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The First Year

Last updated: 15 March 2015
There is so much to think about when you first find out you’re pregnant – putting your finances in order is one of them.

Knowing what you may need, how much things will cost and budgeting adequately can help. After all, you will be on maternity leave for some time, and you may find your maternity pay does not stretch as far as you would like it to – a recent report from maternitycover.com found that nearly half of women on maternity leave get into debt because of poor benefits.

It’s useful to also know what you should be buying. New mums in particular are vulnerable to marketing gimmicks and pushy sales staff – so it’s a good idea to wise up before you head for the shops and better still, shop online and you could save hundreds of extra pounds on cash back and voucher code deals.

Research by insurance firm LV this year (2015) claimed that bringing up a child in the first year will cost a whopping £230,000 from birth to age 21 and this cost is expected to escalate to £350k in 10 years time. MMM believes it can be done cheaper!

But, before you start panicking, check out MMM’s guide below of what you may need and what the average costs might be – looking at maternity wear and essential baby items.

 

Looking at maternity needs

There are plenty of places today that sell affordable and decent maternity wear – H&M, Mothercare.com, Asos.com and Gap often have some great buys. Also try eBay, as people are always trying to sell  maternity wear that they no longer need and you can get some great deals.

You don’t need to go over the top, as maternity wear is just a temporary wardrobe solution and even though you may have another baby, you may need to buy things again depending on what season it is when you are pregnant.

 

Maternity essentials:

  • Two/three leg wear (jeans/trousers/skirts/leggings)
  • Two/three stretchy tops
  • Cardigan
  • A smart outfit for work and for going out
  • Two/three maternity bras

 

Baby equipment Price range(lowest to highest)
Cot/cotbed £50 – £200
Car seat £60 – £200
Pram/pushchair £150 – £1,300
Baby monitor £20 – £250
Baby bottles & teats £5 – £8 *
Steriliser £15 –  £80**
Baby bath £10 – £15
Changing mat £7 -£20

*it may be more economical to buy sets rather than individual bottles
**cold sterilising equipment is cheaper and can be just as good

 

Other baby essentials Average cost
Cotton wool £1.50
Bottle cleaning brush £4.00
Nappies £6.00
Wipes £2.50
Nappy cream £4.00
Baby sleeping bag £30.00
Nappy sacks £0.70
Changing bag £30*

*get one free from Boots if you sign up to its Parenting Club 

 

Where to go for cheap essentials

*Cheap nappy sacks – Tesco.com Value at 35p for 300 bags (Don’t be fooled into thinking pound shops are cheaper)

*Nappies – try Amazon.co.uk where nappies are always discounted (and they get delivered to your door)

*Wipes – again, at Amazon.co.uk where packs of 10 are sold at a discount price. But also look out for regular supermarket deals – they are run so often,  you will hardly ever have to pay full price for wipes.

*Changing mat – £4.50 from Tesco.com (remember, it’s just for poo, so no need to splash out).

*Kiddicare – prices are usually competitive, so always worth a look.

 

Baby clothes

Buy baby clothes, obviously, but don’t go over the top as your baby will grow out of them fast.

The main things you should get are: vests, sleep suits, hats, socks, towels and flannels, blanket, all in one winter coat and some muslin cloths.

 

Second hand/nearly new sales

You can get nearly new baby essentials second hand at excellent prices. Head for the NCT nearly new sale where you can grab excellent bargains on clothing, bedding, toys and more. The sales are held throughout the year and NCT provides sellers with strict guidelines, so you can be assured what you buy will be in great condition.

Also try out charity shops, where many also sell new items at cut prices. Stores like M&S often donate stock to charities.

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Reduce your grocery bill by 70% this summer!

The kids are off school and they are going to be hungry – inevitably, the next few weeks will see the cost of your weekly shop shoot up.

To help families keep the costs of food shopping down, MMM put Approved Food to the test, which can help slash the cost of shopping by as much as 70%.

There is of course one catch – the food is past or close to its sell-by date, but perfectly safe.

With a £30 budget, MMM managed to bag a fair amount – cereals, tinned food, sweets and treats, drinks and even laundry detergent and dishwasher tablets – the sort of things where you can generally ignore the date stamped on the product.

If you’ve tried reducing the cost of the grub by switching brands or shopping at discount stores but think you can do better, then try Approved Food  – you’ll be surprised at just how much you could save on some store cupboard essentials.

New products are available everyday and there are some real bargains. For example, Sprite Zero 330ml for just 29p or a 2kg Reeses Peanut jar for just £2.99. There’s even stuff for pets, at more than 50% off.

MMM was really pleased with service and surprised at just how at just how much £30 would buy (see pic above/ instagram).

Although we would like to see Approved Food cut down on the cardboard packaging, the items arrived well packed and in excellent condition.

So, if you’re looking to save a few more pounds on your groceries, take a look at Approved food – you’ll be surprised at just how good the bargains are.

 

Keep up with MMM on Twitter @MumMoneyMatters and Facebook !

 

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