Many parents know that starting a family requires a lot of sacrifices. We sacrifice our time, hobbies, careers and finances in order to give our family the best start in life possible. However, this kind of sacrifices can seem overwhelming if it’s your first child. Leading up to and during the first year with your baby, you will probably find yourself wondering: What are you supposed to splurge on? What can you be more frugal with? What kind of supplies do you actually need? Generally, entering the world of parenthood can seem intimidating because every family’s situation is different, meaning the answers to all your questions aren’t always clear and consistent.
So, how can you budget for the first year with a new (adorable) family member when you can’t even seem to get a clear estimate? Well, according to Growing Family Benefits, the average cost of having a baby can be hard to pinpoint. They go on to explain that, “unfortunately, average numbers don’t help parents with their pre-baby financial planning and preparation. The range of outcomes is simply far too wide … the cost of baby supplies during the first year is also very different for each family because most of the items fall into the discretionary spending category.” This means that a lot of budgeting done in preparation for the first year with your newborn has to try and cover those what-ifs. However, there are some ways you can save during the first year — and the many more years to come.
- 1. Get credit where credit is due — tax credit to be exact. It’s important to remember that you can claim tax credits after having a baby. You’ll need to inform the Tax Credit Office within a month of giving birth in order to get the birth backdated, but depending on your particular situation, you can earn up to approximately £3,325!
- Host a baby shower and ask guests to bring gifts in the form of baby essentials. The baby items that will end up costing you the most are the day-to-day necessities such as diapers, formula, onesies, and wipes. If certain family members are struggling to find you the perfect gift, you can also register at a local shop for bigger ticket items, like your preferred stroller, crib, and bassinet. You’ll save money and feel less stressed during the first months with your baby.
- It wouldn’t be a bad idea to consider asking for gift cards to some of your preferred grocery stores, clothing stores, and baby stores. Using these gift cards after having your baby will also help you from spending most of your own money and allow for a bigger time frame to get your finances back in order. Overall, they can be a great solution to saving each time you need to purchase something for your newborn (and yourself!).
It truly goes without saying that becoming a new parent is a mixture of excitement, nervousness, and, of course, love. However, despite the challenges you and your family will face during the first year, it’s important to remember that there are a number of resources available that can make the transition into parenthood easier. You’ll be plenty busy with your new arrival, but it’ll be worth taking the time to figure out how to get a stay on top of your finances and save money when you can. Besides, anything is possible after giving birth!