Oh, the joy of having a little baby grab your finger with its tiny fist for the first time! It’s little moments like these that really remind you of what you were working hard towards in life all this time. That being said, getting a new family member is still a big change that will reflect on your daily life and finances alike.
You don’t want to just rush into it and hope for the best; you’ll have to do some serious planning if you want to provide the best possible environment for your little one without having to worry about what you are going to eat at the end of each month. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the tips that will allow you to prepare for your little bundle of joy while staying on budget.
Women simply love to share baby and maternity items. You should not purchase a lot of things before you announce to everyone that you are expecting, because once you do, you will surely get offers of used baby clothes, maternity clothes and baby equipment, together with a lot of baby related advice. This seem to be like some rite of passage for other women to pass their maternity things to other women who are pregnant, so why not take advantage of it.
Become a DIY expert
Setting up the perfect nursery can be the most challenging and most expensive project expecting parents can take on, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need to start from scratch and buy every single thing directly from a catalogue – if you take the time to become somewhat of a DIY expert, you can make use of stuff you already have lying in the attic, basement or garage.
You don’t really need much more than a decent-sized towel and a simple bag with extra diapers, wipes and baby powder to change your baby on virtually any flat surface you can find, so you can save a lot on a fancy changing station.
If you are somewhat skilled in woodworking, you can make your own baby crib, or you can repurpose old furniture to create small tables, cupboards, playhouses, a small “kitchen” or “workshop” area for the little one and so on.
Purchase Used Items
There are stores that consign strictly children and baby items, and they are amazing for stocking up on baby equipment and clothes. The owners of these stores are in most cases very strict about the items they will accept to sell in their stores, so the items you will find there will be in pretty good condition. Another great place to pick up some baby clothes are garage sales, and often, you will be able to find infant clothing in amazing condition for as little as one dollar a piece.
Forget about single use diapers
The first thing you’ll see in any movie that deals with new parents getting used to living with a baby, apart from them being depicted as totally incompetent for a few cheap laughs, is a pile of single use diapers, which can be found in every nook and cranny of the house.
Well, the good news is that there is an organic, highly adjustable, 100% green, highly efficient and reusable option – cloth diapers. About 12-20 pairs should do the trick, as you’ll be wishing them on a daily basis, but it’s just a one-time investment, so you’ll save tons in the long run.
And while we are on the subject on old-school methods, whatever happened to wiping things with a handkerchief or a piece of cloth? Get a bunch of little washcloths and some hankies and you won’t have to stock up on a ton of paper towels each month. When they get dirty, just wash them and you’re ready to go again.
Be Patient and Wait For the Gifts
As soon as you find out that you are pregnant, do not start spending money on getting things for the baby. You will have a baby shower, where you are going to receive tons of baby clothes and all those little items you will be needing like a baby bathtub, baby nail clippers, towels and much more.
It is a well-known fact that women simply love shopping for their babies, so, after the baby arrives, you will receive even more gifts in the form of baby clothing and equipment. Do not feel like you need to buy a whole wardrobe right away. We recommend that you stock up on some baby pajamas for the weeks that follow after the baby has been born, and when the baby is one month old, you can start doing some light shopping.
Become a frugal parent
This is where you should not let the cuteness lure you into unnecessary spending. If you are a savvy internet user, we are sure that you have already used coupons and voucher codes. This is a great way to save a lot of money, because you will be able to find a lot of amazing deals online.
We already mentioned that you should always opt for used instead of new clothes, and it might be best to purchase clothes that are in neutral colors so that you can give them to other kids, both girls and boys, once your little one grows out of them. Even if you don’t have any other kids down the road, you can still give those clothes to your relatives, and pay your karmic debt for borrowing clothes from relatives yourself.
As far as bottles go, look for those that clearly say they don’t contain BPA. And, when it comes to toys, it may be best to limit yourself to baby mobiles and a few things like rattles, just stay away from toys with small removable parts and avoid too many fluffy teddies and the like until your baby grows up a bit.
These were our tips and tricks on how to prepare for a baby without breaking the bank. One final tip we have for you to be social and do some networking. You can look at different online blogs and forums and even find some local groups, or just a few cool neighbors who have a baby, so that you can get some tips, share experiences and even swap or borrow some items. As long as you put in some effort, meet the right people and look for any possible way to save a few bucks without sacrificing safety or practicality, you will be able to come up with a reasonable budget, and maybe even save up some money for nice holiday down the road.