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UK first-time parents spend £492 million preparing for baby

23rd April 2014 Print

First-time UK parents spend more than £492 million each year, preparing for the arrival of their first baby, according to research from life insurance provider Aviva. This equates to £1,619 per family and shows a 17% increase to the £1,389 total in March 2012.
The new Aviva study of 2,000 recent parents, found that this is the average amount spent on baby essentials such as prams, baby clothes, cots, car seats and nappies, as well as other nice-to-haves like nursing chairs and mum-to-be treats.
However, six out of ten parents admit that with hindsight, they had bought things that they either didn’t use or could have done without. The most common ‘unnecessary’ items were revealed as mum-to-be toiletries (14%), Moses baskets (13%) and baby slings (12%).
In addition, more than a quarter of expectant / new parents (27%) said they bought or changed their car, with an average spend of £5,298 (up from £2,658 in 2012). A further one in five (20%) moved to a bigger house, with the majority forking out around £40,000 in the process, but with one in seven movers spending more than £150,000 to upsize.
However, the study also showed a worrying proportion of new parents could be risking their children’s financial futures by skimping on life cover, with just one in five saying they’d taken out life insurance or reviewed their protection needs at this time. New parents were twice as likely to start a savings account for their new arrival, with two out of five (38%) saying they’d taken this step.
New parents are shown to be rightfully vigilant at protecting their children against risks within the home. A third (33%) of new parents install life-saving smoke alarms and over a quarter (31%) fit carbon monoxide monitors. Stair gates are a must-have for over half of new parents (53%), and four in 10 fit safety catches on kitchen cupboards. But many are not considering the importance of also protecting their family’s financial future.
Aviva data shows that almost two-thirds (64%) of families have no life insurance in place and the typical family only has £2,773 in savings which, without any other income, would last less than two months on average. Yet if a ‘typical’ family paid £15 a month on a standard life insurance policy for both parents for 18 years, they could receive more than £224,000 tax-free if a parent died or was diagnosed with a terminal illness within that period.
Louise Colley, protection director for Aviva and a mum to six-year-old twins says: “It’s only natural that people want to give their baby the best of everything, particularly when they’re about to become parents for the first time, but it’s also important to think about planning for the unexpected. Life insurance should be seen as just as much an essential as the pram or the car seat, as it’s there to protect your loved ones’ futures.
“It’s interesting that most new parents admit they’ve spent money on items they didn’t need or never used. Life insurance is of course another thing that people hope they’ll never have to make use of, but the peace of mind of knowing your family will be provided for, should the worst happen, is absolutely invaluable.”
Aviva offers free life cover of £10,000, per parent, per child to new parents in the UK to run until the child’s first birthday. New parents can register for the Aviva offer online by visiting