Must do Financial Things Before Having Kids

If you’re an expectant parent then you need to be prepared for those sleepless nights and a depleting bank account. Before your baby arrives you will need to be as financially prepared as possible. We’ve brought you some tips to help you get your finances in check before having a baby to hopefully leave you with more cash in your pocket when he or she arrives.

Start Saving

Savings Parents should aim to have at least three months income put aside for emergencies before their baby arrives. As soon as you find out you are pregnant, start a savings plan. You should have around seven months to try and get this emergency fund together and it will help you greatly when your baby is born. 

Budget

Budgeting goes hand in hand with saving money. If you’re feeling brave then try living on one salary before the baby arrives to see if you can cope financially with the drop of income when you are on maternity leave. This will give you a chance to get used to the new way of living so it doesn’t come as a shock and you can also build up your savings.

Declutter

When you have a baby you tend to accumulate a lot of new things. Before your baby arrives have a good deep clean and declutter. Use eBay and Gumtree to sell old furniture, handbags, toys, clothes and anything else you no longer need. You can use the extra money to buy essential baby items. Consider attending a car boot sale; see our article on ‘How to Make Money at a Car Boot’ for some helpful advice.

Dental Work
Dental Work

When pregnant and for 12 months after your baby has been born you are entitled to free dental care on the NHS provided you have applied for a maternity exemption certificate. Take this opportunity to visit the dentist and get any work done that you need doing. Even if the thought of going to the dentist scares you, knowing it is free should help you overcome your fears.

Pay off Debts

Before your baby arrives it’s a good idea to pay off any outstanding debts to avoid paying high interest and cutting into the reduced amount of money you will have on your maternity pay. Pay off as much as you can and if there are any balances left consider transferring the debts onto a 0% interest card that you can continue to pay off.   

Get Cashback

Even with a budget in place you are likely to need to buy a lot of items so if you’re going to be shopping for baby essentials then make sure you take advantage of any cashback offers. Some credit cards will offer cashback or rewards just make sure you don’t spend beyond your means and pay the balance off each month. Sign up to cashback websites when shopping online to get a small percentage back on all purchases. 

Life Insurance

Setting up your life insurance before having a baby will make things a lot easier for you. Many of the questions asked on the form relate to your health and weight. Being pregnant will mean your visits to the doctor and health issues may be completely different to normal and you will be asked many more questions. Set this up before you decide to have children and it will be a lot less complicated to do.

Make a Will

Will

Making a will is essential when you have children in case the worst happens. This involves a lot of tricky decisions and meetings with solicitors. Save yourself the hassle of having a child in tow when completing these tasks and you will make your life a lot easier. You don’t need to name your children as beneficiaries on your will, you can simply state ‘child’ or ‘children’ so this is perfectly fine to do before your baby arrives.

Chat to Other Parents

If you are having your first baby then you may think you need to buy every baby related item going. Speak to your friends and family who have had children and ask them what the essential items are so that you don’t end up wasting money on items you genuinely do not need.

Health in Pregnancy Grant

If you are 25 weeks pregnant or more then you can claim a one-off, tax-free payment of £190 from the government. This Health in Pregnancy Grant was introduced in April to help mums-to-be keep healthy for their birth. It is definitely worth applying for.

Check Maternity Leave and Benefits

If you’ve been working at your company for at least 26 weeks and earn more than £95 a week then you will be entitled to statutory maternity pay. This is paid at 90% of your average gross weekly earnings for 6 weeks then drops to £123 a week or 90% of your weekly pay if you earn less for the next 33 weeks. Your employer may have a different scheme so be sure to check with them before you go what the benefits are in order for you to budget correctly. Also check the policy with regards to coming back to work. If you decide you no longer want to work then you may have to pay some of this money back. Check what other benefits may be available to you and your partner. Look at things such as Child Benefits, Tax Credits and Childcare vouchers before having a baby so you can make informed financial decisions.

Extra Work

If you can, pick up some extra work in the evenings and weekends to kick-start your baby fund. You could even consider getting a second job for a few months when you find out you are pregnant. Holding down two jobs will be a breeze compared to the work involved in having a new baby and it will only be temporary.

What is the Verdict?

MoneySavingPigWe hope this post has helped you financially prepare for your arrival. Do you have any further suggestions? For more advice read our ‘Pre-Baby To Do List’. We love feedback so please use the comment section below. 

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