Bringing your first child into the world is a wonderful thing. It’s an event that unites many couples and prompts lots of new experiences that will stay with you both for a lifetime.
From the moment I found out I was pregnant, my priorities instantly changed, both socially and financially. For the first time in my life, I had a little person who relied on me to guide them through life and essentially, keep them alive!
There’s not a handbook when it comes to guiding parents on what to expect financially, but with new additions to the family costing approximately £8000 a year, it’s vital that you plan, save and prepare.
Where to begin
I’d advise sitting down with your partner and carefully examining your current financial status, working out how much you can afford to spend, where your priorities lie, and what you will need to save ahead of important landmarks in your child’s life. You might not necessarily agree on everything at first, but it’s really important that you agree on some sort of compromise. Failure to do this threatens to impact on your relationship further down the road.
My partner and I soon discovered that financial compatibility is an important part of any successful relationship and is one of the main things that couples fight about.
We found taking the Experian relationship quiz really beneficial as it helped us to identify the areas in which we were on the same wavelength and those that needed further discussion, it was also a fun and light hearted activity that we could enjoy together. Experian, for example, have produced a really useful money and relationship guide that contains plenty of dos and don’ts, and lots of helpful advice around topics such as joint finances and planning for the future.
Having a baby is a huge financial commitment and one that you both need to be ready for. Although talking about money can be difficult for some, honesty is always the best policy for you and your partner.
Can you afford it? Have you got any outstanding financial debt that you need to clear first? Do you need to take on any extra finance such as loans or credit cards in order to cover your additional costs?
It might be worth sitting down together and looking at your credit reports online (I used Experian), so that you can both see your credit history covering the last six years. Once we’d seen our Experian Credit Scores, we had a much better insight into how lenders would view our applications for credit if we decided we needed it.
Expenses that you might not have considered
With baby essentials alone, such as food, nappies and bottles having a significant impact on your bank balance, you’ll definitely notice the impact on your purse.
And remember, as your child grows, the cost of keeping them clothed, fed and watered will increase year on year. My little one was barely in the same sized clothes for more than 4 weeks, you’ll be amazed at how quickly they change and grow every single day.
Then there comes the time that we all dread as parents, the time when we need to return to work. The cost of childcare can easily run into hundreds of pounds per month for new mums who are returning to work full time. Can your monthly income stretch to cover this?
Loans and credit cards
The financial strain of accommodating a new addition to your family has been blamed for causing tension in many relationships.
Having a baby is an overwhelming experience. It’s a time of many changes. Every day is a learning curve and brings new challenges and adventures. Add the pressure of money worries into the mix and things can escalate quickly, seeing the smallest disagreement turn into an almighty row.