budetting

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Although the news of a baby’s arrival is a happy one, it is important to be prepared. Babies are free, but their maintenance fee can be a shock! Most expectant parents don’t realise the financial burden they are taking on, and focus mainly on schedule disruptions and the exhaustion they will be facing.

The biggest expense is childcare (if you are a working mum.)  The next, will be formula (if you choose not to breast feed) and then nappies. Yes, nappies! Consider that a baby can use 8-12 of these a day, so the costs really do add up. Expenses can begin before the baby is born!

Baby gear is mostly expensive upfront, and will probably be your next biggest cost with the crib, stroller, car seat, baby bath and so on…

These are just the expenses that you can control. It’s so important to save money on the expenses you can control for the expenses that you either can’t or haven’t prepared for. Cutting costs wherever you can will really help you in the long run!

While saving energy in the home is unlikely to be on your list of priorities at this time, have you thought about taking measures to cut down on the energy your household uses?

Start at the source! Consider changing your electricity provider and compare electricity prices to see whether you are with the right supplier and on the correct tariff. Other companies could give you a cheaper deal, plus incentives for changing. With up to £400 of savings at stake, if you switch to find the best option then plenty of pounds will be saved.

Changing your clothes washing habits can really save you money. Just by swapping long wash cycles with hot water for short wash cycles with cold water with a proven stain remover can save you 93KWh of energy a year. Never wash clothes in small loads, only use your washing machine when you have a full load. If you dry your laundry on a line outdoors or on a drying rack indoors and ignore your clothes dryer, you will do the environment a favour and cut your electricity bill by 6%.

When you do use your washing machine, dishwasher or dryer, use it at low energy use times of the day, and avoid using them between 4pm and 9pm.

Use a laptop, it uses almost three quarters less electricity than a desktop. Also, turn off and unplug all appliances in your house and home office at night. Use strip plug adaptors, so you can switch off up to six appliances at a time by flicking off the wall switch.

Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones, they use three quarters less energy. Also, kids love Christmas lights! You don’t have to skimp on the festivities just because you are trying to save electricity. LEDS use 10 times less energy than incandescent mini-lights and a staggering 100 times less energy than standard bulbs.

After you have brought your baby home, it is tempting to worry about it catching a chill and turn up the heat. The heating bill is usually the most expensive bill. Instead, invest in insulating your home and watch your bills significantly decrease!

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