How to be financially prepared for your baby

There’s nothing like the anticipation of a new arrival. It can be joyous, exciting and a bit stressful. So the sooner you start planning for the little bundle, the better off you could be. Here are some helpful tips for getting your finances in shape for the road that lies ahead.

Couple sitting on a sofa

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Advice for pregnant women

According to government guidance, pregnant women are considered a vulnerable group during the current crisis. If you are pregnant, you’re advised to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. This means staying away from public places whenever possible and avoiding anyone who has symptoms suggestive of coronavirus. You’re advised to continue attending antenatal appointments.

As a member of a vulnerable group, you may also be eligible for help with food shopping, collecting medication and other essential supplies. To check the most current COVID-19 guidelines and support links for shopping help, go to NHS Advice during pregnancy.

If you’re looking for help managing financially during this crisis, you can visit Coronavirus help and support

Preparing financially for a new arrival

A baby brings many joys. But the little treasures will generate expenses and could even affect your earnings for a few years. So the sooner you start planning financially, the better prepared you’ll be for the big day.

The first step is understanding your income and expenses, so you have a clear picture of where you stand. A budget is a good place to start. You can find some helpful budgeting tools at how to plan and stick to a budget. A budget could give you a reliable snapshot of where you’re currently spending, and help identify potential savings. If you’re working, you should also check if you’re entitled to maternity pay, Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or paternity pay.

You’ll find other practical ideas for getting a handle on your money at Barclays money management. It’s also a good time to download our Barclays app. Just remember you need to be 16 or over to use the app. T&Cs apply. It’s a handy way to stay on top of finances and track spending when you’re on the go – or buried in nappies. Here are some other steps to take.

Do a credit check

Planning for a child really is about planning for the future. So it’s a good idea to check your credit score. That way, you could be prepared if you need a loan or credit card for unforeseen expenses, or a mortgage for a bigger home.

Checking your credit score regularly is also a good way to catch any mistakes that might have slipped into your report.

And once you’re planning for the future, this might be the time to explore how to improve your credit score, so you’re in good financial health for the journey that awaits.

Cut down on your debt

If you’re dealing with debt, this is a great time to get it under control. That way, you’ll have more time to enjoy your family and plan for the future. This could include switching utility providers to save money, or reassessing some of your current spending in light of the lifestyle changes to come.

Depending on your situation, we might also be able to help with an overdraft or an increase to your credit limit to get you through a period of transition. Your application will be subject to your financial circumstances and borrowing history.

You can also talk to our team about managing your payments and consolidating credit by calling on 0800 051 8346*. But first, check out some of the helpful tips here for getting ready for the big day.

Create a baby budget

When you’re expecting, the last thing you want are unexpected surprises. A baby budget can help. From one-offs like baby furniture and bedding to ongoing expenses like nappies, clothes and childcare, having a baby can cost quite a bundle. So it pays to do some research and be prepared. If you need help putting together a budget, check out our practical guide at how to plan and stick to a budget. You can also get ideas about how much you can expect to spend at shopping for your baby.

Build an emergency fund

As we’re seeing during the current climate, it pays to plan for a rainy day. An emergency fund is especially important if you’re about to have a child. It’s advisable to have enough to cover living expenses for at least three to six months. That way, you could be in a better position to cushion the blow if something unexpected happens – like needing to replace your car.

This could also be a good time to consider applying for a higher credit limit to help with unexpected expenses and planning for a rainy day. And if someone in your household is being made redundant, you can find some useful guidance and resources at Dealing with redundancy.

What's next?

If you need a bit of help budgeting for the joyful event, here’s how to plan and stick to a budget.

How to plan and stick to a budget

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