Can I Afford to Have a Baby?
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Moving to a bigger house, purchasing baby’s equipment, toys, childcare, education… If you are thinking of becoming a parent, you might wonder how much will raising a child cost you. Waiting to be financially secure to be able to have a child is actually one of the main reasons that leads women to delay their first pregnancy.

Aside from the usual expenses related to raising a child, we can also add fertility treatment costs such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or surrogacy costs, depending on your personal situation. Well, let’s not beat around the bush: having a child is expensive. So, can you afford to have a baby?

How much does having a baby cost?

It is estimated that the cost of raising a child in the UK is comparative to the price of an average semi-detached house. According to the Guardian, parents will spend around £231,843 per child born in 2016, from their birth to graduation.

More than £70,000 will be devoted to childcare and babysitting. As for the costs related to education, parents will need to set aside a great deal of money – £74,000 – for uniforms, school trips, school meals, and text books. And if your little bundle of joy goes to a private day school, you’ll spend more than £373,000 in the time leading up to his or her 21st birthday.

How can I save money to afford to have a baby?

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to save a little money, whether you are planning to be a solo mum or dad, to have a child with a co-parent or with your partner.

1. Set a budget.

Before trying to conceive, allow yourself some time to look at your finances, your income, and your regular expenses. Knowing what you have and spend will help you to get some much-needed perspective in order to plan your future finances.

Create a budget and include important costs such as the baby’s items and childcare, one of the most important expenses for bringing up a child. You’ll need to find money to cover nursery fees, after school care and holiday childcare.

2. Start saving.

If you were planning to go on holiday and stay in a four-star hotel in the Bahamas next summer, you might have to reconsider. Everything depends on your ability to save. Apart from the baby’s items, you may need to move somewhere bigger or purchase a family car. Check what you spend every day/week/month and work out what expenses could be cut and how you could save money.

3. Be realistic.

New mums and dads want to offer the best to their first child and, therefore, they often opt for the latest and most expensive baby gear.

However, you don’t need to buy everything new. Your friends or family may have baby equipment or toys that they don’t use anymore. This will allow you to save so much money, especially if you’re raising a child with a co-parent and have to buy certain items in duplicate (for instance, a bed). You can also find second-hand products on the internet or charity shops that are still of good quality. Another great idea is to let your relatives know what you need.

4. Know your benefits.

Depending on your income, you might be entitled to childcare tax credits. Taking your paid parental leave can also allow you to save money on childcare costs.

5. Talk about money with your partner or your co-parent.

Deciding to have a baby requires planning in advance. Take the time to talk about your finances and the expenses related to having a child. Is one of you planning to be a stay-at-home dad or mum? Will your child go to a state school or a private school? Discuss together your expectations and what you are willing to do to save money.