Births, debts and taxes

The old phrase that the only certainties in life are birth, death and taxes may seem less true these days, as debt appears to be an unavoidable fact o…

The old phrase that the only certainties in life are birth, death and taxes may seem less true these days, as debt appears to be an unavoidable fact of life for most.

However, it appears that credit card debt could be something some parents are piling up unnecessarily in preparation for birth.

A survey by Aviva has found expectant parents spend £425 million a year preparing for the arrival of their first child – £1,370 per new family – and the poll discovered 60 per cent of them waste some of their money.

While much of this tends to go on obvious and necessary items like pushchairs, nappies, baby clothes and special car seats, many others bought extra things they did not need.

In addition to this, 27 per cent of parents changed their car at an extra cost of £2,658 on average, while 25 per cent moved home at an extra cost of £20,813.

Head of protection marketing and sales for Aviva Louise Colley said: "Having a baby – particularly a first baby – is a hugely exciting time for parents, so it's quite understandable that people want to splash out and make everything perfect for their new arrival."

She added: "As this survey shows, the vast majority of people admit to spending money on items that they never use or could have done without."

Running a larger and potentially more expensive car may add to the debt problems faced by many new parents.

A recent report published in Wales by a group of charities called Access Denied found that many people are left in what it terms 'transport poverty', due to having to spend more than ten per cent of their income on running a car.

It said a major cause of the problem is a lack of public transport options for many people.

By James Francis

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