One of the greatest worries for parents-to-be, is the family finances. How will you afford to feed another mouth? How will you cope financially while on maternity leave? How will you afford to buy all of the baby paraphernalia available in the shops? Before you get yourself worked up into a credit card frenzy, it’s important to remember that it is possible to have a baby on a budget. In fact, you could make that your mantra for the next few months and you could save yourself a small fortune. Here are six easy tips for having a baby on a budget:
- Beg, borrow and steal – ok, well don’t actually steal, but borrowing is always a good idea. If you have friends and family offering to lend you cots, strollers and toys, accept their kindness. Babies don’t need brand new, they’ll be more than happy using preloved items. Thrift, charity and second-hand stores are great places to find bargain baby gear. If you are using heirloom hand-me-downs, though, be sure to judge them by today’s safety standards.
- Breastfeed – formula milk can end up costing quite a lot, and you can bypass the cost completely by making the most of what nature gave you. Breastfeeding is free – totally and completely free – and will keep your baby completely nourished until he’s ready to be weaned onto solid foods. Of course, you can buy a breast pump and bottles to express milk if you like, but you may not need to. For some women, breastfeeding allows them to feed their baby for free for the first six months of life.
- Cloth bum – disposable nappies can cost a lot, too, but by opting for cloth diapers you can bypass this ongoing expense. You will have a larger outlay at the beginning, but then the diapers will last your baby until he’s potty trained. They’ll even be fine to use for any future babies too. If you add them to your baby registry, you may even get the cloth nappies as gifts!
- Only buy what you need – a lot of the items you see in baby stores don’t really qualify as necessities. They’re things you can spend money on, but by no means need to. You don’t really need to buy a brand new baby bath, you could wash your baby in your bath or sink. Your baby doesn’t really need an expensive musical mobile to go above the crib. He doesn’t really need brand new matching nursery furniture. He doesn’t need the tiny pair of expensive shoes you’ve been eyeing up, even though they are very cute. Food, shelter, clothing and love – aside from that, everything else may be nice to have but not a necessity.
- Be realistic – draw up a realistic budget and stick to it. Give yourself room for the occasional splurge so that you don’t feel guilty about little purchases.
- Shop around – once you’ve decided what you want to buy, do your research and shop around to make sure you get the best deal. It may take a while, but you could save a lot of money.
Remember, money isn’t love – of course it feels good to spend money on your baby, and to feel that you’re ready for his arrival. But don’t feel bad if you can’t afford to buy everything new. Your baby won’t know whether a pram is new or second hand. Your baby won’t care whether he has matching outfits, a cute cot bumper, or a personalised teddy, all he will care about is being close to you.
Are you sticking to a tight budget for the baby, do you have any tips to share with other budgeting mums?
Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.