When it comes to the ‘big ticket’ baby items, expectant parents could seriously reduce their baby bill by taking advice from parents who have been there and done it. Research from the Financial Services Compensations Scheme (FSCS) reveals some parents to be often underestimate the real costs of these items. At the same time, they plan to save an average £234 a month for baby’s first year, almost three times the basic minimum required.
So where are parents-to-be going wrong? The issue is not that they are saving ‘too much’, as this will help them when it comes to paying for childcare and education in years to come. The FSCS research has found that they are planning to buy most of the ‘big ticket’ items new, rather than looking after their pennies by finding less expensive alternatives.
Parents, who have had the experience of bringing up a baby advise differently. Many bought these items second hand or had them gifted or passed down from friends and family. A third of respondents chose not to buy a baby changing unit at all (31%). more than a quarter (26%) chose not to buy a travel system (pram and car seat combination) and nearly a fifth (17%) did not bother buying nursery furniture. Instead these parents focused on buying new goods only where there is a real safety issue, with 62% of parents surveyed buying baby and child car seats first hand.
Sarah Pennells, founder of savvywoman.co.uk, says: “Most parents are very savvy when it comes to their children. My advice would be to get clued up on the real costs, try to control the impulse buys in that first year and talk to friends and family who have young children. It's also a good idea to be selective about what you buy new. Only get the essentials and look at second-hand NCT, eBay and Gumtree options for everything else. And don’t forget that family and friends will normally be more than happy to help with gifts or by passing on items they no longer need.”
What is FSCS?
FSCS was set up by government to protect your savings in UK banks, building societies and credit unions. If your financial firm were to go bust, FSCS will automatically refund your savings (up to £85,000 per person) within seven days and it’s completely free of charge. So whether you’re saving for your first family holiday, a new buggy or your child’s education, you can feel rest assured your savings are safe.
You can check that your savings are safe at www.fscs.org.uk/protected