How to have a baby on a budget

Having a baby is one of the most magical experiences you will ever go through — but it doesn’t come cheap. Be sure you still have something left in your savings account by the time of your baby’s first birthday by following some of the following money saving tips along the way:

Take what’s rightfully yours

Be sure to take advantage of the child tax credit, working tax credit and child benefit available to you. It’s there to help new parents out during a financially stressful time so be sure to put it to good use. Tax credits will vary depending on your situation, but child benefit currently comes to £20 per week for your first child (and an extra £13.20 per week for subsequent children) so it all adds up.

Don’t be snobby

We all want the best for our child but it just makes financial sense to buy certain items second hand. Clothes are a prime example — you can pick up serious bargains at car boot sales or at online auction sites, paying a tiny fraction of what good quality baby clothes would cost you if you were to buy them all new. When you consider just how quickly babies grow out of clothes, it’s something of a no-brainer. National Childbirth Trust (NCT) sales are a great source of cheap items for your baby so see if there are any happening near you — but be prepared for big crowds and serious competition for the real bargains!

Do stay safe

Certain items you won’t want to go second hand with, of course — for example, you want to be sure that you’re getting the safest possible solution when buying a car seat. You can never be sure whether a second hand car seat has been involved in a previous accident which might have compromised its safety, so it’s wise to stick to new products when your baby’s safety is at stake.

Shop around both in store and online

For big purchases like prams, car seats or travel systems then there are great deals to be had if you shop around online, while independent stores may also be willing to cut you a good deal if you’re buying a combination of items. Don’t be afraid to play stores off against one another if needs be to get down to the price you want to pay.

Rely on family for support

If both mother and father are going back to work following maternity/paternity leave then having a family member nearby to help with childcare can make a huge difference to outgoings as nurseries can be very expensive. There’s a case to be argued that the social benefits that nurseries provide can be beneficial to your baby, however, so consider striking a happy balance between family and paid-for childcare.