Understanding your financial position
It is important to understand your financial situation both now and when the baby is born so that you can get on with enjoying the fun stuff. Take time to sit down with your partner to work out a budget together as soon as possible so you can see exactly what you both need to do.
Make a list of all your incomings and outgoings for the months before and after the baby is born. If you are both earning now, one salary is likely to drop to statutory maternity levels soon after the birth, then disappear completely for the final 13 weeks, if you take the full 52 weeks of Maternity Leave. For many, this drop in income is a source of worry, but by talking about it early on in the pregnancy you can make sure you factor it into your budgets.
Take stock of loans and debts
It could be useful to make a list of any outstanding loans and debts and what interest rates they're on. If you can factor it in to your budget, try and pay them off before the baby is born. If not, you might be able to swap them on to fixed interest loans or if you have outstanding credit card debts, are there any 0% interest deals you might be eligible for?
"If you have to borrow money, make sure you factor the repayments into your budget."
You may decide that you want to borrow money to help you with the costs of the new arrival. However, if you can manage without getting into debt it is generally better. If you do decide to borrow, please just make sure you use a reputable provider, most of the high-street banks will be happy to discuss your options. Also, check the interest rate (APR) and avoid borrowing on credit and store cards, it's often easier to borrow money this way but these kinds of cards usually charge much higher interest rates.
If you are in any doubt about what is right for you, then you should consider discussing your situation with an independent financial advisor.
To move or not to move
The criteria you set for where you live and what you need in a home is soon going to change. Try to think about your living space, not just if you have enough bedrooms, but how you’ll use them. Where’s this new person going to live and where are you going to put all their things (it’s amazing how much stuff a small person needs)?
It may be that you decide to move house and/or want to change your mortgage. If so, you are likely to be better off doing so before the baby arrives. If you are both working, you will still have two salaries to factor into the calculation, and of course without a new baby you will have more time for viewings.
Make sure that if your income does reduce whilst you’re on maternity leave that you will still be able pay your mortgage or rent on your new family budget after the baby is born.
It's a good idea to try and save as much money as possible during your pregnancy. If you work, you'll still be earning during this period, and you may find that you don't feel like going out as much so you may have some extra money. If you don't need to put it towards debts and credit cards, try saving some because whatever you can put aside now will help after your baby's born, even if it's just enough to pay for a few essential items in the first couple of months.
Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Hub content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions. OneFamily do not provide advice so it may be worth speaking to an independent financial advisor about your own circumstances.