How To Keep Costs Under Control When You Are Growing Your Family
New babies are expensive. You simply cannot escape that fact. Whether they are your first or your fifth, they all need things, from somewhere to sleep and new clothing, to nappies and feeding accessories. When you decide to welcome a new child into your family, there is a very good chance that you will need to completely reevaluate your whole budgeting strategy. The earlier that you begin to make adjustments to your spending, the easier it will be and the better off you will be in the longer term.
Here, we look at some of the ways that you can avoid getting into debt or leaving yourself short of things that you need when growing your family while still making sure your new baby gets everything that they need.
Make a list of the essential items that you need
There are plenty of things that are nice to have – baby wipe warmers, for example, for cold middle of the night nappy changes – but they are far from essential. If you have the money to spend on these, great, but realistically, they are unnecessary and if you fall for all the marketing hype on every ‘must-need’ baby item, you are going to end up spending a lot of money very quickly.
However, there are some things that you do need. Some can be bought second hand from online marketplaces such as Facebook or eBay, while others should only be purchased from new for safety reasons, such as mattresses for cots and moses baskets, car seats, and any feeding equipment such as baby bottles. There are plenty of reputable online baby stores to buy these essentials from.
Cut down on some of your spending
For most people, having a baby means that they have to make sacrifices in order to afford everything. It is not just the baby costs that are expensive, but reduced income due to maternity and paternity leave, and in the future, childcare. It may be that your weekly takeaway needs to be cut out, or those coffees on the way to work need to be replaced with a flask from home. If you have expensive gym memberships, it might be worth seeing if you can get out of the contract, or not renew them at the end – there is a good chance you will not have the time or the energy to use them for a while after your baby arrives!
Know what you are entitled to
We are fortunate that in the UK we have access to financial support if it is needed after having a baby. Whether that is universal credit add ons, grants and the child benefit that anyone earning under £50,000 is entitled to, make sure you look at what you are able to access. If you are not sure, your health visitor or midwife may be able to signpost you in the right direction, or speak to someone at Citizens Advice.
Having a baby is expensive, but there are ways to keep costs under control and make sure that you have the money that you need.