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This week, we’re going to look at 3 parts of your newborn baby finances that might have slipped the net. (Don’t worry, you can blame baby brain…)
No matter how many books you read, how many parents you talk to and how many Dr Robert Winston DVDs you watch, nothing — and we mean nothing — can prepare you for the experience of having a baby.
It’s a wild ride that’s equal parts the greatest moments of your life and the hardest, with heart-bursting firsts and ear-to-ear grins punctuated by inhumane amounts of sleep and depths of tiredness far beyond anything you ever thought possible.
So, it stands to reason that there are a few parts of the newborn baby finances that you’ll end up overlooking or just not anticipating. (Don’t worry, it happens to every parent!)
To make your pre-baby planning a little easier, we thought we’d tackle three of the big expenses that catch most new parents (including some of Team Bamboo) off-guard.
1. Utility bills
This is an odd one, we’ll grant you that. But the first couple of utility bills after you’ve brought home your little bundle of joy are going to shock you a bit.
Not only will you find that you’re far more conscious of the temperature — “is it too hot for them?”, “is it too cold now?”, “should we turn the heating on for an extra hour?”… — but you’ll also get a shock when you realise that, because of maternity and paternity leave, you’re both in the house a lot more now.
And with that extra time comes extra heating, electricity, gas and all the other bills you’d expect for a space that’s gone from being empty from 8-6 every day to full with a new family.
Plus all of the gadgets. And the extra loads of washing. And the “oh wow, they’re napping, let’s steal half an hour in front of the TV”…
As Beverley Maguire, an energy efficiency expert at E.ON, says: “New parents are faced with lots of additional costs, but one thing they may not consider is how baby’s arrival will affect their energy consumption.
“It’s clear from our research that the way families use their appliances changes significantly when a new baby arrives, and we want to ensure people have the information and advice they need to use energy as efficiently as possible to help them control their energy bills.”
Although having a small baby might seem like it wouldn’t affect going on holiday too much, it can actually add a lot of money onto the cost of your trip.
From the logistical costs that you can’t avoid, like a seat on the plane to a family room at the hotel, to the psychological ones, like choosing to stay in a nicer area or hiring a car rather than catching public transport, the extra costs of travelling with a little one can add up quickly.
3. Lost wages
Did you know that a group of researchers in the United States have looked at the average loss of wages for women after giving birth to a child?
And the results are incredible.
For women in higher-paying jobs, the lifetime cost in lost earnings from motherhood – even if she returns to work – is estimated at $230,000. (Approximately £180,000.)
Women on lower-paying jobs lose about $49,000 (£38,000) after becoming mothers.
How crazy is that?
Just by having a child, you stand to lose anywhere between £38,000 and £180,000.
This fantastic Vox video does a great job of breaking it down and explaining the bigger picture. It’s well worth taking five minutes to check it out.
So, how can you prepare for these unexpected newborn baby finances?
We’ve written another article about the cost of having a newborn baby that breaks down some ways to make sure you’re prepared for your expensive new house-guest, but here are a few top tips:
- Put away more than you think you’ll need: when you’re saving for the arrival of your little one, tuck away as much as you can every month. That extra money will come in handy in so many ways, from helping your newborn baby finances stretch to unexpected expenses to simply providing peace of mind.
- Sell everything you don’t need anymore: from clothes to gadgets, if your baby has outgrown them, then put them up on Gumtree or Facebook marketplace. You’ll be helping other new parents stay thrifty while also getting some extra cash to put back into the baby pot.
- Cut the cost of unnecessary baby stuff: when you’re a new parent, it’s unbelievably easy to buy everything. But that can add up and eat into your valuable newborn baby budget.
- Author The Bamboo Team
- Posted 29 July 2019