When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I genuinely didn’t pay much attention to how much it would all cost me.
I was excited at the prospect of starting our family and, having been quite well off with savings at the time, I didn’t pay a thought to saving even more or preparing my money fully.
Even the masses of mums who like to offer advice didn’t pass anything on about money. I had everything from ‘enjoying my free time while I could’ and ‘saying goodbye to my life’ (all very helpful!) but in hindsight the money was almost a taboo.
It was never spoken about because the implication was that if you care more about the finance of babies then you aren’t doing it for the right reason, and I wholeheartedly agreed. My bundle of joy was the most important thing, end of.
I enjoyed the maternity leave with my wonderful first born, but the implications financially were slightly crippling.
But what exactly is wrong with planning properly? If I’d known that formula milk would cost me the Earth, or that statutory maternity pay, while appreciated, doesn’t go far at all, I would have sorted my priorities out and grown up and out of dream land a little quicker.
I know now that I should have worried. I enjoyed the maternity leave with my wonderful first born, but the implications financially were slightly crippling, and I returned to work with my bank balance at its lowest.
I had used all the savings I had to help my husband continue to pay all the bills, the mortgage, buy food; now I needed to build those finances back up again.
I had returned to work part time and so, on a lower wage and paying childcare, I was already facing a battle with money.
Now, with baby number two on the way, it is safe to say my thinking is different.
It took the best part of a year to get myself sorted in terms of what I could afford, what my outgoings were and whether I could help my household any more than I was already trying to.
Now, with baby number two on the way, it is safe to say my thinking is different. I’m saving, I’m selling anything unused on eBay for some extra pennies, and I’m using my skills as a teacher to earn a bit more by teaching crafts online.
Any extra money gained is going away ready for all impending family changes. That does mean that the finance of baby number two is taking a more prominent priority at times, but while he/she is cooking nicely it makes sense to the slightly older (not necessarily always wiser) me to make sure I’m ready.
Although I’m taking care of myself, this pregnancy is all about prep and the more I do now the better off I can be, and the better I can provide.
That’s not everyone’s cup of tea of course, I know, and I’d much rather be pregnancy number one’s princess (I’d like a daily nap please!), but needs must and I am determined not to suffer financially as hard as I did before.