Can I afford to have a baby?

Some simple exercises to prepare yourself for the new arrival.

Fast quote and free advice.

Having a child can have a major impact on your finances and may mean lost income and unexpected costs.

Here are a few ideas on how you could make your new joy more affordable, and feel better about being able to afford a baby.

Simple exercises to prepare yourself for the new arrival

To help you work out whether you can afford to have a baby, you must first focus on your total income. 

Find out if you would be entitled to in benefits. Could one of you take on extra work to boost income?

Next, check your bank account statement and make a note of the Direct Debits that make up your typical monthly payments. You may find it helpful to use a free online budget planner. Are there any regular payments going out for things you could live without?

Ready to deliver a big, beautiful and painless saving?

If you have a mortgage, check a couple of things:

  1. Are you within any special discounted period? If so, it may not be a good idea to think about moving your mortgage right now.
  2. Does your mortgage come with an early repayment charge (ERC)? If it does, it could mean that the penalty would not make it worthwhile moving your mortgage to another lender.

Did you answer “No” to both questions? Then that is great news because you could potentially save a significant amount of money each month with a new, more competitive mortgage. If you decide to move your mortgage, but don’t move home, it’s known as a remortgage.

Loan.co.uk aims to make the entire remortgaging process quick and easy for you, taking care of as much of the paperwork as possible. See how we can help you to remortgage.

“Working full-time while raising kids is just plain hard. I don’t really know what to say when people ask, ‘How do you do it all?’ Maybe the best answer is ‘I don’t.’ The best advice I can come up with is: be flexible, lower your expectations, laugh at yourself, and try to enjoy the little moments.” Krystal, Community Outreach Manager for A Secure Life and mother of one boy

Could you make a big, monthly saving with a debt consolidation loan?

 How much goes out of your account on making credit card repayments, repaying small loans and on servicing your bank overdraft? Would it be a huge help if you could make just one, small repayment instead?

We may be able to help you make that happen by delivering a debt consolidation loan.

It works by taking all those outstanding loans and other forms of credit and paying them off with just one larger loan instead. The repayment on this one loan may work out a lot more affordable than making lots of payments on different loans. Note that you may end up making repayments for a longer period.

You may be able to consolidate all your debts into a personal loan, but if you need to borrow a large amount, a homeowner loan may be a better option.

To have a good chance of being approved for a homeowner loan you will usually need to have at least 20% equity in your home for the lender to secure the loan against. Equity is what your home is worth, minus the amount that is outstanding on your mortgage along with any other loans secured against your property. Why not see how a homeowner loan could help you reduce your outgoings each month?

Please think carefully before securing other debts against your home as your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on a mortgage or any other debt secured on it.

Further ways you could cut back to afford a baby

Are there any costs that you could quickly and easily trim? For example, could you save money on your satellite TV package? Perhaps you could cancel that gym membership.

How about using comparison sites to see if you can get a better deal on everything from insurance policies to gas and electric?

Once you have slashed as much out of your budget as you can comfortably live with, why not give it a test run to see if you will be fine with the adjustments?

Need extra living space for your baby?

If you will be stretching your finances by buying a bigger property, it may be better to consider adding an extension to your existing home.

You may be able to add a bedroom and even an extra play area. Imagine what a difference that would make.

Once you have quotes, you could make a start on seeing how you would fund the extension. A homeowner loan could be a useful solution depending on your circumstances. Using the equity in your home as collateral for the loan, a homeowner loan could work out very affordable yet deliver the extra room you will need.

How much will it cost to have a baby?

The child Poverty Action Group in their Cost of a Child report1 has found that raising a child until they become 18 works out at just over £75,000 for a couple or a little over £100,000 for a lone parent. If childcare is required the costs rise to £155,100 and £187,000 respectively.

Reporting on a study by the Centre of Economic and Business Research (CEBR), The Telegraph revealed that the actual average cost of raising a child to the age of 21 in the UK is closer to £230,000.2

The same report notes that about 29% of parents’ gross annual income spent on raising a child.

The average costs you’re likely to face during just the first month are also pretty astonishing3:

  • Nappies: £23.52
  • Clothing: £243
  • Feeding equipment: £53.51
  • Toys and furniture: £183.51

Why not use a baby cost calculator, such as the one provided by the Money Advice Service to get an idea of the costs involved?

What are you entitled to claim?

To help you to cope with the costs involved with bringing up a child, there are some useful benefits4:

Free NHS dental care

Ask your dentist for details.

Paid time off for antenatal care

This includes time off for medical and midwife appointments as well as parenting classes.

Statutory Maternity Leave and Pay

You are entitled to one year’s maternity leave and Maternity Pay for up to 39 weeks. You will need to have been employed by your current employer for a minimum of 26 weeks, with average earnings of a minimum of £116 per week.

