The cost of living has gone up significantly in recent months, with many of us experiencing higher bills on everything from gas for our cars to food shopping and even heating our homes. If you’re expecting a baby any time soon, you may be feeling a little anxious about welcoming a new member to your family and the impact this will have on your already rapidly increasing costs.
Babies can be expensive, but it is certainly possible to welcome a new baby on a budget.
Here are some practical tips to help manage your money when having a baby during a cost of living crisis:
- Don’t overbuy – As tempting as it may be to buy new baby clothes or toys (especially if they’re on offer), many new parents are guilty of buying far more than they actually need, spending money on toys that won’t get played with or clothes that your baby will rapidly outgrow. Whilst baby’s clothes are undoubtedly adorable and it’s important that you dress them appropriately for the seasons, there are only so many days in the week and it’s not a fashion show. A small selection of budget-friendly clothes will be perfectly adequate for your baby’s needs.
- Seek out second hand – Instead of buying new, consider looking on buy and sell groups, local marketplace and free sites, where many parents pass on clothing that in reality, their children have barely worn. This means you can often pick up high quality and branded items in excellent used condition for a fraction of the price.
- Breastfeed if you are able – Breastfeeding is by far the cheapest way to feed your baby if you are able to, as comes without the additional expenses of bottles, sterilisers and the formula itself. If you intend to breastfeed it may be worth seeking out advice from friends and family on how breastfeeding worked for them; preparing you for any obstacles and challenges you may experience along the way.
- Don’t buy specialist breastfeeding clothes – Whilst there is certainly a big market for maternity and nursing clothing, they are often expensive. The reality is, there are lots of non-nursing clothes that are perfectly fit for the job, but without the eye watering price tag. A simple layered vest is often the most efficient way to breastfeed discreetly and chances are, you already have some in your wardrobe.
- Make an Amazon wish list – If friends and family want to celebrate your new arrival and send a gift for your baby, why not refer them to an Amazon (or other retailer) wish list? This way, people can ensure they’re buying you and your family items you actually need, rather than ending up with 30 sets of age 0-3 vest bodysuits that your baby will never get chance to use.
- Switch supermarkets – Switching to a different supermarket or buying non branded ingredients can have a huge impact on your weekly food bill. Consider batch cooking meals whilst you’re waiting for your baby to arrive. This can not only be cheaper, but help ensure you eat healthy and nutritious meals even when you’re at your most sleep deprived.
- Price Compare – There are some larger purchases for your baby such as cot mattresses and car seats where it is not recommended to buy second hand. As these items tend to be quite expensive, do your research and shop around. Look on price comparison sites or sign up to price alerts so you can be notified when items are reduced. Look out for big sales such as Black Friday and post-Christmas events, as these can be a good time to bag some substantial savings.
- Find your Mom Tribe – Rather than spending money on extravagant coffee dates or soft play, link up with a group of mom friends, head to each other’s houses and let the babies play together. Not only is this great for your baby’s social interaction, but can allow you some time to chat, get help and support and share some of your personal challenges too.
- Ditch the non-essentials – Still getting that morning coffee on the way to work, getting a takeaway twice a week, or eating out more often than not? Look at your bank statements and see where your biggest extravagant expenses are. See if you can cut anything out whilst still allowing yourself the occasional treat!
- Switch to reusable – Finally, from wipes to breast pads and reusable diapers; reusable items, whilst initially an investment, can save substantial amounts of money over the long term! If you haven’t made the switch already, now might be a great to time to try.
How else are you saving money during the cost of living crisis?