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How to be best prepared before TTC - how much have you saved?

(31 Posts)
mrsd2014 Fri 02-Jan-15 17:33:26

So this is my first post. We're not trying as yet, but I am definitely getting baby fever!
Husband and I are recently married, and have booked our honeymoon for April. I am fully ready to jump in and start trying for our first little one, although husband (forever the voice of reason) says we should at least wait until we are back from honeymoon- who wants to be pregnant on honeymoon?- and have an opportunity to save up.
I can live with being pregnant on honeymoon, but I would really like to be as prepared as possible for our little one.
So if I could just ask how prepared are people before their baby arrives- in terms of financial? We both work full time and own our own place but due to the wedding and honeymoon we have zero savings. My maternity pay isn't going to be great- but we should be able to live off his wage, although I think having some savings behind us is going to be best. But knowing how much is a good amount to have, we're a bit clueless. I know this depends on a lot of things e.g. how much our outgoings etc are, but in terms of how much more a baby will cost us in the first few months we don't have a clue.

Any advice will be appreciated!

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Fri 02-Jan-15 18:16:37

You will never have enough savings! If you're financially comfortable and own your house, I wouldn't worry about it. Dh and I both earn well but due to renting in London for 10 years, have no savings and will possibly never own our own place. We had dd 2 years ago and we're fine.
Babies don't need to cost too much- somewhere to sleep, a way to feed, some basic clothes. That's it initially. I honestly wouldn't even bother doing any calculations unless you are really struggling. Life is too short.

Rainy34 Fri 02-Jan-15 18:22:04

Hi Mrs

I think the most costly part when they are small babies is the nappies, wipes and cream, I'm not sure how many nappies they go through when they are first born , i would maybe say 8 to 10 nappies a day and then maybe 6 a day once they are a little older, Also some of the parents i work with use Tesco and Asda brand nappies and they seem to be just as good as pampers ( i work in a nursery so i think that would be a rough estimate if i was to ask the children parents) then it would be milk that would cost you next but if you breast feed you can save and as they get older it would be weaning food such as vegetables and fruit until they more solid food, and then clothing

then before baby comes you need to buy pram, clothing, nappies etc, cot ,car seat , bottles and steriliser and probably other things i haven't thought off!!

I have a couple of thousand saved at the moment, the joy of saving and not getting pregnant as quick as we thought!!, you also have nine months to save once you fall pregnant too,

hope this helps

mrsd2014 Fri 02-Jan-15 18:23:11

Thanks so much for your advise! We don't really need to budget our money too carefully currently, but it has been a worry that having a baby would be leaving us short!

nightandthelight Fri 02-Jan-15 18:25:52

Hi mrsd2014. Sorry I'm not going to be much use to you but I am leaping on this thread because I am interested too!

DH and I are planning to TTC in May (on a sort of second honeymoon). We have sat down and worked out maternity leave (I work for the NHS so quite generous) and childcare costs and we know that taking that into account we will have money left each month.

Having money left is important as we are saving up to buy our own house! However I am just wondering how much of that will be eaten up by baby stuff e.g. nappies as well as additional energy and water costs for example?

I am not precious about buying stuff second hand and I know that family and friends will be generous so not worried about the one off big items, more the day to day costs.

Hope that makes sense and sorry for jumping on your thread!

mrsd2014 Fri 02-Jan-15 18:26:42

Thanks Rainy34. It's so hard to budget savings when you don't know when conception will be happening! It seems so silly about trying to get ready for a baby even before conception- but I've already starting clearing out things so we have more space and I'm looking forward to our spare room being a blank slate for when we do hopefully become pregnant.

ShootTheMoon Fri 02-Jan-15 18:28:33

We earn well but I only had the minimum SMP during my year off. We had a sling, washable nappies, and breastfed, so definitely on the cheaper end of things. Babies only need vests and sleepsuits at first, plus some muslins, then you can look at what you need if moving to formula, or need a pram. We used a co-sleeper cot and then a bigger cot (second hand with new mattress). Car seats quite an expense I suppose.

