Staying at home

Before you decide on staying at home, try to work out exactly how much impact the loss of your salary will have on your finances so you're absolutely sure you can afford it.

You should also look into what effect giving up your job might have on how much tax you pay, pension and insurance cover.

If you're used to being a breadwinner, learning to depend on one income can be difficult. It could lead to arguments over money or you feeling that you have less of a say on your family's spending when you're not earning a salary.

Make sure you talk about things and work as a team, recognising that you both contribute different but equally important things.

You should also look into what benefits you can get using our guide, New Parents: What Help Can You Get?

Back to work

If you decide to stay at work, make sure you look into how much childcare will cost you and work out how you'll pay for it. When you look into this, check that paying for childcare won't cost more than you'll earn.

If you work, you can get 15 hours of childcare a week for free if your child is 3 or 4 years old. This will rise to 30 hours per week in September 2017.

It could even be worth looking into working part time. If this significantly reduces your childcare costs, you might end up financially better off than if you work full time.

Whether you choose to stay at home or return to work, it's important to plan carefully how you'll afford everything, as your expenses will be much higher with a child.

Budget effectively

Once you have an idea of the costs involved, work out what your income will be and think about how you'll afford everything you need - use How to Write a Budget, our guide to planning your finances in advance.