CreditExpert reports Parents-to-be put financial planning before family planning

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• The average couple spends more than 12 months saving before having a baby • 42 per cent of Brits start saving before even trying for a baby • Average cost of preparing for a new arrival is more than £1,800

It may take nine months to hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet, but it now takes parents more than a year to lay the financial foundations for a new arrival, new research reveals.

Figures from Experian CreditExpert, who provide unlimited free credit scores with a 30 day free trial*, show that parents start financial preparations for a new baby an average of 12 months before the birth, with two fifths (42 per cent) starting saving before even trying for a baby.

And as a majority of parents-to-be (51 per cent) are expecting to have a new arrival between September and the end of the year, the time to start preparing financially is now – costing up new purchases for a new arrival, making a savings plan and checking credit scores, should consumers need to spread the cost with a loan or credit card.

The research reveals that December – already many families’ most expensive month – is also 2012’s boom time for babies, with 21 per cent of the year’s births expected.

Planning ahead is certainly prudent. According to the Experian CreditExpert figures, it costs an average of £1,800 for a new arrival, with 13 per cent of parents-to-be expecting to spend more than £2,000 before their baby is born, and eight per cent more than £4,000.

Perhaps as a result, more than one in three expectant parents (37 per cent) have delayed having a baby for financial reasons – while two fifths (41 per cent) admit they cannot afford a baby but that age means they are unable to wait any longer.

And the importance of spreading the cost is underlined by the number of mums apparently minimising their maternity leave. Six in 10 mothers-to-be (61 per cent) are planning to work until the last minute before giving birth, while more than one in four (28 per cent) will then return to work as soon as they can.

Yet despite this, one in 10 prospective parents (12 per cent) made no financial preparations until they knew they were pregnant – and one in 20 (five per cent) not until six months before the birth.

And with 14 per cent looking to spread the cost with a credit card, and six per cent with a loan, being able to afford a new arrival starts by knowing the state of your credit score to be able to spread the cost of forthcoming big expenses.

Peter Turner, Managing Director of Experian Interactive, said: “A new arrival is an exciting time – but it can be an expensive one. The key is to think carefully about how much a baby will cost. Start planning sooner rather than later, spread the cost over the course of your entire pregnancy, and try to make sure your credit score is in the best possible shape, so you can spread the cost of large one-off payments. Your little bundle of joy can come with a large price tag, but there are ways to give your child the very best start in life without breaking the bank.”

The research also reveals the range of tactics parents will be taking to meet the cost of a new-born, with one in three (33 per cent) only shopping during the sales and one in five (18 per cent) turning to every younger sibling’s worst nightmare – hand-me-downs.

*After which a fee applies

Notes to editors:
1. Figures from research carried out on behalf of Experian in January and March 2012, based on a representative sample of 2,000 adults.
About Experian

Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 80 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2011 was US$4.2 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 41 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com

About Credit Expert:
You should know as much about yourself as any financial institution does. CreditExpert shows you what a lender sees. Every time you apply for credit or a loan, that request is recorded. Multiple requests on your credit history can look as if you are over-extending yourself or a fraud is being committed. If you are looking for a good credit deal or mortgage, CreditExpert allows you to check your report to ensure that it accurately reflects your position. CreditExpert allows you to check your credit report online and as often as you want.
For more information, visit http://www.creditexpert.co.uk/

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Ellie Marsh