The New Parent Money Saving Survival Guide
So you’ve just become a new parent or perhaps you’re thinking about starting a family? Whichever it is one thing you’re going to need to plan for (apart from the sleepless nights) is how much your new baby is going to cost you.
With everything needed for the new arrival, and the months after, having a baby isn’t cheap. Also, it doesn’t matter how much think you’ve planned, there is always something extra you will have forgotten.
What follows is my parent money-saving survival guide to becoming a new parent!
1. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it
About three months before my first daughter was born, I turned into this uber-excitable parent who felt the need to go to every shop and buy every baby gadget known to man. I mean let’s face it, we need it all don’t we?
Well actually we don’t. Most of those items such as a baby bath thermometer, baby food maker and bottle warmer are actually items which cost a lot and aren’t needed.
Now if you’re a first time parent, it’s understandable that you want all the right stuff for your baby’s arrival but instead of wasting your money on unnecessary gadgets, have a chat with friends who already have kids to get an idea about what items are really needed and what items are just a novelty.
2. Buy big
Something really simple but normally not thought about is the clothes. Now the cute new born clothes are lovely but your little bundle of joy maybe in the outfit for just a few weeks. Do you really need a new outfit a day? When buying clothes for your new baby, instead of getting clothes that will fit them now, buy one size up.
In the early months of your baby’s life, he/she will experience rapid growth. Those cute sleep suits, outfits and booties bought only weeks before, will now become useless as your baby outgrows them.
By buying one size too big not only will the clothes last much longer, but you’ll save a load of money in the process. Plus, once your baby has outgrown them, sell them on eBay to recoup some of your costs and to spend on the next size up.
3. Don’t overpay on nappies
On the run up to the birth, one of the things parents forget to stock up on are nappies. It’s not a huge problem as you can buy nappies in most supermarkets and online. The thing is, it’s okay just popping to the shop when you’re running low but I can assure you that you’ll be paying over the odds.
With the price of nappies fluctuating from shop to shop (whichever brand you go for) you’re going to be hard pushed to get the best price. You can look out for special offers or even buy in bulk but the best way to save is to use a comparison tool like my very own Store Scanner!
4. Join baby clubs
Having a baby isn’t cheap so anything you can get for free should be snapped up with both hands. That’s where baby clubs come in.
There are currently a loads of baby clubs in the UK you can sign up to (completely free) and once they have your details, you will be sent a number of freebies which include sample products, useful magazines and money off coupons for a wealth of products and brands.
5. Check your benefit entitlement
With the summer budget having just taken place, you might be inclined to think that financial help to raise a child is a thing of the past. This is incorrect.
Although the government have made numerous cuts to a range of benefits, there is still help and you should definitely check to see if you are entitled to them. Check out Entitled To which will run through your circumstances and will work out what benefits you can claim.
If you (jointly with a partner) earn under £50,000 you can claim Child Benefit. If you’re pregnant or have had a baby in the last 12 months, you can get free prescriptions and NHS dental treatment and, depending on your income, you may also be entitled to Child Tax Credits, Healthy Start, Sure Start Maternity Grant, Income Support and others.