There are some simple steps you can take to manage your money and reduce your expenses if money is tight after your baby is born. Think about:
• Writing down everything that you and your partner spend money on over the next month. That way you'll work out where the money is going - and where you could economise.
• You can often save yourself considerable sums by shopping around for utilities such as electricity, gas and phone, and switching to a cheaper mortgage. Take independent advice on mortgages to help you choose.
• If you’re living on one income, you’ll find it easier to budget if you stabilise your outgoings. Choose direct debits to pay your bills and consider a fixed-rate mortgage (take independent advice to make sure that you get the most appropriate deal).
• Make sure that you’re claiming any benefits you are entitled to. You should have received a form to claim child benefit, which is worth around £60 a month. Ask your local DSS office (the number is in the phone book) for advice, or contact the Maternity Alliance on 0207 588 8582.
• You can save money on looking after your child without compromising on quality. Breastfeeding during the first year will save you over £300, compared with using formula. Making your own first foods costs almost nothing compared with using ready prepared baby meals. Using re-usable nappies means an outlay to start with, but it will save you hundreds of pounds over the first two years. And you can pick up good quality clothes, toys and baby equipment from NCT nearly new sales. Click above to contact your local branch for details.