We’re always hearing how expensive it is to bring up a baby but this doesn’t have to be the case. You can afford that baby. If you’re thrifty and willing to compromise, there’s no need to blow the budget when your new arrival joins the family. Here are some tips on how to save money on baby items.
1. How vital is the item?
The average list of baby-related must-haves is pretty scary but not all of them are vital essentials. If you’re new to the parenting world, it can be very hard to tell the difference between what you need and what are just fancy extras that are nice to have if you can afford it. Sound out people who have gone through the first year of parenthood and ask them which items they really needed.
2. Second hand isn’t necessarily inferior
A lot of the things that you’ll be buying will only be in use for a matter of months so it makes little sense to buy everything brand new if you’re on a budget. Don’t be afraid to buy second hand items like baby mattresses where possible, but be sure to check that what you’re buying meets the relevant health and safety standards, especially for buggies and the like. Don’t look to buy used car seats though as you can’t be sure of their safety and whether they have previously been involved in an accident.
3. Delay your purchases as much as you can
It’s tempting to rush out and start buying baby items from the moment that your pregnancy is confirmed but this will inevitably mean that you spend a considerable amount of money. If you know other people who have had kids in the last few years, you may well get given a lot of their cast-offs that they’re keen to get rid of. This can save you having to buy a lot of the basics and you can concentrate on filling in the gaps. For most parents-to-be, buying items on the off-chance that they’ll be needed means that they end up wasting a lot of money. If you’re brave enough, you might want to leave the items that you’re not sure whether you’ll need until after the birth so that you won’t waste money on things that you’ll never use.
4. Look for bargains
Throughout your baby-related shopping, look out for sales and discounts that you can take advantage of. You can often save money by shopping online so it’s worth keeping an eye on what sales are on, even if your due date isn’t for several months. Shop around to make sure that you’re really getting the best deal.
Having a baby doesn’t need to be as costly as is often claimed, and it’s definitely possible to save money in this area without compromising on your new-born’s start in life. Don’t feel that you’ll need to buy everything on recommended baby lists – if you talk to other parents, you’ll probably find that they wasted money and found that they were completely over-prepared. And if you want, check out Compare the Market. They can help you find 0% credit cards which will be really handy when making all of these baby purchases. Make sure you pay them off in full at the end of the month though, otherwise baby clothes won’t be your only worry.
So, how have you saved money on baby costs? Please share.
Thanks for the advice. It’s very easy to get caught in the excitment (and possibly the novelty if it’s a first time pregnancy) of a pregnancy. Being mentally present of tips such as delaying purchases and evaluating true needs can really save a bundle.
I am sure they can. I haven’t gone through a pregnancy yet but when I do I am going to re-read this post numerous times in order to keep me on track. I am sure my hormones and emotions will be running wild and will want me to spend away.
Yeah, it’s not the BABY that is expensive…it’s the care, educating, clothing and feeding of the living growing child that really adds up over the years.
New Moms are crazy if they buy more than one or two new things – babies never wear out their stuff!
You are totally right. I have seen friends of mine with stuff they bought for their baby that just went to waste because the kid grew so fast. One thing I want to do is buy as many unisex clothes so that I can use them for the first and second kid without worry. I love green, orange, and yellow.
You can buy everything used except the car seat (at least that’s what even this non-mom-to-be has heard!). I’d start saving for college when the baby is first born, though, and then funnel all the gift money into the college account. Babies might be expensive, but they’ve got nothing on 18-year-old college freshman. And I know parents don’t have to pay for college, but most parents or parents-to-be I know have that as one of their goals.
I think that sounds like a great plan. This is actually something similar to what we have discussed for when we start a family. Saving for college right from the get go so you are ready when it comes.
We also plan on buying some stuff used. Kids grow so fast it is a waste to only use something new for a short time.
I don’t think having a baby is expensive! Mine were free! I had excellent medical insurance that paid for everything. Bringing up baby can be expensive, but does not have to be. The most important part of bringing up a child is being there for the child. The expenses can be minimized through gifts, second hand items and a little creativity. Spending time with you kids is the best investment.
Well said Krant. Time and love are the most important thing. It is sad to say but I feel like those two things have been forgotten over the last couple decades. It seems like kids have a lot more social problems and issues in general these days which I often find out is due to lack of time from their parents. It really is sad.
It depends on the baby too. My daughter was a colicky nightmare and I would have paid thousands of dollars for a product that would have made her more comfortable. (I tried bouncy seats, mylicon drops, soothing tapes, etc etc.)
However, your points are very good. Some people spend just to spend because babies are cute and fun. I found that the expensive clothes my mother in law bought my kids ripped easily, and babies spit up and ruin so many of their clothes anyway. Buying any ‘label’ items for a baby is ludicrous.
My youngest son loved shiny spoons more than anything!
I have seen kids that like cutlery. It so cute. They like keys too. I think it is the noise.
You are right about the spit ups. This is a given and wasting expensive clothes like that just wouldn’t make sense. Great idea. Now I just have to get the future grandparents to reign in the spending for when we start a family.
Great tips! I know that a few family members will be excited to give me some of the bigger items, and I can always put the other necessities on the baby registry when the time comes.
Sounds like a great plan to me. I am hoping to have a similar opportunity when we start a family.
Hmm. Actually at the baby stage things are relatively cheap! That’s because with a suitable circle of friends and charity shops, all sorts of clothes, toys and equipment can be found. Of course if you must have new for your offspring it is understandable but for whom are you buying? Certainly not the sproglet who wouldn’t know. The expensive part comes as they get older. Not only are some kids very fussy about clothes and peer pressure plays a large part in this, but there are the inevitable school trips, other outings, adult fares on flights to find.
I seem to recall somewhere a bill for bringing up a child from conception to the time they leave home of about £250,000. Now that kids stay at home even longer, I guess this bill is substantially higher!
You are totally right. The expenses do increase as they get older and peer pressure is a huge factor. I wish kids could just be kids and not worry so much about image and impressions. Just enjoy growing up and learning stuff and experiencing new things.
You are right too when you say the baby won’t know what they are wearing. Very good point. Parents will be buying those fancy clothes for them only which if you think of it that way it just seems foolish.
When I eventually have a child I definitely will be adhering to number 3 and 4. I highly doubt my wife will let me buy anything used.
You do need to do what works for you. Tips 3 and 4 can still save you a bundle. Your wife might change her mind. You never know. Just wait until friends are sending her their old clothes and she things they are adorable.
MY friends are about to have a baby and it’s amazing to me how much babies cost! these are some good tips to dial back the finances.
Hopefully your friend finds the tips helpful. Please pass them on.
Definitely wait until you know the baby needs a particular item. I heard every rave about the diaper genie, but we didn’t really need it. We got a 2nd hand infant seat and it expired in less than one year. Oh well, we have a new car seat now that should last for 5 years. Great tips.
Very good point. Patience is key. I have friends who have gotten excited and bought a ton of stuff that they now aren’t using. What a waste. Glad you found a good car seat. Safety to me is number one.
Your advice is actually universal and can be applied to anyone’s needs not just baby needs. 🙂 Yes, I was thinking about myself. 😉
Your right. These tips can apply to other scenarios. It is basically how to be a wise shopper in general.
Having children can be expensive, but with a little bit of planning, that expense can be toned down quite a bit. Plus, future babies can always reuse many of the original items.
Yes planning is key. I like the reusing idea after each kid. This is my plan. I am going to get as many neutral clothes and toys as I can.
Just what I needed Miss T as I have a bun in the oven. Will refer to this list when I am lacking sleep. Thanks!
Your welcome. How is Miss Buck feeling? Things going ok?