Statutory Maternity LeaveStatutory Maternity Pay

 

The first six weeks

 

 

90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax)

 

The next 33 weeks

 

£145.18 or 90% of your weekly earnings (whichever is the lower amount)

 

 

The next 13 weeks (if you choose to take)

 

Unpaid

Maternity Allowance

You may be entitled to this payment from the government if you do not qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay. The amount you receive is based on how much you earn. At the time of writing (2019), you could get either £145.18 per week or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is less) for a maximum of 39 weeks. This would then be followed by £27 per week for up to 14 weeks.

Maternity allowance if you are self-employed

Mothers may be eligible for maternity allowance for up to 39 weeks. You need to have been working and paying National Insurance contributions for a certain amount of time before your baby is due, so this is worth checking before deciding whether now is the right time to afford a baby.

Statutory Paternity Leave and Pay

Fathers may be entitled to two weeks off to help out with the new child. You may also receive Statutory Paternity Pay for up to two weeks of your paternity leave. At the time of writing (2019) you would get the lower of: £145.18 per week or 90% of your average weekly earnings.

Working Tax Credit

This is designed to boost your earnings if you work, but your pay is low. Note that Universal Credit is replacing this benefit.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

This is being replaced by Universal Credit. You may receive this benefit If you need extra support with your rent or the cost of bringing up children.

Income Support/Universal Credit

You may receive this if:

  1. You are pregnant
  2. You do not qualify for Maternity Allowance or Statutory Maternity Pay
  3. You are unemployed or on a low income, but are not able to look for work
  4. You have three or more children

Sure Start Maternity Grant

This is a £500 payment from the Social Fund that’s there to help support you with the cost of your baby if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. If you live in Scotland, this has now been replaced with the Best Start Grant.

To qualify for it, the new baby needs to be the only child under 16 in your family, plus you or your partner have to be receiving one of the following:

Child Benefit

Only one person per couple can receive Child Benefit, but you can claim for each child you have under the age of 16 (or under 20 if they’re in education or training).m However, if you or your partner earns over £50,000 a year, you may have to pay back your Child Benefit via extra Income Tax.

What if I go back to work?

Childcare is expensive and can have a huge impact on your budget. Did you know that in 2018, throughout the UK, the average cost to have a child under two go to a day nursery full time was £232.84 per week5.

There is help available to make going back to work more worthwhile:

Working Tax Credit or the Tax-Free Childcare scheme

Your employer may be able to provide you with childcare vouchers or even a direct payment for childcare.

Free early education or childcare

All three/four-year-olds throughout the UK receive free early education or childcare. The hours you are entitled to can be used in nurseries/nursery classes, playgroups and pre-schools, for registered child minders and at Sure Start Children’s Centres

Universal Credit

You may be able to claim back up to 85% of your childcare costs. This is worth up to a maximum of £646 per month for one child or £1,108 a month if you have two or more children.

“Why I work? It’s a financial necessity for our family to live the lifestyle and in the area that we’ve chosen” Leslie Forde, self-care advocate and blogger at Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs and mother of two.

7 Money-saving tips for new parents

Even with government help, it will be expensive raising your bundle of joy. Here are a few tips on how you could cut the costs a little:

1. Enjoy free samples and special offers

Major retailers offer special promotions and baby clubs featuring discounts that are tailored to new parents and their new offspring.

2. Don’t stock up on nappies before the birth                         

Just buy a few packs to start with, because babies arrive in many sizes – a bit like nappies. There are even websites that will help you find great deals on nappies.

3. Download money-saving apps               

Check out the dozens of apps, such as ‘Mush’, aimed at new parents to help them discover free or at least cheap activities for them and their babies to enjoy.

4. Wait until your baby’s born before buying  

Only buy the essentials before the baby arrives. The NHS has a useful checklist to help you get what’s important.

5. Consider second hand items

Search online auction sites to see if you can pick up a bargain. Many items for babies are expensive to buy when brand new but are available at a fraction of the price once used.

6. Think twice before buying the latest designer ‘gizmo’

Babies can live without many of the items marketed towards tired and emotional parents, such as baby wipe warmers or designer ‘all-terrain’ prams.

7. Swap and save

You could save a small fortune by offering to care for other children if the parents promise to repay the favour with a ‘time swap’. You could also exchange everything from toys to books.

If you are expecting or have already given birth, many congratulations from everyone at Loan.co.uk

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You need to be a homeowner

You’ll be able to apply if you own your own home, and it’s worth at least £75,000.

You need to have equity in your property

Your loan will be secured against your home or other property. So the property it is secured against has to be worth more than the balance on your mortgage.

You need to be employed or self-employed

Either you, or someone in your household, must have a regular income.

You need to be over the age of 18

This is true of any second mortgage application.

Before you apply

We have made the Loan.co.uk application process as simple as possible, but it’s even easier if you give a few things a little thought before you start.

Make sure you think about:

  • How much you want to borrow.
  • How long you want to borrow it for.
  • What you want the loan for.
  • The current value of your property.
  • How much you still owe on your mortgage.

Next, why not get a quote to see what your options are, it doesn’t affect your credit rating and only takes a couple of minutes. Please contact us if you have any questions at all – we’d be delighted to help out.

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