The Cost of the First Twelve Months

In the school that I work in we have had a wave of new babies being born over the past couple of years, such is the way when the staff is made up of mostly women under the age of 40. It's an absolute joy to see my colleagues realise the wonder of having their own little bundles of joy to enrich their lives, and of course I am able to have an excuse to crochet and use up some of my infinite supply of yarn (it's over-running our house!).

I've had quite a few discussions since having my son about the cost of having children, they are pricey little monkeys! And of course the first year seems to be the most expensive, especially as most of the money seems to be spent on 'consumable' or 'disposable' items; it makes juggling finances in the initial twelve months really hard, especially when parents having a limited income due to parental leave. Most of the time when someone says to me that they are waiting to have enough money to be able to afford the cost of having a baby I tell them that you'll never have enough and you make the pennies work. I became very resourceful making pasties, shopping at nearly new sales and generally being as frugal as possible.

When the shock of those first few years have passed, it's actually quite interesting to see the breakdown of the cost of having a child. The obvious comparison of the cost of feeding is obvious; breastmilk is free and if mums choose to breastfeed then they could save £1,500 during the first year! The interesting discovery for me was that reusable nappies aren't that much cheaper than disposables, only saving £100.

I was quite fortunate in not needing to use a private nursery or paid childcare as my mother was able to look after my son when I returned to work when he was 11 months old. He didn't attend a state nursery either as I felt he was too young to cope with it every day, but he did have a few sessions a week in a private preschool which my husband's boss paid for. We saved a lot on childcare during those first four years, thanks to extended family, but I was interested to see that the cost of childcare wasn't as much as I'd thought. This infographic produced by Busybees preschool in Leeds is intriguing and definitely worth looking at for new parents.

Normal-Res-Baby-Infographic

Save

Is All Inclusive The Best Way to Save Money On Your Next Holiday?

When you're looking into booking your next holiday, you'll probably be offered the option of selecting all inclusive. Two things here – firstly, you'll almost certainly see the price of your holiday increase in comparison to a self catering, bed and breakfast or half board selection.

Secondly, don't necessarily let that price increase put you off. Going all inclusive can be a way of saving money on your holiday if you calculate that cost against what you'll be likely to spend on food and drink across the duration of your trip – whether that be one week or two weeks.

'An all inclusive' holiday means you can really put your feet up and relax, knowing you have paid for your food and drinks upfront – and they can be great value' state online travel agents Travel Republic.

All inclusive options can vary from hotel to hotel, so it's always advisable to check specific details to confirm what is and isn't included before you book. Typically though, you can expect breakfast, lunch and dinner to be covered, and at least some soft and alcoholic drinks. Some all inclusive deals will also include snacks during the day.

Of course, you'll pay for all of this up front when you book your holiday and so your bank account may feel the pinch at the time. But if you work out how much you're likely to spend on three meals a day per person going on the holiday, plus drinks, and then compare this with the extra money you've paid to upgrade to all inclusive, you might be pleasantly surprised. As the Travel Magazine says in this article: 'With an all inclusive holiday you get to enjoy the benefit of literally leaving your wallet in your hotel room.'

It's certainly a nice feeling knowing that you don't have to worry about budgeting for basics like food when you're away. In fact, there's a good chance the only money you'll need to spend will be on nice extras such as gifts, extra activities and excursions.

All inclusive can be especially good for families on holiday. Not only does it cover food and drink, it also means that hotels offering all inclusive options have entertainment included too. 'With mini discos and games now on most hotels' night-time agendas, you can sit back and enjoy a cocktail while they (the kids) run riot with new friends,' says bounty.com.

It's not completely about saving money, though. Having a stress free holiday is important and knowing that your children will be fed when they're hungry, without the worry of finding a restaurant with space when little tummies are rumbling, makes life very easy indeed. The flexibility of many all inclusive options allows kids to eat lunch whenever they want, within reason. For example, if your teenage son is playing football when the rest of the family want to eat, he can sit down an hour later when the sports club has finished.

And, if you have a fussy eater it really doesn't matter if they try a meal and don't like it, because there is usually plenty more on offer to eat instead; all inclusive options are often buffet-style meals. There is a vast choice and limitless portions!

Everyone has an opinion and all inclusive comes down to choice. Some holidaymakers may prefer to dine somewhere different every day but others will love the convenience and value of all inclusive.

Junior ISAs: Should You Get One For Your Child?

When it comes to junior ISAs, a small amount goes a long way if it is regularly contributed and withheld until your little one is ready to receive the money. If you start when they are born, you could have a nice little nest egg to gift to your child once they come of age and start looking to put deposits down on houses and pay University fees.

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The Boy… Aged Eight

It's been way too long since I blogged, still trying to find my mojo with a busy job and homelife, and balancing how much of my son's life I share; his digital footprint is something that I am very aware of as he gets older.

However, there are two things that I do every year to celebrate The Boy turning another year older; video him answering the same set of questions, and a collage of his favourite things. Ashamedly, I seemed to have not done the photo last year, but I'm not missing it again!

The Boy aged 8

 

Here are his previous collages aged three years old, four years old, five years old, and aged six.

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A Sprinkle of Summer Fun Memories!

When I think back to my childhood, there are some memories which are far more vivid than others: pretending our picnic table was a stage and performing for my family; playing in the paddling pool with my brothers and sister; and quickly slurping up the juice of a refreshing lolly before it dribbled down my […]

Going Ape in the New Forest!

There is nothing that The Boy loves more than clambering up a tree. It provides a real sense of achievement and connecting with the natural world in that manner really grounds the soul, uplifting and revitalising the body. Last weekend we travelled down to the New Forest for my mother-in-law's 70th birthday celebrations. This involved […]

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Beach Memory Jars

Memories made at the beach last a lifetime. As far as I'm concerned, this is completely true! However, sometimes it helps to have a little something to aid the memories. My sister pointed out a glass jar to me recently which had 'Sand from our favorite beach' printed on it. I really liked the idea, […]

Summer Holiday Boredom Busters

Within the next week or so, all school-aged children in the UK will be on Summer holidays, American and Australian children are already enjoying the break. How long before the cry of 'I'm bored' sounds out? I've put together a collection of posts for Tuesday Tutorials this week which should help alleviate that frustration!

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Project 366 #24

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Paw Patrol: Zoomer Marshall (Review)

For several years now, my son's favourite programme has been Paw Patrol; a television series which follows the adventures of the inhabitants of Adventure Bay and their frequent rescuers – eight pups and their ten year old leader, Ryder. I've often wondered about the sense of having a town's emergency services completely staffed by a […]

Hatchimals (Review)

The trend in toys seems to be cyclical; many toys which I had as a child I've seen come back again and again, just with a modern take on them each time. I was a little too old for the Furby when it was launched, although my 21 year old niece had one when she […]

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