Having children is a huge responsibility and the financial commitment associated with starting a family is just one of the difficulties that come with it. Many expecting parents aren’t aware of how much it can cost to have a baby, which is often how new parents can find themselves in debt after the first year. There are a lot of expenses to think about in the first year of parenthood alone which is something that you need to prepare for when you have a baby on the way.

What You Should Expect

There are a lot of expenses that come with having a baby that you need to be aware of, and some of these will likely continue until your child’s adulthood. Many new parents found the first year in particular to be a shock as they weren’t entirely aware of how much their baby would need. We believe that with some fair warning, you will know what to expect and how to prepare for your baby’s needs when the time finally comes.

Food
This can include everything from a breast pump to formula, bottles, baby food, snacks and supplements.

Comfort

Your child will need comfortable clothes, pyjamas, blankets, a bed and toys, as well as other items to give them the very best start in life.

Hygiene

Hygiene is one of the most severe expenses, as babies tend to be quite messy. You will need to regularly buy diapers, disposable wipes, baby powder, baby oil, child friendly bath products, child friendly tooth paste, a changing area and a range of grooming products. All of these will ensure that your child’s skin is rash free, their nails are kept tidy and that they remain nice and clean.

How To Prepare

With all of the expenses yet to come once you have a baby, it’s important that you are fully financially prepared beforehand to take on the additional responsibility and reduce stress levels when your baby arrives. This includes getting rid of any current debt you may have – the last thing you need as a new parent is to have even more debt added to your existing debt! This will only make getting on top of your finances and out of debt more difficult in the future. To get out of debt, you need to pay off any loans with high interest as soon as possible. If you have taken out a payday loan to deal with an emergency expense, make sure that you pay it back as soon as possible. Leaving these loans without paying them back can result in accumulating interest, which can take a long time to pay off. You can use our Loan Calculator to see for yourself how interest can affect your original loan and why you should pay them off as soon as you can.

Before the baby arrives, it would also be a good idea to start saving some money to ensure that you can afford to buy everything that your baby will need. You can do this by putting aside a portion of your monthly income into a savings account as well as selling anything around your home that you may not need or might be dangerous to have around the baby. Many expecting parents will sell their cars to buy more affordable, energy efficient cars that can accommodate their children. With only nine months to save up for your baby, it might take some sacrifices, but it will be worth it and make your first year as a parent a lot easier.

How To Save

It might not always be easy, but there are a lot of ways in which you can save money on some of the expenses that come with a baby. In fact, you can start saving money even before the baby is born. If you can find discounts on the things you need – like a baby bed, stroller or baby changing table – don’t miss out on the chance to grab one while it’s good value for money. A word of warning however, make sure you aren’t be sucked into buying expensive baby products just because they’re on sale. Think carefully about how much you’re saving before you jump on a bargain and really consider if it is something you need.

When possible, you can also save money by getting second hand baby products rather than brand new ones. This includes turning to friends, family and the many associated online communities to receive hand-me-down baby clothes, toys and equipment. Babies grow quite quickly when they’re young, so buying them expensive baby clothes will only be a waste of money when they grow out of them a month later. You can save money by also making your own baby food instead of buying the jars and you’ll often find that buying certain baby products in bulk, like diapers, can actually be cheaper than buying packs every now and then.