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Money saving

How to save money if you’re having a baby

Posted 29 July 2016 by Christine Walsh

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Worried about the cost of having a baby? Keep the costs down with our tips.

If you’re going to have a baby, first of all – congratulations! You’re probably in the middle of lots of preparation for when your little one gets here. In the middle of all that planning though, you might be a little worried about the cost of getting everything ready. 

If this is you we hope this blog will put your mind to rest. We’re going to take you through our top tips on how to minimise the cost of welcoming your bundle of joy into the world. 

Work out your maternity pay and budget around it

One of the most effective ways to successfully manage your money is to budget properly, and you can’t budget properly if you don’t know how much money you’ve got coming in.

Make sure you know how much you’re going to get in maternity pay so you can budget for the essentials like food, rent and your household bills. If your budget is right, you’ll know exactly how much you have to spend on things for the baby.

Our previous blog will explain exactly how maternity pay works so you can factor this into your budget. 

Buy second hand

Have you heard of freecycling? It’s short for free-recycling and lots of these little groups have sprung up around the country giving people the opportunity to pass items on instead of throwing something perfectly good away. 

The best thing about freecycling is that it’s completely free! When people post items they’re not looking to make money – they’re just looking for someone to take the stuff off their hands. 

Just type in where you live here, find your local group, sign up and look for deals. It couldn’t be easier or cheaper. 

If you know any parents with older children why not ask around – there’s always someone wanting to sell something. And don’t forget to check out eBay’s preowned section – it has lots of baby products to choose from. 

It’s not a good idea to buy a second-hand car seat. If it’s been in a crash in the past it could be damaged and that’s not a risk you want to take. To make sure you know how to buy and fit your car seat safely, have a look at this guide

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Don’t pay full price

It’s understandable if you want to buy a few things brand new, but there’s still no need to pay full price. 

Always keep a look-out for sales. Here’s one sale we found, where you can find discounted baby clothes, furniture and strollers amongst others. 

Argos are also having a clearance of some baby products, including a Mamas & Papas Pushchair which is £49.99, down from £119.99. 

Do you like Mothercare products? They have a sale on too, where you can bag yourself a crib for only £20. 

The point we’re trying to make is never buy full-price! You really don’t need to – there’s always a sale on somewhere. Shopping online is the best way to find those sales and make some serious savings. 

Sign up to the baby schemes

You might have to deal with the odd marketing email, but signing up to baby clubs can end up saving you a lot of money. 

Loads of well-known brands have baby clubs that offer their members rewards like freebies, money off vouchers reward points and advice. Which? have put together a helpful list of the best ones you can sign–up to

Don’t forget about your entitlements

When you’re a new parent you will be entitled to help in some areas, so it’s important to make sure you and your family feel the benefit. 

If you’re pregnant, or you’ve had a baby in the last twelve months, you’re entitled to free dental care. This NHS page will give you more information. You’re also entitled to free prescriptions for the same length of time, which you can find out about here. All you need to do is ask your midwife, GP or health visitor about it and they will be able to give you the relevant form. 

Most parents are entitled to claim Child Benefit if that child is under the age of sixteen and they live in the UK. You get £20.70 a week for your first child, and £13.70 for any other children you have. 

You may also be entitled to Child Tax Credit, although this depends on the child’s age and you do have to be their main carer in order to benefit - learn more here

There’s also the Healthy Start scheme. If you haven’t heard of it, you might be able to get free vouchers for milk, fruit and vegetables and vitamins through this scheme. You have to be pregnant or have children under 18 in order to qualify. 

According to the Money Advice Service some parents spend as much as £10,000, including childcare on their baby’s first year, but don’t let that number scare you. It’s definitely possible to get everything your baby needs without spending as much as that. Follow our tips and see whether you spend less than you thought you would. And if you’re looking for other ways to cut down on your spending, check out the rest of the money saving section. 

by Christine Walsh

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.