Did you know the average family spend around £3000 in preparation for a new baby?! That’s no small sum of money, and obviously an amount of money that isn’t always readily available to most people. With baby number 3 arriving, we’ve been trying to save money as much as possible. When our first was born, we lived in a small 2 bedroom flat on not much income at all. Ever since then, we’ve learnt that preparing for a new baby on a budget CAN be done, with a bit of planning. I’ve also previously written about saving money on maternity leave, go here to have a read.
Don’t Be Afraid Of 2nd Hand
Now I’m sorry if I sound like a broken record here, as it’s something I often mention, but there is no shame in buying items 2nd hand, none more so when they’re baby items. The majority of larger baby items only get used for a matter of months, and are usually still in really good condition. Think things like cots, bouncy chairs, baby carrier, anything really! Get on eBay, local Facebook selling sites, gumtree, shpock. If you know what you want, you can set up searches so you get alerted when an item is added that you may be interested in. This helps save time trawling the selling pages every week!
Think outside the box
With our first baby, we couldn’t afford a changing unit. We were also limited on space for extra furniture. So, we just used a chest of drawers we already had, and put the changing mat on top. It worked really well, we just kept the nappies etc in the top drawer. Now we’re at baby number 3, we plan on just changing baby as and where we need to. A muslin on the bed or floor will no doubt be the options!
It’s very easy to get caught up in thinking about what you need right now. Actually though, it really helps to think ahead. For example maybe try and go for a cot bed, instead of a cot. This makes the difference in something lasting a good few years, instead of just a couple. Also buying a normal size wardrobe if you can could be helpful, as no doubt you will soon need one once baby grows into a child/teenager. Choose a pram that will last you a while. One that you won’t be sick of hauling in and out of the car every day after 6 months.
Do Your Research
Before committing to buying ANYTHING, it’s always a good idea to do your research. Make sure what you are spending your money on is worth it. Also check out the resale price, if you plan on selling the item once you’re done with it. As well as this, talk to friends, see what they thought of certain items they bought. They may even offer to lend you things they no longer need.
Don’t be afraid to ask
If friends and family ask specifically if there’s anything you need, don’t be all British and evasive, giving them a polite, ‘oh we don’t need anything really, just choose something’. Work out what you need, and ask them for that. Maybe give them a couple of options. I’m sure they would much rather they bought you something that would be well used. For instance, an Uncle and Aunt of mine bought us a bouncy chair. It’s been used for all 3 children, and I know they love that!
Just like anything in life – babies can be expensive. But they don’t need to be. Be sensible, make wise decisions, follow your head and not your heart, and you may be surprised at how little you actually need to spend!