The total cost of having a baby can come as an unexpected shock to almost half of first-time parents on average, it costs almost £3,500 to cover all the expenses of a baby’s first year. This figure includes pre-birth purchases such as maternity wear, cot, pram and car seat plus day-to-day items once the baby is born such as nappies, clothing, formula milk and food, but doesn’t include childcare costs and any loss of parental earnings.
Even more money will obviously be spent by parents who want designer-clad offspring and the latest hi-tech baby equipment.
47% of parents with children under the age of five, said their firstborn was more expensive than they had expected and only 15% of respondents said they had budgeted sufficiently for their first child.
Most new parents said that they had had to make lifestyle sacrifices to accommodate unexpected, additional baby costs. The biggest change had been cutting down on entertainment such as eating out and going to the cinema - perhaps an inevitable result of having a young baby as much as because of the costs involved, closely followed by buying fewer clothes. Other lifestyle changes included saying goodbye to expensive, foreign holidays or holidaying in the UK instead, buying cheaper groceries, postponing DIY projects and reducing financial contributions to pensions, investments and savings.
A few practical ways of coping with baby costs include:
Plan ahead and save as much as possible in advance during the pregnancy when both parents are still working
Draw up a “baby list” just like a wedding list and suggest practical items you really need when friends and family ask what gift they can buy for your new baby. This saves money and avoids receiving unwanted dry-clean-only designer threads and mountains of stuffed toys.
Try to borrow or buy items no longer needed by friends and family and get some great new baby gifts!
It can be done you just need to make the right savings and choices I would never recommend a second hand car seat or cot mattress but clothes that have been outgrown in a few months or an item that is safe to use are the way to save money in the long term.