Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Money Tips: Saving For A Baby

After the initial excitement of getting pregnant and knowing there's a baby on the way, it's only natural that us parents to be start to think about our finances.

Any addition to the family is going to increase your outgoings and it's important to make sure everything is in order before your little one arrives.

I've put together a few helpful tips for helping with the different aspects of money matters when it comes to being a parent...

Top tips for improving your own financial situation:

- Take a good look at all our your outgoings and separate them into necessities, affordable things you like to have and luxuries. Weigh up the luxuries and get rid of anything you can't afford. Examples of this include take aways/nights out, TV services such as Sky and Virgin
- Set up a budget spreadsheet. I love the templates on Money Saving Expert
- Make sure you aren't wasting money on your bank accounts. There are often hidden fees. Don't be scared to switch to an account with better benefits for you
- Try and haggle down your phone, Sky etc bills. It's amazing what companies can do for you if you threaten to leave!
- Plan your meals for the week. This will cut down your spending in supermarkets and avoid food wastage
- Same goes for online shopping. It should hopefully cut down your spending because you can't be tempted by those random items in store
- If you smoke, quit!! It's amazing what you can save due to the price of cigarettes these days
- Sell anything you don't need anymore. Who knows what treasures you have in your attic, shed, under your bed!
- Sign up for all the loyalty cards you can. Tesco Clubcard, Boots Advantage Points, Superdrug's Beauty Points, Nectar Card to name a few.

Top tips for saving:

- Clear any debt before attempting to save. There's no point trying to save when you are paying interest on an overdraft or credit card - it's wasted money
- Shop around and find a savings account with a great interest rate that matches your needs. The Money Saving Expert site is what I used to find mine 
- Set up a direct debit into your saving account so you aren't tempted to not pay into it one month!
- Put any loose change you have in a jar and take it to on of those coin machines at supermarkets that count it all up and give you vouchers towards your shopping or cashback. We regularly get a good £18-£20 out of our jar

Top tips for buying for your new arrival:

- Before you buy anything, check that it isn't cheaper elsewhere. The shopbot site is a useful tool
- Have a google and see if there are any voucher codes available for the site you are using. 9 times out of 10 there will be
- Look out for sale events online. They tend to be more regular than in store
- Sign up for the loyalty cards where you can gain points and get invited to sale previews etc
- Check out your local NCT Nearly New sales. I've been to a couple of these, they are great!
- eBay!! If you're happy to buy second hand, you're bound to find what you're looking for on eBay
- Gumtree. Like eBay without the bidding process. You usually collect goods in person as well so you can have a chance to haggle!

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