The information provided in this article was accurate at the time of publishing and should be read in the context of the date it was published. Views in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the view of Scottish Friendly.

Discovering you’re expecting a baby and becoming a parent are epic events in your life. With it comes significant changes in the way you do things, your finances, and how much time you have to spend on your admin.

With good planning and clear understanding, looking after your financial health as a parent is something which doesn’t have to be taxing, and taking charge can bring benefits both immediately and in the future. Not just to keep your bankroll and clothes in good shape!

The financial aspect of starting a family can seem daunting for anyone, so last year Scottish Friendly teamed up the leading pregnancy website Emma’s diary to develop a clear blueprint to organising you finances ahead of your baby. You can read about the information provided by visiting:

Together we have worked hard to provide information on making the most of your money as a new parent, so you can focus on the most valuable thing of all. Your baby.

After a social media discussion, in which we asked real parents to submit their parental finance tips, we are happy to share the following practical advice from our colleagues, family and friends. There are some really straightforward ways you can start budgeting today. Some of these tips will become a habit and can save you money in the long run.

  1. Negotiate! – We all like a bargain. In light of the credit crunch, haggling is a skill that more and more people are becoming reacquainted with. Don’t be afraid of negotiating your way to a better deal.
  2. Make soup – Not only is this a good way to beat the winter chill, it’s also very economical. So get creative. Take a look at what’s left in your fridge and turn it into a hearty and healthy pot of soup.
  3. Pick up some baby items second hand – The cost of buying items like a baby swing, play mat, baby bath and building bricks can soon mount up. There are many items that your baby will have grown out in the blink of an eye! Many of these items purchased second hand look as good as new. Just ask friends and family and you’ll soon find there is baby kit in just about every loft and shed that you can borrow. You should also have a look at Gumtree (free), Amazon (small fees) & eBay (small fees), or head along to your local car boot sale for bargains. Savvy Mums up and down the country are doing exactly the same thing from the baby right throough to the toddler years!
  4. Think about saving and investing – It’s never too early to start shopping around for how to build savings and investments for your child’s future. Sites like moneysaving expert offer research on which products may suit your needs. By starting early, you have the option to put a little away over a longer period of time. Your regular savings could help towards the cost of a wedding, first car, home or even university fees.
  5. Card or cash? – When you use your card to spend, you can view your bank statement monthly and take a look at where your money is going. Do you really need that Café Latte? It can soon add up. Another idea is to set yourself a monthly budget and lift the money each week that’s at your disposal. It makes you think twice when handing over the cash in your wallet or purse for a random purchase. Especially if you want to save your cash to treat yourself to putting your feet up and enjoying a takeaway at the weekend!
  6. Stock up on great offers – Keep an eye out for fantastic price cuts on nappies and wipes and promotional offers on things like car seats that supermarkets regularly run. Stock pile when you can on two for one deals for example, as it can save you money if it’s something you regularly use.
  7. Dig out your membership or join the library – In the UK libraries are free and you can save spending money on new books. If you’re lucky enough to have a Kindle you can also find lots of free books to download on websites such as Amazon.
  8. Take a look at voucher, cash back, and offer sites – Here are some leading ones to get you started:
    Greasy Palm – Get moneyback on your purchases
    MoneySavingExpert – Site dedicated to finding the best deals
    Quidco – Cashback deals and voucher offers
    Groupon – Local vouchers and discounts for lifestyle services
    Square Meal – Great discounts on a rare meal out
  9. Register for a loyalty card – for example Boots, Tesco Club Card, and Sainsbury’s Nectar schemes offer point’s every time you shop with them. Save your points for Christmas or redeem them at a future shopping trip.
  10. Make good use of affiliate programmes – Many companies offer their customers tickets and discounted leisure experiences. Make sure you find out which offers are available to you and take advantage of them. O2 and Orange are great examples of companies offering these things.

No advice has been provided by Scottish Friendly. If you are in any doubt as to whether a savings or investment plan is suitable for you, you should contact a financial adviser for advice. If you do not have a financial adviser, you can get details of local financial advisers by visiting Advisers may charge for providing such advice and should confirm any cost beforehand.