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Preparing financially for children

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Hi folks,

My wife and I are looking to start a family and was wondering whether anyone knew of a good guide for preparing yourself financially for it?

I've searched this site but found nothing, which I was a little surprised about.

Any useful websites, tips, books etc that people have used would be great.

Many thanks.
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  • pukkamum
    pukkamum Posts: 3,942 Forumite
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    Prepare to be skint!
    Prepare to wear the same clothes for a long time so the kids can go on a school trip.
    Prepare to not eat at any takeaway places anymore as what was once a cheap meal now times by five is a fortune!
    Prepare to spend a fortune on the 'must have toys' for xmas only to find them broken and discarded a month later.
    Prepare to spend money and time making nice meals only to be told they would rather have nuggets and chips.
    Prepare to pay £30 for a pair of school shoes and for them to be wrecked/non fitting within a month.
    Prepare to spend x amount of money on school clothes and coats only for them to be lost.

    Hope I haven't freaked you out too much!
    I don't get nearly enough credit for not being a violent psychopath.
  • abailey54
    abailey54 Posts: 1,581 Forumite
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    I'd be really interested in responses to this too - am trying to not get too stressed about this aspect of starting a family but don't want to be completely ignorant of it.

    Pukkamum - I'm relieved that I wasn't too freaked out by your post! I can cope with that - don't think my kids will be able to have the must-have toys but that never ruined life for me when I was a child

    My guess is that childcare would be an important aspect - I nearly had a panic attack when my sister told me how much she pays for her little ones - though ours wouldn't need to be in full-time care so it depends on your situation.

    And maternity leave - would it be worth taking a whole year, depending on whether stat mat pay would be less that working full-time and paying childcare (and travelling expenses for work etc) - or can you save during pregnancy so your wife (or you, depending on what your policies at work are) can take more time off and it not matter

    I think there are lists around on what you need to purchase before your baby's arrival and I'm sure many of these can be gotten from freecycle/car boot sales/nearly new sales to save extra pennies
    Final cigarette smoked 02/01/18
    Weight loss 2017 28lbs
    Weight gain 2018 8lbs :rotfl:
  • whitewing
    whitewing Posts: 11,852 Forumite
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    Some really, really good advice we had from here was to practice living on one salary. We did that and used the other to overpay the mortgage. This caused much less of a shock when DD did come along. We still haven't got back to smooth-flowing finances though, partly because cost of living has risen so much. Am looking forward to DD being out of nappies.
    :heartsmil When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with glad cries of "Me too!" be sure to cherish them. Because these weirdos are your true family.
  • lushlifesaver
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    I'll be following this thread with interest too, OH and I have started saving £10 per week each in a separate account which is our 'baby' fund so we're trying to make a start on preparations. We have also looked up any money/benefits we would be entitled too etc.

    As he only works part-time and is actually hoping to have stopped working by the time we have a little one childcare would work out alright for us (he's an athlete and may be going fully funded in the near future) our outgoings are low for a couple our age (22 and 27) and whilst I have students debt it is affordable for us as long as I get a new job soon (have tendered my resignation but already have an initial interview lined up for tomorrow!) as are my phone and gym (only other outgoings apart from general spends/food etc on my part). We have a council bungalow as OH is disabled so rent remains affordable there...

    If anyone can point us towards a 'financial checklist' type thing for starting a family that would be great!
    ************************************
    Daughter born 26/03/14
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  • oshkosh
    oshkosh Posts: 14 Forumite
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    Thanks folks.

    Living on one income will be something we'll be trying. What we might do is try living on one income plus maternity pay as this is something we should be able to rely on.

    I know some grants have been taken away e.g. Health in pregnancy grant, but I was wondering if anyone knows of any replacements?

    Thanks.
  • angelil
    angelil Posts: 1,001 Forumite
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    I am surprised that you said you couldn't find a financial checklist in preparation for having a baby.

    Maybe there isn't one on here, but a quick google revealed all of these and more:

    http://www.kimsfinds.com/Kims_Finds/Having_a_Baby_Financial_Checklist.html
    http://www.divinecaroline.com/32/36012-financial-checklist-expecting-parents
    http://www.thebabyregistry.co.uk/top-tips/your-new-baby-what-to-buy-checklist

    Some of them are American, but have helpful aspects nonetheless.
  • SmlSave
    SmlSave Posts: 4,911 Forumite
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    Another vote here for practise living on one salary and save the other wage.

    Start thinking 2nd hand rather than buying new when you do have children.

    Any benefits/grants are wage dependant, we just get the £80 child benefit every month. If you go on the gov website you can put in your income and it will let you know if you will get anything more.
    Currently studying for a Diploma - wish me luck :)

    Phase 1 - Emergency Fund - Complete :j
    Phase 2 - £20,000 Mortgage Fund - Underway
  • whitewing
    whitewing Posts: 11,852 Forumite
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    Probably the very best advice is to stand in the middle of the High Street with your wallet open whilst giving money to everyone who walks by, smiling as you are doing so. Repeat daily for 18 years.
    :heartsmil When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with glad cries of "Me too!" be sure to cherish them. Because these weirdos are your true family.
  • lilymay1
    lilymay1 Posts: 1,597 Forumite
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    OP. I don't think it's even worth looking into what 'help' you may get in the way of benefits. Things are changing every year and by the time your child/ren comes along, they will have changed again.

    Probably best if you ignore all benefit related income and see it as a bonus if and when you are entitled to it. Afterall, relying on benefits is never a good place to be.
    14th October 2010
    20th October 2011
    3rd December 2013
  • FastCash
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    pukkamum wrote: »
    Prepare to be skint!
    Prepare to wear the same clothes for a long time so the kids can go on a school trip.
    Prepare to not eat at any takeaway places anymore as what was once a cheap meal now times by five is a fortune!
    Prepare to spend a fortune on the 'must have toys' for xmas only to find them broken and discarded a month later.
    Prepare to spend money and time making nice meals only to be told they would rather have nuggets and chips.
    Prepare to pay £30 for a pair of school shoes and for them to be wrecked/non fitting within a month.
    Prepare to spend x amount of money on school clothes and coats only for them to be lost.

    Hope I haven't freaked you out too much!

    I definitely agree with all of the things that you have listed here! Once you become parents, you should be willing to do a lot of sacrifices to save for the kids.
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