Calculate the cost of having a baby

New research from the Money Advice Service reveals that millions of parents are missing the mark when it comes to the money side of planning for a baby. Half of the parents surveyed underestimated how much they would spend preparing and caring for their first baby in its first year.

The research, conducted among 1,000 parents with children under 10 years old, revealed that of those who underestimated how much they would need to spend, six out of ten (61%) spent up to £1,000 more than they expected to, and a fifth (22%) were hit with between £1,000 and £5,000 in unexpected costs.

It seems that many expectant parents don’t factor money into their planning at all. A third (33%) of the parents surveyed chose not to seek money advice before having their first baby, preferring to let things pan out on their own, while almost a fifth (17%) didn’t even think about the money side of things.

And it’s not just first-time parents who aren’t seeking the advice they need – over two-fifths (42%) of parents say they still wouldn’t know where to go for money advice if planning to have another child.

The Money Advice Service has released the findings today as it launches its new ‘Baby Costs Calculator’, a free tool that helps parents calculate how much they will need to spend on their baby in its first year. The new online calculator is part of the Service’s comprehensive Parent’s Guide to Money.

The Calculator shows costs (excluding childcare) scaled to three different budget levels ranging from £1,600 to £3,700 or up to £7,200. The Parent’s Guide to Money also features a Baby Timeline and advice on topics ranging from benefits and entitlements to planning for childcare costs.

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