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How to cut the cost of having a baby in the first year

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How to cut the cost of having a baby in the first year
Money is tight for everyone right now and having a baby has never been more expensive. Here’s how to save during your child’s first year of life
Having a baby is, of course, a wonderful time for all the family. However, it has become more expensive than ever before. 
According to Moneyfarm, the cost of raising a child over the course of their lifetime is estimated at between £150,000 and £200,000, including food, housing and childcare, depending on location.
So, how can you save money during that first year of your child’s life?

State benefits

Ensure you are getting the benefits to which you are entitled. If receiving Working Tax Credit you should also get Child Tax Credit
People on a low income might be eligible for Universal Credit and help with childcare costs.
"Child benefit currently provides £24 a week for your first child"
Or, if your partner or you are of pensionable age, you may be entitled to Pension Credit.
Child benefit currently provides £24 a week for your first child and £15.90 for any further children. You will start to be taxed on this for earnings over £50,000 a year.

Talk to friends and family

Ask friends and family who have had babies in the last few years what they recommend. What did they buy and not use? What are the essentials and nice to haves?

New clothes, toys and equipment

You will need to clothe the baby! But they do grow quickly. Keep it simple with lots of vests (you’ll be changing them often!) and babygrows but remember you will probably also be given clothes as gifts.
Keep the tags on anything you receive in case you don’t use them, and the shop may take items back without a receipt.
Boots £10 Tuesday has some great bargains weekly, with numerous items reduced to £10, including blankets, bibs, toys, food, and creams for mum. Discounts range from ten per cent to 20 per cent, with some reductions even higher.

Second-hand clothes, toys and equipment

second hand baby shoes
Check out your local market places, Facebook groups, Nextdoor, Preloved, Depop and  Vinted for a range of second-hand items. 
Little Pickles Markets pop up all round the country. Stallholders book a space to sell no-longer-needed baby items and anyone can then visit the market to buy.

Discounts and free stuff

When you shop online, use cashback sites like Topcashback and Quidco. Create an account and look up the company you wish to buy from. If listed, click through on the site to register and track your purchase. Kidstart works in the same way with money saved for your child.
Jam Doughnut offers pre-payment gift cards to use online, in-store or on the phone and earn reward points. These points build up and once you have received £10 worth of points you can take out the cash.
"Claim free nappies and discounts using the Pampers app"
Money saving app Mad About Money works in a similar way but you get the discount at the point of purchase. There is also a #payitforward element in the app where items have been donated for free.
Download the Honey app to track purchases. Every time you checkout on a website it will search for available discount codes.
Claim free nappies and discounts using the Pampers app.
FreeStuffUK lists new deals daily. Companies provide freebies in return for your contact details.

Toy libraries and rent subscriptions

baby toys in toy library
Find out if there is a toy library in your area. Through their services, families can access a treasure trove of toys and educational resources without the burden of purchasing them outright.
Many toy libraries, such as Derbyshire Toy Libraries, for example, offer a lending service and also provide “Stay & Play” sessions and ready-made “Play Packs”, containing a variety of items. 
Visit a Sling Library, if you have one near you, before you invest in a carrier. Stacie Swift, a wellbeing advocate, says that when she had her first baby she bought a sling.
"Visit a Sling Library, if you have one near you, before you invest in a carrier"
She recalls, “It wasn't very comfortable and didn't have very much longevity and I ended up buying another one. It would definitely have saved money getting advice and trying a few out first!”
Bundlee is a rental subscription for baby clothes where, for £24 or £39 a month, you can rent 15 items of clothing and change as the baby grows. Whirli offers a toy subscription. Both currently have discounts for the first two months.

Twins, triplets and more

Leila Green has triplets and had to be very careful in working out the baby budget, but got thousands of pounds worth of items either from a marketplace, Gumtree or given by other mums. 
Twins Trust is a national charity with local play groups, Facebook communities and WhatsApp groups. Parents donate used items for other families to take, reuse and give back when outgrown.
Leila comments, “Baby stuff does the rounds—a mum might take something like baby baths and use them until their twins outgrow them then hand them back into the group to be used by another mum. We had sacks and sacks of stuff (literally).”
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