To say that having a baby is expensive would be an understatement. New parents often don’t realize just how much their new bundle of joy is going to cost them until later on down the line, when they tally up everything they’ve spent and think, “how much??!”. However, while a baby will always have high costs involved, they don’t have to be quite as high as you might think. Take the time to think about your purchases, and you might find you have more money in your pocket.
Hand Me Downs
You’re most likely not a trailblazer when it comes to having a baby. Someone older than you, be it an older sibling or friend, will have had a baby. Whereas how fast babies outgrow their belongings can be annoying to new parents, it’s a good thing for those who have the next baby, because there’s usually plenty of surplus supplies just waiting to go to a new home. Before you buy the expensive stuff, ask around to see if anyone has any extras that you can have (or buy for a discounted price). When the time comes, you’ll hand down your baby things to the next people who need them.
Smart with the Clothing
It’s easy to get carried away with your baby’s clothing. You walk past a baby store, see something cute that they will look adorable in a few months, and go in to buy it. When the time comes, your baby skips past that stage of development pretty quickly, and they only ended up wearing the item a couple of times! To save money, you need to be smart with your baby’s clothes. Don’t buy too far in advance unless you think you’re getting a cracking deal. Also, while it can be fun for your baby to have one or two nice items of clothing, the majority can be fairly plain. There’s no reason for a baby to have Gucci clothing unless you’re absolutely certain you can afford it with ease.
Change the Entertainment
Baby’s can increase your entertainment costs in two ways. You can feel like you have to take them to new places all the time, which adds up. Then, when you want to do something really fun, you end up spending more money on something extravagant because you think you only have one opportunity to do so! Instead of leaving your baby with your parents and taking yourself off for an expensive night in a hotel, incorporate your fun into your everyday life. Load up a film on Netflix, buy a pizza using dominos.co.uk coupons, crack open a cheap bottle of wine, and cozy up for a night in. You’ll have spent next to nothing, and will still have had a great night!
Friends and Family
Sometimes it can feel like your friends and family are just as excited about your baby as you are, especially your family. They want to be involved, and will often buy your baby gifts as they’re out and about on the town. With your family, it’s not unreasonable to let them know some of the things your baby will actually need. This will save you some money, and avoid your home becoming a stockpile for a random assortment of baby goods. They really will be open to helping, so if they ask, “what should I get your new baby?”, be truthful and give them some items to choose from.
Some things you’ll have to buy new, but this won’t apply to everything. With many items you need for your baby, it doesn’t matter whether they’re brand new or they’ve been used before. Take a look at the second-hand item websites and see what you can pick up. It’s possible that you’ll be able to get an item that has barely been used for a fraction of its retail cost when it’s new. Of course, you’ll want to check for any defects, especially if it the item needs to be used safely, but if you ask the seller questions and determine that the product is in great condition, then go ahead and buy it. What do you have to gain by buying a brand new product?
You can’t try and save money on absolutely everything. In some cases, you’ll be better served by paying a little bit more to ensure you get a product that is just what you need. It makes a lot more sense to buy one item once rather than buying an inferior item multiple times. Also, the things that will greatly improve your enjoyment of parenthood will be a worthwhile investment.
Cloth nappies have suffered a bit from a negative reputation, as people think they’re outdated, but they’re worth giving another shot, especially if you’re planning on having more than one baby. When spread over multiple years, the savings versus conventional nappies can be significant. The start-up cost can be a bit hefty, but once you’ve paid, you’ll have them for as long as you need them.
Buy in Bulk
Some things you already know that you’ll need more or less for the next year. Because of this, it can be worth buying those things in bulk, if you have the space to store them without it cramped in your home, that is. It’ll also save time as you won’t need to head to the store as often; you’ll have the important things right there with you.
Think About What You Need
Ultimately, the key to saving money when you have a child is to actually think about what you need. It’s easy to get carried away and buy everything under the sun, but if you curb your impulse a little, you’ll find that you’re able to save a lot of money just by holding off from some expensive purchases. Only buy what you need - plus a few novelty items of course - and you’ll notice a healthier bank balance!