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Financial Implications of having a baby?

Hey ladies,

I know this topic is quite personal and individual to everyone's particular situation...but, i would appreciate hearing your views.

My husband and i are thinking of trying for a baby in the not too distant future, and we have spoken to many friends who have different views on how much you need in terms of savings and how much they spend each month on their baby. One friend said she saved 3k before she had her baby, and is intending on doing the same for the next. Do you think this is realistic?

Just wondering how much you have spent in preparation for the arrival of your baby, and how much you generally spend once the baby is born?


  • mum2be2011mum2be2011 Posts: 1,172

    I'm almost 12 weeks pregnant and this baby wasn't planned so unfortnuately we've had no real time to prepare. I suppose it's a good idea to have some savings for decorating nursery, buying pram etc but I would have no idea how to work out how much a baby costs per week. To be honest if I were to sit and work it out I'd probably just go off the idea for fear of not being able to afford it. Since finding out I've looked at the price of nappies and milk etc but still have no real clue! I suppose you just adjust your life to fit the baby in. OH and I usually eat out a couple of times a week and go out maybe once or twice a month with friends so that will be cut back and we won't go as exotic holidays so this will probably cover the costs. I'm more concerned about how I will cope with maternity pay and whether or not I can go back to work due to the cost of childcare x
  • MrsMac-FMrsMac-F Posts: 959
    Hi, I have a 7 year old son, and me and my H2B are currently trying for a baby. To be honest, I think 3k is a HUGE amount of money to save up for a baby! I can't honestly think what I would spend that amount of money on! Obviously you will need a pram, car seat, cot etc, but a lot of things that magazines and other people say you need are a waste of money. I have definatley learnt that from having my son!

    I know that prices for prams etc vary greatly depending on what make you want, but, at the end of the day, the most important thing you can give a baby is love, they aren't bothered about having a beautifully decorated nursery or the most up to date pram, they are things that parents want, not what a baby needs.

    We are not planning on saving up anything for our baby, we have enough money each month to buy the big things like a pram and a cot, and we will just buy clothes, bedding and bottles etc each week t spread the cost.

    As for when the baby is born, you really can spend as much or as little as you want. Obviously there are nappies and formula (if your formula feeding) to buy, but apart from that, babies need very little in their first few months, apart from lots of love and cuddles!
  • PJFyffePJFyffe Posts: 142
    Hi gerdy78,

    I am not pregnant yet but we are going to start TTC, this is something we have worried about ourselves, regarding on maternity leave and when going back to work.

    Regarding nursery - im planning on just painting it a different colour and putting a border round the room - make sure theres a decent pair of curtains to keep it warm - wont cost much at all.

    Im not planning on saving any money, as calicopink said im just going to buy little things spread over time - you probably wont even notice the amounts your spending then as it wont have a big impact on your current financial situation.

    I am a little worried about costs of things whilst on mat leave due to such a low income but im sure we'll figure something out, wont go out to eat as much etc.

    There are always means and ways to everything - you live to your means so if you prepare yourself for having less money then you will probably subconsciously spend less anyway!

    Good luck with whatever you decide and when you start trying.... image

  • NowMrsMNowMrsM Posts: 536
    As soon as we'd worked out how much money I'd be bringing home when I went back to work after nursery fees we put the difference to one side.... It's meant we've had to adapt to living on less money month to month but also had a pot for baby bits... We found all in all it wasn't as restrictive on our lifestyle as we thought it would be and we're happy that when I go back to work (thankfully not until Jan! Whoop!) we can survive financially!

    Good luck xx
  • chick-basschick-bass Posts: 563
    I'll be saving as much as I can. Not just for baby essentials but to top up my wage while I'm on maternity pay. I'd like to be off work for as long as possible lol!!
  • leighh5leighh5 Posts: 1,439
    if im totally honest we arent any different than what we were before!!!

    nursery - room is natural and we just got winnie the pooh stickers instead of a border.

    we were lucky that my parent bought the pram, oh parents bought high chair and play pen, my sister bought the cotbed

    depends on what your like personally there are great second hand stuff out there!we got a swinging crib and moses basket for £25 in our local paper not a scratch on them, there are some things i wanted new but other they are only going fit into or use for x amount time i dont see point paying £££.

    my partner stopped smoking and we cut down on luxuries (ie cheaper brand in supermarket, not going out as often, if meeting friends having round for tea instead going out!) it really depends on your situation but i agree 3k is HUGE x

    ooh also when shopping i added something into basket every week ie nappies, wipes etc you dont nnotice as much x
  • MrsB27MrsB27 Posts: 66
    i saved up £4500 before i started mat leave and though i have spent some of it on baby things, i have mainly used it for extending my mat leave as long as i can.
  • gerdy78gerdy78 Posts: 315
    Hi ladies,

    Thanks so much for your replies. As some of you have mentioned, i think i will be in a similar postition in terms of trying to save some money to extend my maternity leave as we have recently taken on a larger mortgage and are already stretching ourselves a bit financially. But i don't think we could realistically save 3k. So i guess really, it is the financial implications of maternity leave, rather than the actual costs of baby items, which will be what we need to consider foremost.

