There are many ways to save money on parenting. Buying second-hand prams and using freebies are some of the things. At the beginning prices can be extortionate.
It costs a lot to raise a child today and it's not unusual that the cost of raising a child from birth to the age of 21 is almost £200,000. In the first year alone it's estimated to set you back £9,152.
It's quickly easy to see how the mounting costs of raising a child can add up. From clothes that are adorable when they first come out but will be outgrown in weeks to the bling on the baby carrier to the buggy, you'll find that you're spending more and more money and pretty soon, you've spent more than a new car would cost.
With so many online checklists, there are ways to part you and your hard earned money if you have children. The best ways to cut back and save money are to be creative and buy used items for your new baby. There are many great shopping lists available online that will help you to decide if you must have something, might want something or don't need it at all. By sorting your items into categories, you can determine how important they are to you and whether or not you can borrow them or buy them used.
If it's not a necessity then wait until you need it and don't spend any more than you have to on it. Otherwise, you end up with things that are never used or cost a fortune, or both. Always find out if you can borrow items that are going to be used for just a short time.
Keep the pre-shopping to a minimum. Believe us, the shops will still be there after the baby arrives. Buy just what you need. Here is a scaled down list to start with:
- Clothes (in large quantities-babies can go through several outfits in a day).
- Baby friendly detergent (to wash the clothes babies go through in a day).
- Nappies (either disposable, cloth or both). Don't forget a changing mat and some cotton wool, baby wipes or a soft flannel to help clean baby up.
- Baby bed: A moses basket, cot or somewhere for baby to sleep.
- A sling, pram or both so that you can easily transport baby back and forth.
- Baby bath (this isn't essential, but it is very helpful when baby is very small). They help you to save on water until baby can sit up and they help you to wash a slippery soapy baby when you've slathered baby up for his or her bath.
- Car seat. Even if you don't have a car, you're going to need this when you go to and from doctors appointments or ride with someone else.
- Bottles if you're not going to be breastfeeding. If you are going to breastfeed, you will want a few muslins to help wipe baby's face and perhaps you may want to use a breast pump.
However, if you want to save money, if you want to save on the initial cost of £9,000 in that first year, be patient and don't buy everything the moment you find out you're expecting. Wait and see if things come in as gifts, borrow whenever possible and buy used whenever you can. Baby isn't going to notice if things are brand new and shiny.
However, always buy a car seat brand new. These shouldn't be second hand unless you know, without a doubt, that they've never before been in a wreck. If you have a car seat from a previous baby and you've never been in a wreck, that car seat is fine. As long as there haven't been any recalls on it. Wrecks can leave a car seat weakened and unsafe.
For the remainder of items, you can buy used. Even for cloth nappies. Don't be tempted by fancy things that will just eat up your money, a baby will likely outgrow these before you can wash them and put them back on baby. Accept all the hand-me-downs that you can and know that newborn clothes will be outgrown quickly. Ask around, borrow if you can and when you can't borrow buy used.
You can check eBay, charity shops, local NCT sales, car boot sales, online and also with friends who have children just slightly older than your new baby.
Find free stuff wherever you can. Consider free samples that baby companies offer and sign up for all of those that you can. Use coupons and take advantage of offers where you buy an item and get other items for free.
If you have friend or family who are asking you what they can buy as a gift. Have a short list handy to give them. It doesn't have to be expensive to help you out. It can be simple items such as baby shampoo or powder.
Try to list items you'll use and keep the cuddly toys to a minimum. Many people just want to help and get things they know you need or will use so be prepared for some inexpensive items that would really help you out.
Lastly, if you plan to have other children, save what you can for the next child. This can save you a lot of money.