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How much does a baby cost?(13 Posts)
This might seem like a stupid question, but how much does having a baby actually cost?
Not only the set up, but also during maternity leave? I'm taking 6 months off and I'm trying to figure out how much to budget.
Also after returning to work how much should we budget? We've looked at two nursery (1750 and 1350 each), is a childminder more cost efficient?
I'm 25 weeks pregnant and trying to figure out finances!
Any help would be greatly appreciated
As cheap or expensive as you make it.
You need somewhere for baby to sleep. For first 6mths or so thia can be a moses basket which you can pick up cheaply second hand (new mattress will cost about £10)
You need clothes. Again second hand bundles cans be picked up cheaply to cover everything you need
You need to feed baby. Obviously amongst many other benefits, breastmilk is free
Childcare is the one place where bargains don't really exist and it depends where in the country you are as to how much a day nursery will cost.
Babies when they are first born are cheap; few clothes, somewhere to sleep. I breastfed all of mine so free there. Nappies.
Loss of earnings - you need to know how much your outgoings are, how much you will have coming in on maternity leave and what your shortfall is.
Childminder is unlikely to be significantly cheaper than nursery. Childcare costs are your major outgoing when you first go back to work.
Associated costs like food / holidays etc increase as they get bigger.
Babies cost very little if you're prepared to breastfeed and accept second hand clothes and equipment from friends/loca Facebook pages etc. The only things you need to buy new are a car seat and mattress.
Childcare is expensive (although those figures seem really expensive, guess you're in London/SE).
In my experience childminder is significantly cheaper than a nursery, £35 per day vs £55 per day. They are normally much more flexible too. Only challenge is if they are on holiday or sick you need to make alternative childcare arrangements.
The best nappies & wipes I've used are Aldi or Lidl, far cheaper than the brands.
What you spend on bits for the baby can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it. We got lots of things second hand which allowed us to get much brands than if we'd bought new. We were also lucky enough to borrow a lot of things from friends, clothes, crib, Moses basket etc. You can borrow slings from sling libraries & lots of big towns have toy libraries too.
In terms of spending money while you're off it really varies. Some groups are quite expensive, some are free. You might go out for coffee with friends once a week or several times a week. Don't forget to allow some money for new clothes. You might not get straight back into your pre pregnancy size but won't want to stay in maternity clothes for too long.
You may be entitled to child benefit so you can factor that in too.
Childminders are usually cheaper than nurseries. I chose a childminder because it seemed a more homely choice for such a small child.
In terms of how much you'll spend on maternity leave, it really depends what you do. Things like waterbabies are eye-wateringly expensive, and baby sensory, sing and sign etc are also quite pricey. I was in London when mine was tiny and there were tons of free or cheap things to do at the children's centres. My local pool also did a baby swim with a few songs and a teacher in the pool for the price of a normal swim. But now I'm pregnant outside of London it doesn't look like there's nearly so much on.
Find clothing brands you like and join Facebook groups selling them second hand - I spend about the same as I would on high street clothes but get much better quality stuff.
Thanks for everyone's feedback.
Some further context, I live in Notting hill London and unfortunately my company doesn't give more than statutory maternity pay. So one of my major concern is that my pay will be reduced to 15%. I'm planning on taking 6 months off.
We are happy to beg borrow and steal stuff, as well as use eBay. The only things we want new is a car seat and a pram. The rest we want to get 2nd hand.
Thanks for the useful tip about cheaper things to do with the baby. I'm going to want to have something planned most days as I don't want to go crazy. I've found a baby and mum yoga class but it's £17 a go... and I was worried that if all activities were priced like that I would go bankrupt!
Good point - by far the most expensive thing about having a new baby for 6 months will be all the cafe trips and things you do to keep yourself from going crazy!! The baby will cost relatively little if you borrow lots of stuff/buy from charity shops.
Definitely get a new car seat, but I would question the need for a new pram if you are trying to economise. Prams are the single most ridiculously overpriced/over engineered piece of baby kit. If you get a second hand pram, just buy a new matress for the carry cot (£15-20).
Sadly London activities seem to be v expensive. I recently found out that my friend pays £14 for exactly the same baby class in London that I only pay £6.50 for in the South East (1hr commute to London). Crazy that it is that different.
But the great thing about a newborn in a pram is that you can just wheel them around while you visit all the free London museums and parks (if you like that sort of thing!)
Lots of baby activities are expensive, though I don't know if the prices of the bigger franchise ones are set locally or centrally - I'm 30 mins by train from London and Baby Sensory and Sing & Sign are both £7 a class, Water Babies is £15 a class round here but there are cheaper options. Resist the temptation to sign up to everything going!
There are also often much cheaper slightly more basic mum & baby groups around - church halls often run them, and our local NCT branch does twice weekly bumps & babies meets, all of which are usually £1-2 donations. Local FB mum groups can be good sources of information, though I guess in London they might just be too big!
A baby will cost ALL your money. This is true no matter how much you have!
I was single and on a low income when I had dd so I probably spent a fraction of what some spend. I was happy to use hand me downs and second hand stuff.
The biggest long term expense for me was undoubtedly loss of earnings due to mat leave, reducing hours and missed promotions.
Fifteen years on I now earn under half what my childless uni friends earn and I've been back at full time hours for 2 years.
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