    Out of curiosity, how long do you all intend on having as maternity leave? I wonder what the average time is?
  • MrsMac-FMrsMac-F Posts: 959
    I would hopefully take a whole year off work. I am lucky in that I get 6 months off at full pay, which I know is a lot more than what most people get, then I obviously get a further 3 months at SMP and then 3 months unpaid. Realistically though, I think I would aim to have 9 months off and then depending on how much we had saved in those 9 months, I would then have some extra time off unpaid.
  • Lainey_emLainey_em Posts: 167
    we are planning to save 5k and thats not for baby stuff but to survive while I am on maternuty leave. Only get paid for 6 weeks at 90% and £125 ish per week after that will be off for about 8 months. Everybody is different but my hubby doesn't earn a fantastic wage so will definetely miss my wages. Money isn't everything but will try our best to save. image
  • chick-basschick-bass Posts: 563
    I'd like to take 5 years off! This seriously wont happen though, there is no way we can afford it. I'm quite old fashioned in thinking that if i have a baby I want to look after it myself and not have it looked after by family/put in a nursery. Unfortunately we are not as well off as i would like so this is highly unlikely!
  • poppet12poppet12 Posts: 357
    After my 20 week scan I started to save 2 - 3k per month - mainly to top up my maternity pay as I was going to be taking a full year off and our maternity pay was not that great.

    Our biggest expense was the nursery furniture and pram (£1k) everything else I got from my sister such as car seat, play mat, rocker, nursery toys, moses basket and I gave her £200 for it which she donated to Watford Special Care Unit. Clothes, nappies,baby wipes, powder, creams, cotton wool, formula, steriliser, bibs, blankets etc we have probably spent around £700 - our son is 3 months old. The expense you need to consider that you cannot really put a sum against is the running cost - water, heating, electricity - the first 3 months will be more expensive and depending when you have your baby your heating bill can go through the roof. Only now I feel I am using less water and electricity as we are not sterilising as much, no heating required as weather has been nice.

    Am glad I was able to save as much as I could as it does not limit to what I can do with our son - there will be clubs you will want to go to. Even though some are really cheap - it is getting there, petrol being so expensive - all these expenses will add up. Also things I want to do such as going to the gym for "me time", buying clothes for myself and him when I want to - I know I can without worrying about it. I didn't want to limit what I could do with my son so having that extra saving certainly helps and allows me to enjoy the precious time I have with him.

    Like most people I keep an eye for special bargains/sale and bulk buy when there is a special offer. I have found amazon the cheapest for nappies. I buy his clothes from hennes and primark - both cheap and good quality for the time they wear it. We are also lucky that friends and family give us clothes - so I find clothes is the cheapest expense you will have. Don't be afraid to accept hand me downs esp things like sleep suits.

    Obviously as baby gets older the more expensive it becomes so anything you can put aside to help that would be useful. For instance his grandparents always gives him £10 when they see our grandson - I put this in the bank or invest it in things that he will need or toys that are more expensive. So you got to be smart with the money.

    If you budget and shop around you can do it but saving ahead is good planning.

    Hope this helpful and good luck.
  • nickicovnickicov Posts: 491
    Im not TTC, nor do I have a baby yet, but I have been looking into the financials of having a baby. My husband and I earn a good wage but his does change drastically from week to week, and he gets paid weekly. Problem is were pretty good as it is, many 2 take aways a month, dont go out much, and our only real house hold luxury is sky (which I would never get rid off). Like most couples we live within our means.

