Many people delay having a baby simply because they believe they cannot afford to.
And in a lot of cases, this may well be true.
But what exactly is it that people don’t believe they can afford? Having a baby doesn’t have to cost a lot if you don’t have the money to spare.
Speaking from experience
I am a self-confessed save-a-holic. Not much fun, I’ll admit. But it really helps when it comes to the big things like house-buying and emergency car repairs.
I hate hate hate spending too much on things. I mainly buy my clothes from supermarkets and very rarely buy make-up or beauty products unless I run out of them. Large purchases are only made when I really need to.
If you are cringing at this, I don’t blame you – I sound like a bit of a saddo. But, it does mean that I have my house deposit ready for when I return to work and can look for a mortgage post-maternity. So in some ways, it’s not the craziest thing ever.
The truth is, expensive clothing, magic face creams and general luxury doesn’t interest me in the slightest. I’d much rather own my home and go on nice holidays – and of course, have my baby. The same was true of my wedding, but I’ll let you know how I spent so little on that (about £1k) next time…
So how do you have a baby on a budget?
The world today is all about appearances. Wearing the latest labels and buying the best brands. I understand to a point; a well-known brand is much more trustworthy than it’s cheaper counter-part. But is there really a difference?
It all depends on what you’re looking for.
I don’t need fancy gizmos and gadgets with my products, even if they are supposed to make my life easier (my life is hardly complex in the first place). I also don’t need something that looks superior, nor will I buy it simply because it is the ‘top brand’.
It is for this reason that I’m not seduced by the more expensive items and instead, decide what it is I need in a product, and then find the most reasonable one.
Furthermore, the excellent thing about having a baby is that you are well aware of this fact for about 8 months ahead of the event… giving you plenty of time for both researching items and finding them at the best value (and there will probably be about 20 Mothercare sales in this time too!). Make the most of the time you have and take advantage of every discount you find; it all helps.
So what did I buy?
- The car seat – I bought the Mothercare Ziba car seat for £40 in the sale. After hearing the guidelines that babies shouldn’t stay in car seats for too long, I didn’t fancy a complete travel system, so this was a pretty easy choice. I wasn’t fussed about the bells and whistles of the more popular brands, so long as it keeps my daughter safe (which it does), I’m happy.
- The pram – Another sale item I picked up was the Mamas & Papas lime green Zoom buggy (which I think was discontinued) about 4 months into pregnancy. The offer was too good to refuse (around £150) that despite not being a huge fan of the colour, I snapped it up. Luckily, it’s grown on me. And my daughter doesn’t give a toss what colour it is – she just likes being out in it.
- The cot – I wanted a simple, white cot bed for the nursery and the Darlington cot bed from Mothercare suited me perfectly. Once I knew I wanted it, I simply waited around for a sale and then bought it. Easy stuff.
- Feeding – If you’re breastfeeding, well, it’s free right? If not, you know what to do; pick up the equipment that you need in a sale. Stock up on powder beforehand – then it’s around £9 a week, which is hardly breaking the bank. I’d also highly recommend buying (in a sale again!) the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine; it’ll feel like a lifesaver.
- Clothing – Get the essential bits like vests and babygrows cheap from Primark or supermarkets over the course of the 9 months. Try not to get too sucked in to all of the cuteness as you will most likely get a barrage of clothing once the little one is born. Especially if, like us, you don’t find out the gender – suddenly it’s pink dress o’clock. I’d highly advise against buying anything too fancy or designer because it’ll likely be destroyed in a deluge of bodily fluids, but that’s totes up to you.
- Other bits and bobs – Ask for as much as you can think of as gifts if friends and family want to contribute. Nappies, changing mats, muslins, wet wipes and the like are all fairly cheap to stock up on or be given. Toys and books etc can also easily be collected over time.
Now obviously, this is just a bit of advice from someone who’s situation may be completely different to yours. And of course, if you want to spend your money on a sexy little designer pram, then I’m all for it.
This is just how I budgeted for having a baby and kept a lot more money in my pocket than I was expecting. As it turns out, having a baby really isn’t that expensive.