But don't forget that you don't have work expenses - clothes and food for office type workers, trips, commuting costs etc. life can be quite simple in mat leave if you choose.

It doesn't hurt to save up of course but unless your finances are very tight then it's not likely to be essential smile

mrsd2014 Fri 02-Jan-15 18:30:19

Hi nightandthelight, I'm glad you have the same questions! Within our group of friends, we have had 3 babies born in the last couple of years to very different people (some on benefits, some with part time work, some with full time work) and they are all just so wrapped up with being parents the money side of things is never discussed. So I can see it working for anyone and things just work within budgets.

However, we have a little fur baby (our cavachon who is 1) and I know how much I spoil him. I would like to think I'll be a thrifty mum and be happy without buying into all the fad things for babies, but when the time comes I may be spending all our money on baby things. At least I won't feel so bad if I have been prepared and have the money in the bank to indulge smile

mrsd2014 Fri 02-Jan-15 18:32:53

Thanks for your comments shootthemoon.
I'm so happy to hear that the saving side of things isn't essential, of course for all the surprise babies, there isn't the luxury of having the months before conception to prepare!

Rainy34 Fri 02-Jan-15 18:34:03

Before when we decided we wanted to try I always said to people that we can't afford children and I don't think there is a right time really when you can, and everyone that I spoke to said the same to me, there is never a right time but if you wait - you will be waiting forever and i think its so true, babies don't need designer clothing , you can pick up lovely bits and pieces online and in Tesco or Asda

nightandthelight Fri 02-Jan-15 18:38:26

I completely understand mrs, I am quite a thrifty person but I already want the best for my (as yet non existent children) to the point where today I considered spending £30 on vitamins! DH managed to convince me to go for the cheaper ones though.

My MIL is a charity shop pro (she goes to ones in posh areas) and has already found us a brand new baby bath for 50p!

I think that it is definitely true what you sayabout working to your budget, my fear is just spending all the money on the child and not putting it in savings. I guess the answer will be to put some in the savings as soon as we get paid.

From what everyone has said above though it shouldn't be too bad, I guess that all babies care about is being well fed, rested, warm and comfortable, they won't care about the most fashionable clothes etc.

mrsd2014 Fri 02-Jan-15 18:38:51

Very true rainy34!

One of our friends with a baby - 7 month old- received pretty much an entire toy shop for christmas! when we went to visit, the child was more interested in his sock than ANY of the toys in the room. Money does buy babies happiness ;) and it's just inspired me to not spoil any future children- especially at the baby age.

mrsd2014 Fri 02-Jan-15 18:40:01

money does 'not' buy babies happiness even!

mrsd2014 Fri 02-Jan-15 18:42:03

nightandthelight- ebay, gumtree and facebay are amazing for bargains! kids get so much these days, i want to be a parent where our house isn't taken over by things we could live without! and even the things we do need- second hand is definitely a great way to save money.

nightandthelight Fri 02-Jan-15 18:42:32

Absolutely agree, better to keep the money for when they are teenagers and absolutely must have the latest thing or they will die of embarrassment :p

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Fri 02-Jan-15 18:45:04

The main expense to factor in is childcare if you plan to go back to work. Our nursery is about £12k a year.

elQuintoConyo Fri 02-Jan-15 18:47:55

We had no savings. I was a sahp until DS was 21mo. He us now 3. We still have no savings.

The most money we spent on 'things' was the pram/pushchair and car seat. The rest was second hand or from Ikea.

