How to Save For a House When You Have a Babyby Emma Dowey
Having a baby at any time can feel daunting when you start to think about all the new stuff you'll need for them. But at the moment, it may be feeling even more stressful with the price of living rising at exponential rates. Don't panic though. We've put together some useful tips for making the most of your budget and spending smart.
Start Saving Early
It goes without saying but a little each month can add up to a lot later. Start as early as possible and have a dedicated account to save your money in. Saving months in advance gives you a nice cushion to fall back on.
Look at your Current Finances
Sit down and go through your ingoings and outgoings. You'll probably be surprised at how much you lose track of on a day to day basis. Evaluate all your direct debits and consider whether you still use your gym membership, or get value for money from Netflix, Now and Prime?! Also, think about other luxuries that you could cut back on to help save - trips to expensive coffee shops and meal deals add up really quickly. I used to spend a fortune on shop sandwiches!
Apply for Any Benefits you Might be Entitled to
It will depend on your situation, but there may well be benefits that you're entitled to claim. There's a lot of support for parents, so make sure you're claiming everything you should be.
Moving house costs a lot when you factor in the mortgage, application fees, solicitors, and moving expenses. It isn't something you want to be doing often. Consider the home you're planning to buy - will it still be suitable if you go on to have more children? Is there enough space for a growing family? Is it close to the schools you envisage your kids attending?
Factor in Future Childcare Costs
If you're taking parental leave, you'll need to consider any drop in income and how that will impact mortgage repayments. Also, think ahead to when you may return to work and factor in childcare costs. Mortgage providers typically include the cost of childcare when they look at affordability. At the moment, our youngest son's nursery fees outpace our monthly mortgage. Although I don't want to wish the time away, we will save a lot when he starts school!
Evaluate What you Really Need
Babies actually don't need much - food, love, warmth, clothing—the essentials. Really consider what you're buying and whether you need it or want it. Just because a friend has the latest and greatest all-in-one pram system that also makes a coffee and washes up for you too(!), isn't a reason to also splash out. We purchased our pram with a carrycot second hand. It was ideal and cost a fraction of the new price.
Explore Second Hand
I love buying second hand. It saves me money and it's also good for the environment. Most weekends, I head to a car boot sale and pick up so much stuff for the kids: books, clothes, toys, bits for the home. You can literally find anything. I just purchased my older son a brand new Sainsburys Tu range light jacket for 50p. It's never been worn!
There are lots of ways you can start planning for a house move and a baby. Share any tips or advice in the comments.