to make sure they’re protected in the event that worst does happen, so if you already have a policy protecting your partner, it might be worth extending your cover so that the payout would cover your child’s needs.
If you decide to take out life insurance with thinkmoney, we can also offer critical illness to your cover (in case you become ill or disabled), to ensure that all eventualities are catered for. Our life insurance policy starts from £5 a month and we’ll find the best policy to suit your needs from a panel of leading insurers in the UK.