Starting a family
It's no secret that it can be costly to start a family. That's why it's important to talk about the practicalities ahead of time to help you feel in control. There's lots to talk about. Such as leave entitlements, child care options, and what you consider to be the essential purchases. To help you get started, we’ve worked with Relate and MoneyHelper to give new parents tips to have constructive money conversations.
6 tips to help you start conversations
1. Understand each other’s attitude to money.
We all have difference views on money and spending. If one of you is a spender, you may want to buy all the latest baby gadgets while your partner is worrying about costs. Talk about your attitudes towards spending for the baby and where these come from. This will help to build understanding and limit rows.
2. Talk through the lifestyle changes that are likely to happen.
Having a baby has an impact on your normal routine. You may both realise that there will be some savings due to a change in your lifestyle. For example, you probably won’t eat out as often or dance the night away in a club every weekend, which is likely to save you some money.
3. Take the time to create a baby budget.
It’s useful to work to a budget. Sit down together at a time when you won’t be disturbed and work out what your money situation is. Get on the same page by accounting for everything from the baby’s expenses to maternity pay and money saved from not travelling to work. Agree a time to regularly check-in on it.
4. Don’t forget your journey to getting this far.
No matter how far along, you’ve come a long way. You may have already spent some of your savings on realising your dream of having a baby so your finances could already be under strain. Share your feelings about this to avoid any worry or resentment building up.
5. Avoid storing up problems.
If you know there are some particularly tricky issues to navigate, start discussing them before baby arrives, so that you’re better prepared for the financial implications of any decisions you make. For example, consider your plans for childcare if and when you go back to work – this could be a difficult conversation if one of you wants to use free childcare from a parent and the other doesn’t. Try to be sensitive to your partner’s needs as well as your own.
6. Think about the future together.
It’s exciting to think about your baby growing up and as a parent you want to give them the best start. Talk to your partner about your views on how you might put money aside for things like driving lessons, university or a deposit on your child’s home.