Having a baby is most certainly an expensive endeavour but, if the baby is unplanned for, there may be a question of whether you can even afford this new addition at all. That said, there are ways you can prepare for the onslaught on your bank account.
From relying on pre-loved items to making a wrongful birth claim, there are plenty of potential methods for affording an unexpected pregnancy. Here are 10 of these methods for you to get started…
1. Buy Pre-Loved Items
Having a baby means buying a huge amount of items you won’t already own. From clothing, to soaps, to bottles, to dummies, to prams, to nappies, the list goes on.
Because of this huge influx of items you’ll need in order to be prepared for your new arrival, it is sure to cost a large sum of money. To add to this, your baby will quickly grow out of any clothes you buy for them.
So, relying on pre-loved items from friends, family and charity shops is just that savvy thing to do. Not only are they cheaper – and perhaps even free – they’re also much more sustainable too.
2. Start Meal Planning
Getting into the habit of planning meals now, before the stress of the baby comes, is a great way to get prepared. Take some time every weekend to sit down with a pen, paper and cookbook, plan your meals for the week ahead, write a shopping list, and head to the supermarket.
This way, you’ll waste less food, save money on shopping, and are less likely to rely on takeaways when you get a bit lazy. Not only will this be a great habit to get into to make life less stressful, it’ll also help you save money in the process.
3. Save on Pay Day
A great way to get into the habit of saving is to save the day your pay cheque comes through. As soon as it enters your bank account, put away a realistic chunk of money into a savings account. This way, you’re much less likely to dip into it if it’s not within arm’s reach.
If you don’t think you’ll have the self-discipline to do this, consider setting up a standing order so the money heads to your savings automatically. This will mean your money is much less accessible, and you’ll be less inclined to spend it. Little savings here and there are sure to take the pressure off later down the line.
4. Plan Ahead
The best way to get ready for an unexpected pregnancy is to plan ahead. With any luck, you should find out that you’re pregnant early on, giving you a few months to prepare for it. this can give you a chance to take stock of the situation and make plans for savings and work.
The baby cost calculator can really help you with this. It can give you a rough estimate of how much money it’s going to take to look after the little munchkin. By budgeting in advance, you’ll be much more prepared for the spending to come whilst you still have a steady income.
5. Remember, Your Income Will Drop
Speaking of steady incomes, if you decide to take maternity leave, you need to be prepared for a reduction in income, as follows:
- As long as you have been with the same employer for 26 weeks or more, up to the 15th week before you’re due, you will be eligible for maternity pay.
- During this time, you must have been earning at least £107 a week to be eligible.
- You will receive six weeks of pay at 90 percent of your average gross earnings.
- After this, you can claim the lower of either £136.78 a week, or 90 percent of your weekly earnings, for the next 33 weeks.
This is all part of the statutory maternity pay allowance. If you’re self-employed, you should also be covered.
6. Claim Benefits
Anybody with parental responsibilities for someone under the age of 16 is eligible for child benefits if they live in the UK. If you’re paying at least the same amount as the Child Benefit to take care of the child, and live with them too, then you should be eligible for around £20 a week.
There are no limits to the amount of children you can claim for. Heading to the government website for more information is your best port of call to get an accurate idea of whether you’re eligible or not.
7. Consider Making a Claim
Although this won’t be possible for many people, if you’re a victim of wrongful birth, or some other medical negligence which means your baby requires more care, there are solutions.
Making a claim against the medical professional or authority if they were in the wrong could really help you. This way, you can potentially receive a large pay-out which should help you to make ends meet. Whether your baby is healthy, or has a disability, the money will provide you with the means to seek the items you need to care for them.
8. Rely on Gifts
The great thing about having a baby is that those around you will likely become very generous. You might find that you receive exciting baby gifts left, right and centre.
Whether it’s old clothing your loved ones have stored in a long-forgotten cupboard, or new items they’ve spotted in the shop, you may not have to source it all on your own. Don’t be afraid to rely on these gifts either; they will come in extremely handy.
Affording Your Unexpected Pregnancy is Possible
As we’ve seen in this article, there are several ways you can start saving money and planning ahead for the next chapter to come. Although you might have to start pinching the pennies, it’ll all be worth it when your little one arrives into the world.
We wish you all the luck in the world for your new arrival. Good luck with saving!
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