Whether you're simply planning ahead or already have a little one on the way, raising a family can mean big changes to your family finances.
We've put together some top tips to help you start planning for the patter of tiny toes.
Make a family budget
From buggies to babygrows, having an extra member of the family (no matter how small) means you'll need to set aside money in your budget to cover your changing outgoings.
Think about how much you'll need to set aside each month and whether you need to cut back on any luxuries. Research by Loughborough University shows that it costs couples £150,753 to raise a child to age 18 in the UK 1.
Start saving early
It might be difficult to imagine now, but sooner than you think your little ones will be fleeing the nest – perhaps looking to go to university, get married or buy their own home.
If these are things you want to support, starting to save early on could leave you in a much better position to help out in future.
Looking at long-term savings options, such as investing in stocks and shares could also have a better performance than a typical savings account, however, as with all investments, the value may fall as well as rise and you could get back less than you invest.
Benefits and tax allowances
Annual ISA investment allowance
Under current government regulation, you can benefit from an annual investment allowance each year – allowing you to put aside savings without paying tax on any returns.
You can use your annual ISA investment allowance by saving into a cash ISA, an investment ISA or a combination of the two each tax year.
Children under 16 have a smaller annual ISA allowance of £4368, so you may want to consider opening a Junior ISA (JISA) to invest on their behalf. Remember that the value of your investments can fall as well as rise and you could get back less than you invested.
All families are entitled to a weekly child benefit payment of £20.70 a week for your first child (and £13.40 a week for all other children) . Only one parent can claim for child benefit and different rules apply if parents separate or join family units.
If your individual income is over £50,000 a year, you may have to pay what's called a High Income Child Benefit Tax Charge 2.
Protect your loved ones with life insurance
It may be difficult to think about, but if something were to happen to you or your partner, you'd want to know your family is protected financially.
Life insurance can help protect things like mortgage payments when you pass away. Thinking about how much money your family would need to maintain their lifestyle if you weren't around can give you a good idea of how much life insurance cover you could need.
Your child’s first years are important, and they can be busy for you. That’s why we offer a year of free protection for parents – so you’ll get £15,000 worth of cover, free, for each of your children. You don’t need to give us any bank details, and your cover starts as soon as you sign up through MyAviva and lasts for a full year.