There are few things in life more exciting than starting a family. One day it’s just you and your spouse, then suddenly that pregnancy test comes back positive and you’re on your way to a whole new life. And a new life it will be; between those first few months up to your due date, there’s lots to think about. That’s why it’s important to save money now by budgeting for a baby.
So before you and your spouse become sleep deprived, living on sheer will, especially through those first few weeks, life will eventually smooth out to ‘normal’ or at least as normal as it can be with a newborn. There are definitely things you can do NOW, long before your baby is born. Actions which will take you through not only those first years of babyhood, but into childhood and teen years, too.
Having a family will surely complete the love you have for your spouse. Children have a way of cementing relationships and then when you add pets and a house, you’ll wonder why you waited so long. There really are valuable ways to save money even when a baby is on the way. Read on for four very beneficial ways to save money now before baby arrives:
Tip #1: Buy Only Things You Really Need for Baby
Here’s what you should do: Buy the things you need ONLY. Baby showers are great and often friends and family will gift you with every little gadget and gizmo that’s in vogue right now; most of which you may never use.
Babies need very little when they’re newborn. Here are ways to save on the basic items for baby:
- Diapers: Don’t stock up on boxes and boxes of newborn diapers. Especially if you have a 9 lb. baby to start. Babies grow very quickly, so stock up on a few smaller diaper sizes and budget money, or put money away, for making diaper purchases in the coming months.
- Wipes: Baby wipes tend to be alike no matter which brand you buy, so go ahead and stock up on the generics or those from wholesale warehouses such as Costco. Buy unscented only and don’t worry about all the scented ones.
- Bottles: many women breastfeed these days, but you still need bottles for starters. Buy 6 baby bottles and be aware there are different types of bottles; your baby may prefer one over another. Once you find out what baby loves, you’ll stick with that.
- Onesies and Sacks: You know all those adorable newborn outfits? You really don’t need but a few, if any. Babies grow so fast that by 3 months they’re into new sizes already and those clothes are done. Buy 5 or 6 onesies and the same for sleep sacks.
- Swaddle blankets: Babies love being cuddled and wrapped up, so do indulge on swaddle blankets. At least 6 or 7; because you never know when spit-ups or overflowing diapers may occur.
- Burp cloths and bibs: Have a small supply, but you won’t need tons of these. As long as laundry is done every 2-3 days, you’ll be fine.
Tip #2: Never Underestimate the Power of Second-Hand
Before you buy one stick of baby furniture, sit down and make a list of things you really need. If this baby is your first, perhaps grandparents will be buying the crib and dresser.
Always be willing to buy gently used items that are second-hand. You may not be too keen on this idea, but these items are generally in excellent condition and very cost effective. In other words, cheap! When you think about how long you will be using door swings, walkers, changing tables, and the like, you will start to understand the power in second-hand stuff.
Check out Mommy sites on Facebook in your town or neighborhood; chances are in time you will be selling your items there as well. Don’t underestimate thrift stores either; there are many which cater to youngsters and you can find some great bargains there.
Tip #3: Don’t Do Silly
Do you really need a baby wipes warmer? Or toys which will make your baby a genius in 6 months? Nah . . . items like these are so impractical and you’ll end up never using them.
This is one of the areas where buying can get SO out of hand; don’t buy it unless it really will benefit baby. You don’t need to tell the girls at work that you own it, no one is going to care. As for toys, keep it simple. So many toys do nothing but make the manufacturer rich, and they will not be used by your little ones.
Tip #4: Buy Items Your Baby Can Grow With, Not Out Of
It used to be that you had to purchase a crib, then a toddler bed, or a playpen made of wood that took up inane space in your house. Nowadays with pack ‘n plays and convertible cribs which become toddler beds, you’ll be saving money in the long run.
Look around for high chairs and strollers that do more than one thing. Some convert into bumper chairs and strollers often have a section that can be pulled out as a carrier. There will be items, such as car seats, which you will have to adhere to, and use according to weight and height, but many other items are flexible. Stick with neutral colors, too; pink and blue are cute but may not sell well when the time comes.
Keep in mind, once your baby comes, your life will change forever. But, in tremendously good ways. Yet, that calls for being wise with your money. When you find out you’re pregnant, put the word out about the items you need and be specific. Honestly, babies aren’t fashionista’s; they’re thoroughly happy wrapped in Mommy or Daddy’s arms.