Budgeting when you’re pregnant

Expecting a baby is exciting, but it can also be an expensive time. Follow these steps to make sure you’re prepared for your new arrival.

Step 1 – take stock of your money

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It’s never too early to work out your budget. Don’t put it off until after the baby is born.

If you know exactly what’s coming in and going out each month, it can help you figure out what you can afford.

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Making a list of what you need and finding out how much everything costs will help you prepare for your new arrival and avoid any unexpected expenses.

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Step 2 – review joint finances

Shared responsibilities, such as a new baby, means you might have to change the way you deal with joint decisions around household budgeting. And if one of you is planning to take time off to look after the baby, it’s a good idea to think about how a reduced income might affect your choices. It’s important to:

  • talk frankly about money – don’t keep any financial secrets and there won’t be any surprises
  • set some ground rules – agree not to buy anything over a set limit, say £50, without discussing it with each other first
  • make time – household budgeting is important, so set aside regular time to discuss and agree money matters.
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Step 3 – cut back on your expenses

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If your income is likely to change (for example, if you stop work), you might need to look at cutting back. A good starting point is to divide your outgoings into essential and non-essential items.

First, see if you can save on essentials like household bills and groceries by using comparison sites. Next, look at non-essentials, are there things you could do without, like a gym membership or TV subscriptions?

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Step 4 – reduce your debts

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It’s important not to ignore debts or only stick to just paying the minimum each month.

If you take time to deal with debts now, it will save you money in the long run.

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Step 5 – open a savings account

The sooner you start putting money aside, the better. While you can, build up your savings to cover essential baby costs and see you through any period of lower income.

It might be better for you to go for an easy access account that you can dip into if you need to, rather than one that will lock your money away.

But if you think you’ll be tempted to spend your savings, make it a little harder to access cash.

For example, try choosing a savings account with a different bank, so it’s less easy to move money into your current account.

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Step 6 – boost your income

Claim all your entitlements

What you can claim depends on where you live and your personal circumstances.

You could be entitled to benefits and other help towards the cost of raising a family, such as Universal Credit and Child Benefit.

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To see what might available, you can also use the benefits calculators on the GOV.UK website

You can also search for benefits and grants using the benefits calculator on the Turn2us website

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Other money-making ideas

There are other ways to boost your income, such as doing some work from home.

You might also think about raising cash by selling unwanted possessions or recycling old mobile phones or laptops.

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Keep track of important dates

You have lots of things to do, and dates to remember, when you’re expecting a baby.

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MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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