20 Ways to Save for a New Baby
So that second little line comes up on the pregnancy test, wonderful news! But how can you afford it?
Knowing how to budget is a must – especially now that a family is forming. Here are some excellent tips on ways to save for that new little person in your life!
1. Start living on one wage only.
If you and your partner both earn for a living, start living on just one wage, meaning, fit in the kind of lifestyle you have with just your or your partner’s wage, then set aside the other for when the baby comes. Use this “emergency fund” for medical expenses or unexpected costs in relation to your pregnancy and birth.
It is a good idea to set up a separate bank account (joint) for this money so you can access it – but not too easily so it isn’t tempting to just ‘borrow’ from your baby fund all the time.
2. Buy second-hand nursery furniture.
You can just buy nursery furniture from your friends whose children have outgrown their baby stuff. Good quality nursery furniture will last a long time. Just test it for sturdiness or Australian Standards. Items such as:
- Baby Change Tables
- Feeding Chair
Can all be purchased relatively cheaply or even free if you can hand it back to friends when you are finished!
3. Only buy ONE box of newborn-sized nappies.
Babies come in all shapes and sizes and if you somehow deliver a 10-pound whopper of a baby, they won’t fit into newborn nappies for very long! Plus babies grow at an alarming rate so get one box and see how you go! On a good note, most supermarkets will happily exchange excess boxes of small nappies for larger sizes, so don’t worry too much!
4. Use reusable rather than disposable.
While using disposables is the easy way, using reusables will go a long way — and cheaper too! Cloth diapers and breast pads are examples of these. I’ve done my calculations on using cloth diapers vs disposable ones on my toddler and found that while initially, buying reusable ones may be expensive than buying disposables, in the long run, you’ll save money by using reusables since you don’t have to go back to the store buying diapers, which leads to lesser expenses.
However, don’t feel bad if you are going disposable all the way. Yes it is expensive (in fact it is thought one baby can use as much as $4000 worth of disposable nappies in the first year) – but they are super handy, even if you just use them for when you are leaving the house.
5. Go without a change table.
Well, unless you get one for free! Many shops now stock a foam changer with raised edges so bubs don’t fall. Place this on your bed and change your baby there. They wipe clean easily and cost about $15. Best of all, when you’re finished with them, they can be stored under a bed or in a cupboard.
6. Breastfeed as long as possible
Because it’s free! It is the perfect temperature and it is always ready to go! Only if you can of course. Breastfeeding isn’t for everyone (and we are not ones to PUSH!). But having a can of formula and a few bottles on hand is really great, just in case!
Never let anyone make you feel bad if you can’t breastfeed! Remember, fed is best!
7. Borrow a breast pump.
Breast pumps, especially the electric ones are really expensive and you’ll probably use it for just a short period of time (unless you’re planning to breastfeed for as long as you like). So, just borrow from a friend and just buy a starter kit which is way cheaper as the plastic attachments should not be shared.
8. Don’t buy everything you think you need.
Babies are fussy when it comes to formula, dummies, bottle teats etc. So don’t go crazy on these. Just buy one or two things and wait – otherwise, it’s just a great big waste of money. My boys would only ever use the $1 el-cheapo big ball dummies, the fancy ones didn’t work at all.
9. Request formula samples from the chemist or hospital.
As I mentioned before, some babies are really fussy when it comes to formula, and the formula is not cheap. Once it’s opened, it only lasts 30 days before it has to be chucked so samples are wonderful because you can see what bubs will prefer. Your maternity nurse or local hospital should be able to assist you with samples.
10. Buy in bulk.
You know you’ll need lots of some things (like baby shampoo, bunny rugs, cot sheets etc). If you have the storage space, stock up to save cash when they are on sale!
11. Do freezer cooking.
New babies mean you will be tired and your partner will be tired. Start cooking weeks before the baby is born and stock your freezer with easy to reheat meals. We have written a book on just that subject, check out our Once A Month Cooking Ebook here! Even better, find another Mum with a close due date to yours, do a big freezer cooking day, then exchange half the meals! That way you have a bit more variety.
The perfect book to buy a new Mum!
12. Hire, don’t buy.
Did you know that baby capsules are the safest form of transport for babies six months and under? But they cost a bomb! For $50 for six months, you can HIRE one from your local ambulance station, and they will fit it properly for you. It gives you time to save up for a normal car seat when baby turns six months!
13. Buy generic and less expensive brands.
Does baby’s label really make a difference? She’ll only be in that onesie for a few months, so resist the urge to splurge.
14. Get a belly band (or 10) instead of buying maternity clothes.
This awesome invention (a stretchy band you wear around your waist) will keep you in your pre-pregnancy pants much longer, saving money on maternity clothes. They come in lots of wonderful colours, and are terrific for after baby is born when you still look a bit preggers, they help keep that belly tucked in and make you feel trimmer!
15. Borrow maternity clothing.
You only wear them for a couple of months, so find a friend who’s willing to pass hers along. Another good idea is to just buy normal clothes in larger sizes or ‘stretchy’ clothes if you are comfortable with a fitted look and pass these on too!
16. Put baby clothes away for future babies.
Wash the clothes and bag them in a zip-lock bag with the size written on the front. Store them in a dark cupboard and provided they are sealed well, they will be perfect for when the next baby comes along. If you’re not having any more, pass them on or donate them to charity.
17. Get good health insurance at least a year before baby.
Health insurance in Australia will make you wait a year before covering pregnancy. So if you want to go to that swanky maternity hospital, wait a few months before trying to conceive.
Remember that if someone throws you a baby shower, you’ll likely wind up with lots of outfits, toys, and maybe even gear. The point? Don’t stock up ahead of time. You or your partner can always hit the stores afterward to grab anything else you need.
Babies are fickle creatures. They prefer boxes and wrapping paper, your car keys or the cat. Buy simple yet colourful objects that they can suck and make noises, it’s all they really want!
Research is essential to make sure you know which products give you the most bang for your buck. Once you’ve made your decision, try and get your item secondhand, try Ebay or Gumtree or the local classifieds. Place a ‘Wanted’ ad.
How about you?
How did you save for your new baby?