By: Emily Graham of Mighty Moms
Becoming a mom is an amazing experience, but it’s also an expensive one. There is so much to buy and you’re so excited (especially the first time around), it’s easy to overspend. Here’s how to get ready for your little one’s arrival without going broke.
Start Stocking Up
Babies require a lot of ongoing expenses, and while most of those day-in, day-out items are not costly by themselves, they really add up over time. With that in mind, start snagging some things when you find them on sale. Think about what kind of diaper you want to use — disposable or cloth — and look for deals. A subscription service can be helpful when you’re exhausted and don’t feel like going to the store, and you can often find discounts for enrolling.
You’ll also fly through things like baby wipes, cotton balls, powder, and so forth, so gather a little stockpile when you see sales, and of course, keep your eyes peeled for sales on other baby gear, like bouncy seats, a baby monitor, and outfits. This checklist from the Bump is really handy, since you can print it out and keep track of what you need.
Even though you won’t need all those things right away, anything you can do in advance is a big help. Once your little one arrives, you’ll be busy and tired for a while. Speaking of which, set up your diaper bag sooner rather than later. In addition to the usual items, you should include some non-baby essentials for when your infant surprises you — an extra top for when yours gets soiled, a carabiner to secure loose pacifiers or rattles, and a wet bag to toss in messy diapers when you don’t have a proper place to dispose of them.
Score Used Goodies
Babies grow up way too fast, but that also means you can score used stuff. Check with your friends who have kids to see if they are parting ways with baby gear. Then, whatever you can’t find that way, you can start looking for from other sources. Thrift shops, online consignment stores, boutiques, and auction websites are ideal places to find gently used goodies.
Keep in mind you don’t want everything used. Some things are simply not safe to buy secondhand, like car seats and cribs. But as Money Talks News points out, many types of baby gear are perfectly fine to buy used. Clothing, toys, bathtubs, highchairs — anything you can clean, and which wouldn’t be a safety concern, can be bought second-hand without worry.
You want your nursery to be a beautiful, peaceful, fun place for you and your baby. Creating a space that is both practical and pleasing might sound contrary, especially in light of watching your budget, but you can do it! Start with a nursery design your baby can grow with. Aim for an aesthetic that is light and versatile so it will be appropriate for years.
Furnishing the room on a budget can take a little time, but while you’re shopping for used and sale items, you can often score great stuff. One suggestion is to start with the crib, since you know you’ll want it new, and aim for one that is convertible so your baby doesn’t outgrow it quickly. Then, if you stumble onto a dresser you could convert into a changing table, or even a bookcase, you can upcycle it to match. It’ll work in the room long after diapers are gone!
Find Other Ways to Save
When you’re preparing to be a mom, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking about all the things you’re going to need for your baby and how you’re going to pay for them. If money is tight, consider finding ways to save in some other areas. For example, you can use a streaming service for movies instead of paying a high price for cable. You can save on your car insurance as well. Many auto insurance companies offer discounts if you haven’t gotten a traffic or speeding ticket, your vehicle is equipped with an anti-theft device, you drive less than 12,000 miles a year, or if you’ve been a long-time customer.
With some planning and searching, you can get everything you want for your new addition. Hit the sale racks, check out used stuff, and create a beautiful, smart space for your future child. Babies are expensive, but with a few tricks on board, you’ll be ready without going broke.