Having a baby on a budget
At a Glance
Work out a budget before making any baby purchases
Shop around especially on Facebook baby groups
Ask any friends or family for any ‘hand me downs’
Speak to other parents to find out what the essentials are
Working out how much to save for a baby can be a bit daunting. Follow our tips for easy ways to save money as parents, from creating a household budget to buying only baby essentials—and get planning for your baby on a budget!
Here’s our ten money-saving tips for having a baby on a budget
1. Look into benefits
Don’t forget to check your child benefit eligibility. These can take the form of a one-off payment when your baby is born, a weekly or monthly payment, or childcare/food vouchers. Every little really does help when you’re having a baby on a budget. Search online and on Government websites to see if you’re eligible as it may depend on your employment status, household income, and number and age of any other children you might have.
2. Start creating a household budget
Money-management apps can be great for tracking money in and out of your account. An excellent way to budget can be to follow the 50/30/20 rule—50% of your budget should go on the essentials—for example, rent or mortgage, bills, and food— 30% on other spending, and 20% on saving if you can. If you’re still coming up a bit short after working out how much to save for a baby, you might need to see if you can trim the non-essentials list.
3. Save for your baby
Opening a child savings accounts when baby arrives can be a great way to put some cash aside as you may not have to pay tax on the amount saved. Setting up a regular bank transfer to deposit money into the account each month means you won’t forget and your nest egg will grow as your baby does. Whether you’re putting money away for buying baby gear or even starting a university fund, it’s worth shopping around for the best interest rates so you can save the most for your child’s future.
4. Shopping for a baby on a budget
We’ve found it’s really helpful to make a list of the baby essentials you’ll need ahead of baby’s arrival and try to only buy items you’ll really need. They might include, a car seat, cot, buggy, nappies, a few one-pieces, vests, baby grow and baby blanket. If you’re having a baby shower (when we’re allowed to again) you could set up a gift registry and ask people to contribute toward some of the more expensive items. It’s not always easy to know what you’ll need, so ask friends and family who have some baby experience. For example, it may not be worth buying lots of breastfeeding clothes and accessories or bottle-feeding equipment until you see how your feeding plans work out. Ask around or look online for other money-saving tips for parents too.
5. Look for freebies
Hand me downs and freebies are a great way to stock up on the baby essentials. Friends and family are bound to be only too pleased to help, especially if it means they can have a clear out. Depending on where you live and your healthcare provider, you may even be entitled to a free baby box, packed full of essential items! Take a look at the Bounty website to see what packs are available or ask your healthcare professional what is available.
6. Search “find a toy library near me.”
You could find out if there’s a local toy library near you—often for a small membership fee, you can get access to hundreds of toys, games and books for your little one. You’ll save money, and they’ll never be bored because there will always be something new to play with!
7. Buy second-hand baby essentials
Check out local Facebook groups and second-hand sites for pre-loved baby essentials. You can often find big-ticket items for sale, still in excellent condition but at a fraction of the retail cost. Bargain Bugaboo anyone? Yes please!
8. Try reusable nappies
Reusable nappies are certainly kinder on the environment and your bank balance too. Using cloth nappies instead of disposable ones can save hundreds of pounds a year. There will be some initial outlay costs, depending on what type of cloth nappy you opt for but they might last for when a little brother or sister is on the way. Search online for the best options for you and your baby.
9. Buy in bulk
We know that cloth nappies aren’t for everyone, and with a million other things on your list, don’t feel bad if you need to go down the disposable route. There are savings to be had by bulk buying or signing up to a subscription service. Of course, your little bundle of joy won’t stay so little forever, so you remember to change your regular order, or they might be a bit tight!
10. Breastfeed if you can!
Breastfeeding provides the ideal nutritional start for babies, so it’s no wonder the World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first six months of your baby’s life. It’s the most economical way of feeding your baby too, of course. Right, that’s your finances, and household budget sorted, now you can find out how you can emotionally prepare for parenthood!