Being responsible for a little human is tough. Having someone who you have to care for every emotional and physical need is hard work but it can also be expensive too. When you are expecting, it can get costly quick and parents (especially first-time parents) are huge targets by retailers. Brands will often sell variations of the same product – which has hardly any difference – and they whack the price up… just because.
Babies can be expensive, but they really do not have to be! Here are some of my tips for budgeting for a baby, that I have learnt over the past 6 years.
Make a Shopping List
Now, this sounds like an obvious one but make a list! As soon as we found out that we were expecting, I made a spreadsheet of everything that we needed – but ONLY needed. I didn’t include everything that I liked the look of or wanted because it would match an outfit; we kept everything like that separate, for if/when family or friends asked to buy something.
We kept to this list and we were frugal when it came to buying it all. I think we ended up budgeting around £300 and I’m sure that we were under budget by a fair bit by the time we bought everything.
Buy Second Hand
Babies don’t wear their clothes out and they look brand new for a long time, so it seems silly spending lots on everything brand new. We only bought 3 outfits and 2 babygros from new, the rest were second hand.
Another great place for baby stuff is Facebook Marketplace, we got a ton of great deals on there, including a massive bundle of baby clothes for £10 (which was pretty much everything we needed!) We also found baby bootfairs quite handy when we were having Joshua, we got lots of cheap stuff such as a baby bath for £2 and monitor worth £60 for £5. But they can also have a lot of stuff that’s still overly priced, so it’s a case of wading through everything to find the deals.
Buy a Travel System
Both of our children have had travel systems, because they come with absolutely everything you need. Some can be very bulky, but there are some options out there that are great for smaller cars. But don’t over spend on a brand new, top of the range travel system when you can get superb ones second hand.
We bought Oliver a second hand Silver Cross travel system, that came with the car seat, all adaptors and lots of accessories. The whole lot is worth around over £800 or so and we got it for just £120! It’s in such good condition that had we not decided to stop at two children, I would be keeping it to use again.
Buy in Bulk
For everything that you would need to buy weekly (or monthly), start stock piling. Once I got to around six months pregnant, we started buying one or two items each week during the weekly food shop. It meant that we didn’t notice the extra few quid and we were getting a collection at home to help during the first few weeks.
We stock piled things such as nappies, formula milk, nappy cream and washing detergent (we use separate for Oliver).
Make the Switch to Cloth
I could sit here and tell you all about the pros of using cloth nappies, but you’re not here for that. Cloth nappies are so incredibly cheap, compared to disposables, that anyone who is looking for areas to cut costs this is the switch for you.
While cloth nappies can be expensive at first, it’s in one lump and you will never have to buy anymore. But they can get addictive as they come in so many different designs and styles, so you may just find yourself buying more anyway. Or, like me, find yourself ordering cute nappies at 3am during night feeds!
Half of the reason we chose to go with cloth nappies is because of how cheap it is. We bought all the nappies we need for just £40, including all inserts etc. We bought a mixture of well-known brands and less known (cheaper) ones.
So, those are some of my tips for saving money when you’re expecting a baby. We spent so much when we had Joshua, but I guess he was our first-born so we were allowed to go a bit crazy, right?
Do you have any tips on saving for a baby? What did you do to budget better?