As a new parent, I am caught up in a lot of states: the state of sleeplessness, the state of bliss – and the state of financial panic as I realise just how expensive this little bundle of joy can be! While there is no denying that the rewards of a little one far outweigh any negative financial repercussions, it is imperative that new parents take some time out of their pre-baby schedule in order to assess and plan their financial future.
The BBC reports that from the ages of 0 to 21, a sweet little baby will cost the average Briton nearly a quarter of a million pounds, a number that is set to increase by nearly 50% over the next decade. Besides the obvious increases in food, electricity and water bills, new mums and dads can expect nearly every aspect of their lives to cost more than ever before.
Here is a list of some costs that every parent should take into account as they prepare to welcome their new baby into the world.
1. Baby Accessories and Supplies – You may one day look back at the time that you did not know what a “nappy genie” was with fondness, but for now this accessory – and so many others – will be a daily part of your life. Cots, moses baskets, nappies, car seats, prams, teensy clothing and endless bottles – all of these things need to be budgeted for in advance. I bought some of these items second-hand; this saved a lot of money.
2. Redecoration – This one was a costly endeavor – I needed to paint, re-carpet and completely redecorate a room in my home in order to serve as a nursery. Not only do most parents want to redecorate in order to create a calm, cute space appropriate for their baby, many also want to ensure that the space is safe and non-toxic. This is a cost that many people save for in advance, and/or look into credit options in order to finance this project at good rates.
3. Holidays – Taking a holiday with your little baby is a lovely opportunity; taking them abroad before their second birthday will save you a lot of money, as they fly free of charge. I’m planning on holidaying at a beach resort to keep the stress low. Even if money is tight, the memories you will accrue during this special vacation are priceless – consider finding a low interest credit plan in order to fund this holiday.
4. Classes and Courses – Now that the first few weeks have passed, I (and the little babe) am antsy to get out of the house and back into the world. ‘Mum and me’ swimming classes, parent and baby yoga, play groups and parenting courses – these all cost money and need to be planned for. Consider asking for vouchers on your gift registry, saving in advance or putting these courses and activities on a low interest, points-accruing credit card.
Now that you’ve thought about the finances, you can get back to nesting with your new little one. Happy financial planning – and congratulations.
* This is a collaborative post *