    When looking into maternity pay etc. I dont think i have a maternity package at work so ill only get statutory..... meaning a £800+ pay drop! Therefore were aiming to save 2K before we TTC and then 500-700 a month for the 9 months. Were actually going to talk to the bank in a few weeks to see if there is a different way to juggle our finances. maybe it would be worth do that yourself? x
  • MrsSmileyjulyMrsSmileyjuly Posts: 1,818
    I think for a first baby you find that family and friends tend to help out buying all the big stuff. After that i don't think you need a huge amount of money to be honest! Especially if you get reusable nappies and if you breast feed! you always need vests and clothes but primark does great kids stuff now for next to nothing! I think no matter what your financial situation you just get on with it and make it work!
  • msluckygalmsluckygal Posts: 194
    My friends little girl is 5 weeks old and she told me that they haven't spent anything on her since she was born as she has had loads of hand-me-downs from family and friends and me, her parents and other people tend to keep her supply of nappies topped up each time we do a supermarket run! She's breastfeeding so spending nothing on food/formula either. Her only concern is how long she can survive on her matrenity package from work and SMP.

    Obviously you can't count on hand-me-downs but have a look arund you and if you have lots of friends and fsmily with babies, you probably wnt go short of donations!
  • SteampunkbrideSteampunkbride Posts: 1,748
    Hand me downs are a MASSIVE help! Don't turn things like clothes, unbroken clean toys, prams down. Obviously for safety reasons I wouldn't recommend a second hand car seat.

    My baby was also unplanned, but my parents bought his pram (travel system that had a car seat attached, but he's now grown out of the car seat so h2b's parents bought us a new one), h2b's parents bought the cot and we borrowed a moses basket from a friend (he was only in it for 9 weeks so glad I didn't pay for one!)

    I had no choice but to bottle feed, but you can buy bottles, sterilizers etc cheaper form Amazon.

    Nappies seem to be the biggest expense.

    I bought a baby bath but after 12 weeks he was too big for it.

    You're made to feel like you NEED all this baby stuff when really you don't. Especially things that promise to aid developement and that basically your child will be more intelligent if you have such and such....a lot of it is a con.

    h2b's parents do buy clothes and nappies for our son when they come to visit, they arrive with a car load of stuff, but they don't see him very often and what they do bring is mostly useful practical stuff.

    All a baby really needs is to keep the wet end dry, the dry end wet, cuddles, love, a regular walk in the fresh air and to be allowed to socialize with other babies/family members.

    H2b and I joke that we have to have another baby to get our moeny's worth out of all the things he's grown out of. (He's 9 months). image
  • ChardonnayChardonnay Posts: 1,761
    My husband has a spreadsheet for this... he looked up from it the other day and said : basically we can afford everything we want except to have a baby.

    Fortunately he was winding me up. The look on my face must have been priceless!

    Like most of the ladies here my plan is just to save up mainly to have a bit of extra money to supplement my maternity pay. I'm worried about being completely dependent on my husband, not because he wouldn't support us but because I've always had my own money and paid for everything myself, and when we have a baby I'll be relying on his income mainly. So I want some cash set aside that I can spend frivolously if I want to, or on the baby if I want to, without feeling I need to check. He'd be horrified to hear me say that because he doesn't think of it like that- it's in my head that there's a problem!
  • HRoper2bHRoper2b Posts: 563
    Wine-Woman you sre not alone! I am on my second week of maternity leave and having my own money is soooo important to me and I hav saved up some money from my pay over the last couple of months so that I can spend money whilst I am off and not feel guilty! I also tgink its important for hubbys salary not to be totally going on the bills etc and that he can also spend some money on himself! He struggles to understand why I want my own money but i think that he is getting there!

    We moved house when i was 33 weeks pregnnt and arw still finding our feet in terms of bills/mortgage/outgoings etc but I will be keeping a tight reign on things whilst I am off and making sure that I buy nappies/formula/baby clothes etc when they are on offer and when they are not from the cheapest place! We shopped around for all of our baby stuff and we have been able to get everything we decided on with some money off! I dont think that there is anything that we have had to pay top price for or comprmise on!
  • When I found out i was pregnant with my daughter me & h2b were 5 days off moving in together. We had no plates let alone baby items or savings lol. We basically spent the next 9 months trying to pay off as many bills as possible in preparation for baby so we couldnt save. We bought the majority of items second hand (except the cot matress). We were also fortunate enough to have some items passed on to us. As some other ladies have said baby is not aware of anything except needing love & feeding. My h2b was also made redundant when our daughter was 5 months old. This meant that I would have to return to work rather than be the sahm we had discussed. I think you do tend to live off what money you have coming in but obviously if you can save then that is great too as it just helps.

    We now have a son also & this time round we have learnt a few things like. Get a buggy that suits your lifestyle (ie does it fit n the car, is it lightweight, can it fold easily etc) do not just buy a buggy coz it looks nice I learnt this the very hard way haha. I found baby baths waste of money as i used it about 3 times. Both my children hated the moses baskets & buy a carrier which is easy to put on as our first one was like some sort of parachute with clips everywhere.
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