Get your finances in order, it's time to budget for baby

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With a baby on the way, every penny counts!

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Whether you're thinking about trying for a baby or have just found out that you're pregnant, it's a good idea to get your finances in order.

Having a baby is very exciting but there's lots to consider. Money matters are one of the most common concerns for pregnant women.

It's a good idea to gather as much information as possible about how much maternity pay you'll be entitled to and what benefits you'll be able to claim so that you can plan ahead. For information on benefits and tax credits you can go to www.gov.uk

In the meantime there are lots of money saving tricks and tips you can use to cut day to day living costs and prepare for baby's arrival.

- Check online for the best deals - When it comes to gas, electric and phone and internet tariffs, just switching to a different provider could potentially save you a lot of money.

- Go shopping in the sales! This is a great way to pick up cheap basics for when your baby arrives such as vests, grows and bibs. Have a look for maternity wear that may be on sale too. There's no point spending lots of money on items that will only get worn for a month or two.

- Bulk buy - look out for offers and stock up on meats, canned goods and dry foods such as cereals and pasta. You can cook and freeze meals ahead of time so that once baby arrives you'll have quick and easy homemade meals straight from the freezer.

- Join a parenting club - Boots and lots of major supermarkets have their own pregnancy and parenting clubs. By signing up you can receive discount vouchers and sometimes free gifts!

- Take a packed lunch to work - Even if you usually only spend £5 a day buying lunch, that's £25 a week you could be saving if you bought in food from home instead.

- Open an account for baby - Money you save each month can be transferred into another account so there's no temptation for you to spend it. After a few months you might have saved enough to put towards a pram or nursery furniture.

For more information on pregnancy health and advice go to www.nhs.uk/Start4Life
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