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Are You Financially Stable to Have a Baby?

a woman holding a newborn baby's feet in her hands

It’s no secret that having a baby is expensive. It’s best to be in a good financial position before you begin having children. On average, in the UK, it costs a whopping £231,843 to raise a child to adulthood – according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research. You need to think past the first year of having a child and prepare for your baby’s future as well.

It can be overwhelming to think so far in advance and to see such enormous financial figures. Here are a few ways to make a financial plan for your family so that you can enjoy the best bits of being a parent.

Start saving in advance


Save as much money as possible before you start having children. You can save this money when you are pregnant or before you conceive. Start with £20 a month, and after a few years, your savings account will start to grow. You can put this money towards baby sleepsuits, a cot or some toys. Once the baby is born, you can continue to add money into your savings account and reserve an emergency fund. Although, bear in mind that you may only be able to add £5 or £10 some months.

Mat and pat leave


In the UK, if you have been working at your company for more than 26 weeks and earn more than £95 a week – you are entitled to statutory maternity or paternity pay. Typically, you are paid 90% of your average gross weekly earnings for six weeks, followed by 33 weeks at £123 a week or 90% of your weekly pay. Your employer can have their own scheme with added benefits – get in touch with the human resources department to find out more. You may have to pay back some of the money if you don’t come back to work. Paternity schemes tend to differ across companies – see what you’re entitled to and ask if there is any room for negotiation. For example, you could take two weeks pat leave when the baby is born and two weeks when the mother wants to return to work.

Apply for child benefits


You can get some additional support from the government when your baby has arrived. You can receive £20 a week for your first child and £13.50 for other children. Research the assistance available and see what you may be entitled to.

Budget!


Budgeting is key when you have a child. You may have to adjust to living on one salary or reduced maternity pay. Figure out your budget before your baby arrives and stick to it. Monitor your spending closely and revaluate the budget every month to see if you need to make some changes.

Some financial preparation can lift a little weight off your shoulders and make the transition to parenthood smoother



*This is a collaborative post*

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