When pregnant there are many money related matters to consider, not least how you will cope when your full pay becomes maternity pay (or what you’ll do financially if you decide not to go back to work) and how to pay for everything you need for baby.
These 5 top tips for pregnancy on a budget should help.
Freebies and Discounts
The internet can be a wonderful thing when you are pregnant as signing up to a wide range of baby and family related website will earn you freebies, money off vouchers and more, all of which may be used to help kit out baby with what they will need for cheaper. Instore savings and bonus points are also available if you sign up to parenting clubs with Tesco and Boots especially offering a good amount of useful freebies.
*Top tip: Create a new email address for all of these sign ups and newsletters as otherwise they may take over your inbox!
When you shop for baby items look around for sales and offers, both offline and off. When shopping online use cashback sites such as Quidco to receive money back on your shopping which you may (when it pays out) use towards other necessary purchases or save.
Also, consider second hand purchases. When it comes to baby equipment, clothing and similar many parents choose to cut the cost by buying preloved items. Have a look for your local NCT Nearly New Sale (you don’t need to be a member to go and buy), local buy/sell sites on Facebook, Ebay, Freecycle and charity shops. It isn’t recommended that you buy a used car seat or mattress however standard items that have been used yet are in good condition could save you a fortune.
When it comes to maternity leave your income quickly drops below what you are used to and it is important to be prepared for this. Put aside any extra pennies you can during your pregnancy to act as a buffer and look at your week and monthly outgoings to see what savings can be made. The more you cut back now the better position you will be in when baby arrives.
Dependant on your income you may be entitled to certain benefits once the baby arrives including Child Benefit and perhaps Child Tax Credits, both of which you have to apply for. Use this EntitledTo calculator to give yourself an estimate of what you might be eligible for however don’t make any permanent decisions based on these calculations as what you are entitled to is not confirmed until you apply. It is a good indicator though. You may also be eligible for help towards your childcare either through vouchers from your employer or via the Tax Credit system which is something to consider.
Also be aware that you are entitled to free prescriptions and dental care during pregnancy and up to a year after birth so take advantage of this and make sure you attend your dental appointments (etc) when scheduled.
Food Glorious (and Expensive) Food
The household expense that seems to keep on growing is our grocery bills and that’s true whether you are pregnant, have a family or not. Towards the end of your pregnancy (when you are on full salary if working) stock up the freezer and pantry and bulk cook and freeze meals for after baby is born. Not only will this make life so much easier when your little one arrives, it’ll give you something of a buffer having a good stock of food and meals in when your income does drop.
What are your top tips for enjoying pregnancy and those early months after little ones arrive on a budget?