From the moment your new baby is born you quickly realise just how fast the expenses mount up. All the necessities like prams, bottles and beds, as well as the latest must have gadgets (…and that adorable jumper you spotted while food shopping) soon add up to a hefty sum on top of the loss of income from parental leave! Preparation is key when welcoming a new baby into the family and these top tips will help you fund your new arrival and save yourself money in the process.
1) Stay gender neutral
Whether you have the excitement of knowing the gender in advance or not, staying gender neutral can help you to keep costs down. Neutral tones, lighter shades of toys and plain clothing can all be re-used for future babies, or can be sold on more easily to re-coup some of the costs. Of course, you could just throw gender stereotyping to one side and dress your baby in any colour!
2) Have a baby shower
Having a baby shower doesn’t have to be a big expense for you pre-birth, especially in today’s world. Why not even make it virtual with a Zoom call? Celebrating with friends and family is a lovely way to enjoy a get together before your baby is born. Often people will enquire as to what you might need for your new arrival, and while you don’t want to take advantage, other people’s generosity can be a huge help especially at the beginning.
If you’re lucky enough to have people wanting to buy you gifts, rather than designer booties and baby grows, ask for some slightly more practical purchases. An Amazon wish-list will allow you to pool all your needs in one place, and reduce the risk of unnecessary items. It’s not about making demands of your friends and family, but making sure people who want to contribute and help choose gifts that will be useful, not frivolous.
If you’re not a fan of baby showers, consider a ‘sip and see’ after the baby is born. This gives people the chance to meet your new baby during a designated, pre-agreed time without the pressure of a traditional shower.
3) Shop for used items
Don’t shy away from second-hand items. Besides baby car seats, cots, mattresses and breast pumps almost everything else is fine to be purchased in used condition for your new baby. Be sure to check any furniture complies to current safety standards, and is fixed securely to walls, but don’t be afraid of pre-loved pages or marketplaces. Look on eBay for baby clothing bundles and donate or re-sell any items that you aren’t in love with – you’ll still save a packet!
4) Stay away from the fancy gadgets
While awake in the small hours and scrolling through your phone to pass the time, don’t get lured in by all the online adverts. You don’t need a nappy bin, 4 camera baby monitor, vibrating baby rocker or anything else. When your little one is going through a developmental leap it can be tempting to buy anything and everything you see reviewed online but often, you’ll quickly realise these fancy gadgets don’t help with the tiredness or stop your baby crying!
5) Side hustle
Do you have a hobby you love? Are you a crochet chief or knitting ninja? Could you write a great article on niche topics? You could be earning extra money, from home, with a side hustle of your own. This is a great way to profit from your specialist skills to help you with the expense of a new baby, and even help you to ride the wave of maternity or paternity leave.
Katy is a full-time finance blogger from Essex who loves to help people make the most of their money. Cooking from scratch, saving money on just about everything, organising her home and spending time with her family are her favourite activities. Katy hopes to inspire people to make the most of what they have while striving to have more.