How Much Does a Baby Cost and How Can You Keep Expenses Down?
For those planning to start a family, the thought of how much having a baby costs can cause anxiety. With the cost of living crisis, parents now have to be extra cautious of their finances as raising a child can be expensive. In this article, we will go over the typical costs for having a baby, how to budget for it, and tips to reduce costs.
The Cost of Having a Baby
When it comes to having a baby, there are several things you will need to buy, such as a crib, stroller, car seat, clothes, and feeding accessories. According to MoneyHelper, here are some typical costs for your first month:
- Nappies – £24
- Clothing – £243
- Feeding equipment – £54
- Toys and furniture – £184
Aside from these one-off purchases, recurrent costs such as food, diapers, and medical expenses should also be factored in.
Budgeting for a Baby
Before having a baby, it’s important to budget for it. One important thing to consider is your maternity pay and benefits. According to Andrew Johnson, senior advice manager at the Money and Pensions Service, if you have worked for your employer for 26 weeks or more and earn at least £123 a week before tax, you should get Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP).
You should also create a spreadsheet to estimate how much all your essentials, from clothes to nappies and cots, will cost for the first year. Once you have the total figure, aim to save towards it.
Reducing Baby Costs
Here are some tips to help you save money when having a baby:
- Buy second-hand where suitable: Borrowing from friends and family is a good option, or you can buy gently used items on Facebook Marketplace, Vinted, and eBay.
- Shop smart: Compare prices across different retailers and sign up for retailer schemes for new parents, like those offered by Amazon and Boots, to reduce the cost of new baby essentials.
- Choose breastfeeding: Exclusive breastfeeding can save you up to £40 per month over buying formula.
- Consider reusable nappies: While the initial cost may be high, using reusable nappies can save you a lot of money in the long term, especially if you have more than one child.
- Having a baby in the United States without insurance can cost an average of $18,865 according to the Peterson-Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) Health System Tracker.
- The total cost of bringing up a child is estimated to be more than £200,000, but monthly costs are more manageable.
- If you’re not entitled to SMP, check if you can claim Maternity Allowance from the government instead.
Having a baby can be costly, but planning ahead and finding ways to reduce costs can help ease the financial burden. Borrowing from friends and family, shopping smart, choosing breastfeeding, and opting for reusable nappies are some ways to save money.
Starting a family is an exciting time, but it’s important to keep in mind the costs associated with having a baby. Creating a budget and finding ways to reduce costs can help you navigate the journey with less stress and anxiety.