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Typical parents-to-be have a ‘baby buffer’ of £2,547 in the bank to prepare for their new arrival, according to a poll of 2,000 recent parents by Aldermore Bank.
Much of that money goes on equipment such as buggies, cots and car seats and the rest provides a cushion for the potential loss of mum’s earnings, if she was working before falling pregnant.
The study also revealed around one in two couples believe it is important to have savings in place before starting a family.
Simon Healy of Aldermore Bank said: ”It is a wise move to start thinking about saving before you start to plan a family but it’s not always possible.
”The cost of having a baby can be a shock to the system, particularly the first time around.
”Not only do you have to consider the expense of baby equipment such as buggies, cots and all the other paraphernalia, but you need to consider earning less whilst on maternity or paternity leave and even childcare costs if you are planning on going back to work.
”If children are on the horizon, it is a good idea to put something away every month or so. It all adds up and may help ease the financial burden when the new arrival makes an appearance.”
The research also revealed around 48% of couples said they had a set figure they wanted to reach before they even started trying for a baby.
Some 42% stocked up on baby paraphernalia – which on average sets them back around £1,138.
The study also showed that a quarter of expectant parents even set up a savings account for the new baby, while 29% said all debts (excluding their mortgage) should be cleared before starting a family.
But 39% said although that was ideal, it was not always possible.
The average couple aimed to save £3,061 as their ‘baby buffer’, so ended up £514 off target.
But more than one in twenty couples save £10,000 or more.
Of the 2,000 parents polled, all of whom have had children within the last five years, 27% started to save money before they started trying to conceive.
A quarter of expectant mothers even saved in secret to have their very own baby buffer.
Of those, 42% said they didn’t want to have to go ‘cap-in-hand’ to their other half whilst they were on a smaller salary than they were used to.
And 27% said they wanted to be able to treat themselves to little luxuries like haircuts and beauty treatments without feeling guilty and 21% said the baby buffer they saved in secret was something to fall back on, just in case of the unknown.
The research also revealed one in ten said every parent they know saved before their children were born.
One third of couples were in agreement that they wanted to be financially secure before starting a family.
The other two thirds felt that being a good parent was not about how much money you had saved in the bank.
Some 20% of those polled admitted to splashing out on a new car before the impending birth of their child, citing the need for a family friendly vehicle. Some 18% had moved house before the baby had arrived, and over one in twenty put the money they saved towards a new extension.
And 94% of those polled said their own parents helped out financially with their newborn.
Simon Healy added: ”It’s great that grandparents are helping out with some of the expense that a new baby can bring.
”It was refreshing that rather than splurging the money on high-tech baby equipment, many respondents were simply wanting some money behind them as a safety net.”