How much should you budget for a new baby?

How much should you budget for a new baby?

Babies are wonderful but they come with a lot of expenses. It’s very difficult for first-time parents to determine exactly how much they’ll spend on their baby. The bundle of joy that comes with welcoming a little one may make you spend on a lot of unnecessary items in anticipation and out of excitement. Knowing exactly what is essential and what is non-essential is very important as it’ll help you spend for the baby efficiently without too many extra costs.

The amount required for a newborn may seem to be too much but there’s always a way of cutting cost for it to balance with your budget. If you’re planning to have a baby you should start saving early and have a clear plan to ensure you have the money needed when that time comes

This article will discuss the cost needed to have a baby, things to buy and generally how to budget for a baby.

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Baby?

According to research done by General Insurance, one of the UK’s leading personal line insurers, the average cost that new parents will incur on their baby within the first year is £8,500. This cost may vary depending on the level of income and therefore it shouldn’t scare you. With budgeting and having a clear saving strategy, you can save up this amount without so much struggle.

What to buy when expecting a baby…

You’ll need some items during the first years of your baby and knowing what is essential and what is not goes a long way in cutting the overall cost. If your budget is tight, you should focus on buying the essential items only.

Essentials

The items you must-have for your newborn include:

• Clothes

You’ll need the baby’s clothes right from the first day and since babies grow quite fast you’ll be required to keep buying them regularly. The estimated cost of baby’s clothes per year is £100 per year. This cost can be reduced by using donations from friends and family or by buying baby’s clothes from consignment shops.

• Pushchair

Newborns require a sturdy pushchair that costs about £100-£1000 depending on the brand and features. A stroller is very important when in the house or for carrying your child outside. As the baby starts to crawl you can shift to a smaller light pushchair that’s easy to push. This will cost you around £25-£100.

• Car seat

Buying a car seat is a must and in most hospitals, you can’t be discharged without having one. Within one year, a baby may need more than one car seat depending on how fast they grow. A car seat costs between £100-£200 depending on the brand and features.

• Bassinet

Paediatricians recommend that a baby should sleep in the parents’ bedroom for the first few months. A bassinet is a safe space for babies from 3-6 months. This item costs around £150-£1000. You can use a baby cot as it serves the same purpose and it can be used even when the baby is a few years old.

• Baby monitor

It’s impossible to have someone watching the baby all time even when you have a nanny. A baby monitor acts as your ear and eye when you’re not around your baby and it ensures they’re safe always. The baby monitors can just be audio-only models or audio and video models. The prices range from £20-£400 depending on the brand and features such as wireless network capability.

• Nappies 

For a baby, nappies, especially the disposable ones can be expensive (depending on the brand). The cost of nappies per month is about can be up to £50 but reusable nappies are quite affordable compared to disposable ones and hence if your budget is strained you can opt for these. However most childcare providers don’t accept reusable nappies and hence you may not have an option.

• Food

The infant formula is the only food expense at least for the first few months. The infant formula lasts for a week and each can costs £20 which translates to £80 per month but buying in bulk may help you save. You can eliminate this cost by choosing to breastfeed, as you’ll only need £50- £200 for the breast pump; which is a one-time investment.

When the baby starts transitioning to other foods, you can buy the required items depending on your budget and hence this is not restricted to a certain amount. Babies don’t eat much as teenagers and hence the cost is relatively low.

• Childcare cost

Within a few months after delivery, your maternity leave will be over and as you go back to work, you’ll need someone to look after your baby. If both parents are full-time employees they can spend between £6000-£37,000 a year on childcare. This amount can be reduced by splitting time between nannies and childcare facilities.

How to build a baby’s budget

Having a sound saving strategy is very crucial to ensure you’ll afford to bring up your baby without much struggle. The only way to go through this without getting too much pressure is to start small. Cut cost where you can and look for extra ways to earn money to cater for the child’s expenses. You can save using the following strategies:

• Determine your financial priorities

Only pay for what is necessary and urgent during that specific period. Pay up debts that cost you daily preventing you from focusing on other financial priorities.

• Practice living on less

Reduce all luxurious expenses such as eating in hotels, vacations, buying expensive equipment and clothes. After delivery, you may have to survive on one salary and you should get to spending less so that you don’t strain during this time. The amount saved from reduced costs can be used to cater to the baby’s expenses.

• Anticipate changing expenses

As the baby grows the expenses they need usually change and you should be ready for this. nappies, breastfeeding and childcare costs fall out with time and are replaced with other expenses such as tuition fees.

• Prepare for the worst

You should get ready for moments when you’ll not have enough money and the only solution is to cut further, the expenses, and finding another source of income.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you have an idea of how much it costs to have a baby and how much you should budget for. Even though it’s quite expensive to have a baby, you can manage by just focusing on the essentials. Budgeting is essential to ensure you don’t leave anything out. Saving and cost-cutting by shopping items at discount and eliminating any non-essential expense will help you significantly during this time.