Depending on your jobs and plans for maternity/paternity leave abdcsahp/childcare, depends how much you need to save.

nightandthelight Fri 02-Jan-15 18:49:37

Hi guybrush, I was so freaked out when I realised the cost of childcare even though we live in a deprived city so even the nice nurseries are cheaper because they have to compete with the ones in the more deprived areas. Both my DH and I can claim childcare vouchers from our work which will be a huge help though so definitely worth looking into!

mrsd2014 Fri 02-Jan-15 18:51:59

Yeh I think with our jobs we would be needing a whole lotta childcare- although I'm hoping our mums would be able to help out a little- i think they will be jumping at the chance for that though- and I would love to consider dropping a few days in my job. But until we know what our baby expenses are, it's hard to know if we would be able to achieve that.

nightandthelight Fri 02-Jan-15 18:56:55

Getting your parents to help out would definitely save you plenty! Unfortunately we live over three hours from our nearest set of parents sad sounds like we are all going to be fine money wise as long as we don't go crazy smile

Daveface Fri 02-Jan-15 18:57:10

Try and save up now, just put aside as much as you can and then ttc when the time is right for you, regardless of what you have managed to save.

I think funding maternity leave is hard, especially if you dont get a good deal from work and you want to stay off a year. We try to save enough to cover the mortgage (or my regular contribution towards the mortgage) for each month I'm off (have had two mat leaves) so if you normally add £400 (for example) into the joint pot, and want to stay off 10 months then £4k in savings will mean you won't have to worry about where your mortgage money is coming from. Though you don't need that before you ttc, you will have time whilst being pregnant to save. But of course it's up to you, that's what we did!

And if it helps.,,,I wouldn't be pregnant for your honeymoon. Especially if it cost a lot. I'm 9 weeks pregnant now and have felt horrendous for the last month, it would have ruined a honeymoon.

AwesomeSuperTasty Fri 02-Jan-15 18:59:41

What previous posts said - babies don't need much! However, you may need to factor in the cost of childcare.

We hardly felt - financially speaking - the arrival of DS, as nappies etc can be bought cheaply, and I breastfed.

You can spend as much or as little as you like on everything else. For example, we could have easily spent £££ on nursery furniture but didn't - we got an ikea changing table for £25, an ikea cot for £55 and one of the more expensive ikea mattresses for £70 or so. You can also buy a cot for £500, or get one of gumtree/eBay for £10.

The most expensive thing is probably the pram and the car seat but there are deals all year around, we got ours from the mamas and papas August sales and the pram & infant car seat were £375, sold as a set. Baby clothes are not expensive and you can always stock up in the sales.

We put our son in nursery now that he's 1, two days a week and that costs us £50 per day, at the expensive end for where we are but not as expensive as the South. We are not eligible for any tax credits/childcare element of tax credits but lots of people are - the money saving expert website has really good info on this.

So, I'd say, if you can save, great, if not, your costs will probably only go up when /if your child starts nursery.

Oh, and - it's very easy to spend money on maternity leave (coffees, baby classes, swimming lessons - some of the stuff I did cost £5-10 per session so it adds up) but there are so many free baby groups, stay and play sessions etc, especially if you live near a good sure start centre.

AwesomeSuperTasty Fri 02-Jan-15 19:03:40

And, no! Don't be pregnant during your honeymoon if you can help it. Yes, some women sail through pregnancy but for many, the early days (or the first three months really) are ghastly - and many, like me, will tell you that morning sickness is in fact, 24-hour sickness! Honestly, not worth it, you never know what your pregnancy will be like and you could end up spending your whole honeymoon throwing up!

nightandthelight Fri 02-Jan-15 19:13:39

Gosh thanks Awesome I hadn't thought about the costs of all the classes etc! Will look into whether we have a sure start centre near by and also whether the pool does any discounts smile

mrsd2014 Fri 02-Jan-15 19:14:02

Thanks for the comments re. pregnant on honeymoon. I guess I just assumed I could deal well with no drinking on honeymoon, and didn't really consider the illness which can go with pregnancy. It's only a few months anyway so I guess I will be able to wait. Although could be a perfect time to begin TTC when we are away.

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