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How much will your pregnancy cost you?
Blogs » Mummy Blogger

Counting the cost of Pregnancy

Paula Battle counts a number of ways to cut costs during your pregnancy, and draws on her own experience to look at how much a pregnancy could cut you back financially… 

Having your first child signifies a turning point in your relationship, but what about the impact it has on your financial stability? Apparently there are people out there who actually plan for their first child, who manage to have everything in place and who organise their finances to suit. And then there are people like me… 

We had our first child nearly nine years ago. At the time we were both in full time jobs, relatively well paid and we enjoyed a very good standard of living. Maybe you’d like to guess how much money we stored away during those months of pregnancy? Ah yes, I see someone at the back nodding with the same shame-faced look as me, that’s right, absolutely nothing. 

The first, and most surprising, cost of pregnancy was the test itself. Especially if, like me, you feel the need to fill a shoebox with used kits just to convince yourself that it’s really happening. When you finally start to relax enough to believe that’s when you move on to the big decisions, such as What Style of Pregnant Woman am I going to be? 

Most of us have friends and family who are only too pleased to pass on their maternity clothes in a bid to purge themselves of those last vestiges of comfort clothes. That’s all very generous of them but for many women it’s more important than ever to retain a sense of themselves during pregnancy. Fortunately, times have moved on from the days when the only pregnancy outfit choice was a kaftan or, erm, a kaftan. 

We’re lucky enough to be holding on to an almost intact NHS, and I have had amazing care throughout my three pregnancies, but that’s not to say that we didn’t fork out a large amount of cash on a nuchal scan at the early stages of our first, and I know plenty of people who have coughed up for multiple private scans just to reassure themselves that all is well. At anything from £100 to £200 that’s quite a hefty bill. 

In theory, it should actually be possible to save money during pregnancy. The chances are that you’ll be going to bed earlier, so you should be saving on the costs of nights out. Additionally, those of you with such vices as cigarettes and alcohol may well have honed your willpower to a sharp enough point to puncture the most hardiest of temptations. All of which amounts to squillions of pounds put by, which is great because you’re really going to need them!

There are of course a few obvious costs that we haven’t yet accounted for. Firstly there’s the state-of-the-art-travel-system, previously known as a pram. There’s the Moses basket, crib & cot, as well as a fully fitted out nursery, replete with all manner of must-have items. You’ll probably use them less than half a dozen times, before storing them away in the garage for a car boot sale at some point. And finally there’s your hospital bag – new dressing gown, pjs, slippers and wash-bag if it’s your first child, not forgetting the all important birth plan and music for the delivery room. For subsequent pregnancies you’ll be grabbing your mobile phone and a chocolate biscuit as you race out of the door.

Basically, pregnancy tends to be as costly an exercise as you choose to make it, and considering what is yet to come it’s advisable to start putting a little something away if you possibly can. If you’ve already been through it tell us how you think you could have saved pounds during your pregnancy and what was your biggest extravagance?
 

Thursday, 17th February 2011

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