Today’s guest post is by Emily Graham from Mighty Moms. As a budget conscious mom with many of my clients also on a budget, I was thrilled when Emily contacted me about doing this post. Read what Emily has to say about pregnancy and having a new baby on a budget.
They say having a baby changes everything. In no place is this more evident than in your family budget. According to Baby Center, the first year alone can cost more than $10,000, including diapers, gear, and miscellaneous expenses, such as photos and child-proofing supplies. This doesn’t take into consideration the cost of delivery or things you will need as a new mom. It’s an imposing figure for sure, but it’s possible to shave it down into a more manageable sum. Here’s how:
Be selective with your maternity and post-maternity wear.
Once you hit about four months pregnant, you probably won’t be able to wear your regular clothes. While you can certainly steal your spouse’s sweatpants and T-shirts, good-fitting maternity clothing will allow you to maintain your sense of style while making room for your expanding baby bump. Avoid the trendy boutiques and stick with classic department stores, such as Macy’s. You’ll likely get a better deal and, with a few mouse clicks, can usually find extra saving opportunities through promo codes and coupons.
Post-maternity wear is of equal importance, yet often overlooked. Your local thrift store or a friend’s hand me downs may be a blessing here, but there will be pieces that you want to purchase new. Nursing bras are a good example, which can range in price from about $22 up to $50. Fortunately, many specialty retailers offer bundled pricing when you buy multiple items at one time. For example, Kindred Bravely is a popular nursing bra brand that offers a discount of up to 20 percent when you buy four or more bras.
Know what you really need… and what you don’t.
One of the more amusing aspects of waiting for the baby to arrive is shopping for all the cute infant-sized clothing and accessories. If this is your first child, you will likely be tempted to overdo it, and to believe the hype that X is the “most wished for” or “best new” baby item of the year. Don’t be fooled. You don’t need anywhere near as much as those annoying pop-up ads insist. In fact, many experienced moms will tell you flat out that things like newborn clothing, a crib bumper, and baby shoes are nothing more than wasted cash. Even a bassinet is not really needed and is something you will use for three months at most.
What you do need are the essentials. A crib with a firm mattress, one-piece sleepers, diapers, and a car seat that will actually get you through much of your baby’s first few months. Burp cloths (or a supply of hand towels) and breastfeeding supplies, along with anything that lends to your baby’s health and safety are paramount. Spend the money you would waste on unnecessary frills and invest in quality items here.
Don’t buy new baby clothes. Just don’t.
With the exception of searching for the perfect outfit for each milestone birthday photo session, there is no reason to purchase infant clothes new. This also applies to clothing from toddler to tween. Children grow rapidly (Mayo Clinic reports that humans triple their birth weight by one year of age), and that means you are going to be buying new clothes every month or two. There
are plenty of local and online consignment shops where you can find clothes for less than half off original retail, and there’s a good chance much of it was worn once if at all. Of course, if you have friends with older children, they’re likely to shower you with hand-me-downs, eliminating any need to spend money on clothes.
When you have a baby, your life will change. And so will where and how you spend your money. But don’t let retailers or ads tell you that you have to have the latest-greatest of everything. Your best investment is in the things that will keep your baby safe, and saving money on everything else will help you save for other expenses…like college.
What money saving tips do you have for pregnancy?
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