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A new parent’s guide to family finances

21st Apr 2015

Becoming a parent can be an amazing experience, but as well as the emotion involved in welcoming a child into the world, there are plenty of practicalities to consider. Foremost on your mind might be finances. After all, raising a family isn’t cheap these days. Like many new mums and dads, you might find that your income falls while your expenses soar when you bring your baby back home. Fortunately, help is at hand. The following tips should help you to balance the books.

Take a reality check

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Firstly, you might need to take a reality check. Given the toll that raising kids can take on your household income, you might need to make big changes to your lifestyle. For example, it’s important to keep any unnecessary spending to a minimum. Whether it’s the regular midweek takeaway, the annual trip abroad or the under-used gym membership, you may have to axe certain expenses in order to make ends meet. It helps to make a list of your incomings and outgoings. This way, you’ll build up a clear picture of exactly what you can and can’t afford.

Find the right financial cover

If you haven’t done so already, now could be the time to take out life insurance. No one wants to think that the worst might happen, but if you were no longer around to support your loved ones, would they be able to cope financially? If your children and partner rely on your earnings to cover the mortgage, rent or other living expenses, it’s wise to take out this form of cover. You can use specialist brokers like Chill to find competitive deals, and although you’ll need to spend some money to benefit from such protection, it could prevent financial ruin for your family further down the line

Make sure you get your entitlements

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It’s also important to make sure you benefit from all the relevant parental entitlements. For example, depending on your employment status, you might be able to get maternity or paternity pay. Meanwhile, if you’re self-employed or on a low income, you may be entitled to a Maternity Allowance. Make sure you do your research so that you’re aware of your rights. If you don’t, you risk missing out on money that could help to make running your home and looking after your child easier.

Be a savvy shopper

For such small things, babies certainly do need a lot of stuff. If you’re not careful, you can end up shelling out a small fortune on nappies, toys, clothes and equipment for your tot. However, as long as you’re savvy, there are simple ways to save cash. For example, be sure to shop around for the best deals and consider buying items second-hand. It’s also worth looking out for bargains online on websites like eBay and Gumtree. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family if they have spare baby things that you can borrow too, and bear in mind that you can give your finances a boost by reselling anything that your baby doesn’t need or has grown out of.

By following advice like this, you can make it easier to keep your family finances afloat.

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