Raising Baby On A Budget : The First Year
Raising baby on a budget doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it is not that hard to raise a baby on a tight budget if you can be disciplined enough and follow some of the tips I have listed below.
It’s quite normal especially when it is your first child to want to splash out and buy all that the shop has to offer. In reality, you do not need a lot of those things.
I know personally speaking I have wasted a lot of money buying things for my children just because. Just because one day I might use it.
Just because it’s on sale. Just because I think he might play with it. Just because all my friends bought it for their children.
Don’t be one of these people. (like me)
Buy only the things that your baby needs and will absolutely use in the future.
You don’t need what everyone else thinks that they need. Do what works for you and concentrate on rasing a happy baby rather than a child that has everything.
So how do we go about raising baby on a budget in that first year?
Here are 10 tips to get you started:
1. Look At Your Finances
It’s really important to check over your finances before your baby even arrives (you should be doing this periodically anyway).
Look for areas where you could perhaps cut back on some of your expenses and re-jig things so that you are working with a smaller budget.
Take into account the fact that if you are going on maternity leave then it is likely that your take home pay will be less than what you are used to.
Be prepared so that it doesn’t take you suddenly by surprise.
Add a new section in your monthly budget that is for baby expenses.
2. Do You Really Need That?
Before you buy anything for your baby, think about if you really need it or not.
It’s easy to get caught up in all things shiny and new. I know, I’ve been there several times.
I’ll give you an example. I had a blender at home which I used for blending things (haha!)
I was using this blender to puree my baby’s food then one day I went to the shop and a saw this shiny new miniature blender.
I picked up the box to take a closer look. This blender was SPECIFICALLY to puree baby foods. It was in a new box and everything.
I thought about my old bender and came to the conclusion that the old blender was not suitable because I was using it for blending other types of food in the house.
Buying this new blender would mean that it was only for my baby and would not get contaminated with other foods.
What a joke!
I had a whole internal monologue going on with myself in that shop.
I bought the blender used it 3 times then packed it back into its box until I gave it away.
My son didn’t need his food made into puree anymore and it was taking up unnecessary space in the kitchen.
I could tell you many more stories just like this where I have made poor financial decisions on the basis of trying to get the best for my child.
Did he ask for it? No
Did he need it? No
Did he even care that it was made for babies? NO!
What a waste of money.
Before you open up your purse or wallet to purchase something for your little one make sure that the item will be of value to you.
Will you actually be able to use it for good? Does it save you time or money in any way?
Will you think of it in months to come and think that was a great financial purchase?
Be brutally honest with yourself before you buy it.
3. Breastfeed Your Baby
Breastfeeding can save you SO MUCH money its unreal! I understand that not everyone can breastfeed for different reasons and that’s ok.
If you can breastfeed then you definitely should. It will save you so much money each month not having to buy tins of formula.
From my understanding, a tin of formula costs around $8 and can last roughly 1 week depending on how much your baby drinks.
That’s a lot of budget right there!
I don’t know, maybe that’s the lazy part of me speaking but it just seems like a lot of hard work to do if you don’t have too.
4. Make Your Own Baby Food
Another great idea for raising baby on a budget is to make your baby’s food instead of buying it.
Purchasing prepackaged baby foods is very costly and can quickly add up.
If you have the time it’s much more healthy and cost-effective to make your own baby food.
You can cook and batch freeze the meals to make it easier. This way you can choose one day to cook in the week and just take out one meal a day or as you need it.
It’s a good idea to start building up a rainy day fund for your baby.
You can never predict the future so it’s an idea to save and put some money aside in case an emergency pops up.
6. Get Used Items From Your Friends and Family
This didn’t really work for me because I was the first one among my friends to have a baby and also the first one in my family to start having children.
If you have some close friends and family members that you can get items from them, you absolutely should.
If you are not really into hand me down clothes you can perhaps get things like a crib, car seat and such instead.
Most people will happily give these items to you or at least loan them for the time being because usually, they take up storage space.
I know for me once my children were a certain age, I didn’t really have the space to store the items.
Sometimes I would give them away or I would just leave them and they would become an eyesore to me until I was ready for the next baby.
Technically speaking you would probably be doing someone a favor by using the items for the time being until they need it back.
Babies grow so fast that before you know it your child has grown out of all these things that you think you needed for them. This is especially true with toys.
We’ve seen it time and time again where you buy a child a present and they play with the box and not the actual toy.
I’m not suggesting that you only buy your children empty boxes but perhaps we need to think a little more about the things we spend on.
Does your child really need a baby mobile? Really? How many times will they use it? Borrow one if you need to instead of buying one.
I had one and I’ve no idea where it ended up. I used it probably 6 times then it disappeared into fresh air.
If you are unsure about the types of things that are worth purchasing and those not, ask someone who will tell you the truth.
8. Items on Sale
Make a list of items that you need for the baby and look out for sales that are happening.
Don’t be in a rush to purchase anything, chances are that it can wait a little.
For budgets to work you have to try not to get your heart set on a particular item.
I remember I was looking for a baby bouncer chair like this one. I had my heart set on it but I didn’t want pay the full price. I searched and searched but I just couldn’t find one on sale.
In the end, I purchased it at full price only to see a better one a few weeks later at discount.
I don’t think I need to explain to you how hurt I was.
When you see something on sale, it’s only going to be a great deal if you were actually going to purchase one in the first place.
If you buy something just because it’s on sale, that is not a saving if you never needed it in the first place.
Think about it.
Spend your money wisely not unnecessarily.
9. Create Your Nursery On A Budget
Take your time to build up your nursery items. Don’t be in a rush to buy everything today.
Keep in mind you can prepare your home for baby on a budget and get it looking beautiful without breaking the bank.
10. Use Vouchers
Don’t feel embarrassed to use vouchers, that is what they are there for.
You can often find lots of vouchers for diapers and wipes.
Sometimes they are in newspapers or in supermarket magazines.
Keep an eye out for them they really do help.
Raising your baby on a budget doesn’t have to be a chore. If you follow the tips I have laid out it will become a natural habit to you.
Choose to enjoy your baby’s first year of life, don’t spend it worrying about finance and how to purchase the next baby thing.
Make do with what you already have and can comfortably afford.