Congratulations! A new addition is on its way to join your family - but are you worried about how you’ll pay for all the items you need to look after a little human being?
How much you spend is up to you: a baby doesn’t have to cost a fortune and it’s worthwhile finding out what essentials you’ll need - such as nappies, milk and a crib - before spending money on luxuries. Shop around for expensive new items such as a pram, car seat and cot to ensure you get the best price. And ask around family and friends. They may have attics full of clothes and toys they would welcome going to a good home.
Working out your budget before you have the baby can help you be prepared for when he or she arrives. This can also be the time to assess your finances and cut back on your expenditure so you can start saving for your little one’s arrival.
For mums-to-be in particular, if you’re working, your income is likely to change if you take time out from your job to have a baby and go on maternity leave. You may be eligible for statutory maternity pay or adoption pay from your employer or maternity allowance from the government depending on how long you have been in your current job.
When the baby is born, you may also be entitled to child benefit, child tax credits, working tax credits or a Sure Start Maternity Grant from the government to help with the cost of raising your child.
Find out more on child benefits. If you’re at school, college or university when you give birth, you could be eligible for a Lone Parent’s Grant or Childcare Fund from your place of study.
Healthy Start food vouchers may also be available for milk, fresh fruit and veg, formula and vitamins.
Ask your midwife, health visitor or doctor or call Healthy Start on 0845 607 6823 to find out if you’re eligible.
Our financial life stages (having a baby) module provides more information on factors to consider when expecting a baby.