How to financially plan for a baby
Your to-do list can seem never-ending when you’re expecting a bundle of joy. From planning the delivery and shopping for baby clothes to preparing your household and your finances, there’s so much to learn and do. But with some careful research and preparation, it can all get done in time for the big day. Here’s a guide to help.
Babies are magical and life-changing. They’re also expensive – from nappies and nurseries to other potential impacts on your family income. So the sooner you start setting money aside and preparing your finances, the better off you’ll be. That’s even more true now given the current uncertainty.
You can find lots of practical advice on How to be financially prepared for a baby. This includes resources on creating a baby budget, cutting down debt and building an emergency fund. A good place to start is by opening a savings account so you can start setting money aside for the new arrival.
When there’s a baby on the way, it can be tempting to start shopping for jogging strollers and cute baby outfits. But it pays to do your research, prioritise, and hold off on major purchases. That’s where a baby shopping checklist really can help you stay within your baby budget.
Many people prefer to hold off on baby clothes, furniture and décor until they know the baby’s gender – which is usually after the first trimester. It’s also important to remember that every baby is different. That means your needs are likely to be different than what someone else might need. So it’s smart to shop for the short-term essentials you know you’ll need, and leave the rest for later – as you get a better sense of your evolving needs.
A baby budget will help keep your spending on track when you’re short on sleep and buried in nappies. It should include one-off expenses like baby furniture and infant car seats. It also needs to include ongoing costs like formula, food, nappies, clothes and toys. For some, childcare may also need to be factored in. Check out our practical guide on how to plan and stick to a budget. Budgets aren’t always exciting, but they can really help get your parenting adventure off on the right foot.
In addition to the baby budget, there are other financial steps to consider – from getting life insurance and writing a will to checking your credit score.
Having a baby is about preparing for the unexpected. If you already have a credit card, this might be a good time to apply for a higher credit limit to help with unforeseen expenses. Our repayment calculator can help you figure out how to save on the interest payments for your credit card.
If you don’t have a credit card, it might make sense to consider one. Whether it’s a standard purchase credit card or rewards credit card which lets you earn cashback on purchases, it can be a good way to cover unplanned expenses. The Barclaycard platinum credit card is also a great way to spread your costs, offering 0% interest for up to 21 months and 18 months for balance transfers. Of course, these are subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. So it’s a good idea to use our Eligibility checker to find out which is right for you.
Subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. *0% interest on purchases for up to 21 months from account opening. Excludes foreign currency and some cash-like transactions. New customers only. T&Cs and exclusions apply.
The approval of your application depends on financial circumstances and borrowing history, so do the terms you may be offered. The balance transfer period and interest rates, may differ from those shown.
Looking for a credit card to help set the stage for the new arrival?