Being a first-time mom has its challenges, especially when you feel bombarded by well-meaning advice at every corner.
I’ve always thought of myself as a frugal person, but motherhood is a test for even the most frugal among us. When people say that having a baby is expensive, they mean it. And, they’re not talking only about the initial preparations and hospital costs.
Of course, lifestyles differ, and what worked for me may not work for you. Take this time to look at your priorities, needs, and wants. I’ve picked up some tips in my motherhood journey, and I hope they’ll help you out as you prepare for your new baby!
Savings Tips for First-Time Moms
Invest in good quality and sustainable products
One thing I always take into consideration is making sure that I get the most return on my investment. This goes for any purchase, not just baby items. It’s not about spending the least or spending the most. It’s about being sure of the item’s quality and that you’ll be able to use it for a long time.
I remember being a bit overwhelmed thinking about everything my baby and I needed. With the influx of new products on the market these days, it can be confusing to know what to buy.
Of course, preparing the essentials shouldn’t break the bank. Here’s how I did it:
Jot down the essential expenses.
Have a rough estimate of how much you’re likely to spend. Consider your healthcare costs before and after the baby arrives, possible temporary loss of income, and other unexpected expenses. You don’t want to add money stress when you should be spending your time bonding with your baby.
Get dual-purpose furniture and accessories.
If an item can be used as your baby grows older, I’d consider that a good buy. A crib that can convert into a toddler bed makes for a solid choice when you realize you don’t have to spend money again for a new bed when your baby outgrows their crib.
There may be pricey items on your list of baby necessities, but these should be investment pieces. And, remember, the most expensive doesn’t always mean the best quality. Inversely, you could say the same for cheaper items. My journey came with a lot of trial and error. As you decide what you need to start your baby off right, looking at curated lists can take out a lot of the guesswork. I like the lists at The Good Nursery because they only carry organic and non-toxic items.
Don’t overbuy newborn clothes.
It can be very tempting to buy those cute themed onesies and tiny little shoes for your newborn–but babies grow fast! Before you know it, they’ve already outgrown their closet-full of clothes and hardly had a chance to wear most of it.
My tips for clothes:
Buy more oversized baby clothes.
As much as possible, you want to avoid overspending on your little one’s clothes. For that reason, it’s always better to go bigger than smaller when it comes to baby clothes. Because babies grow so quickly, try buying the least number of clothes in bigger sizes. Of course, you need to consider how often you are able to wash clothes. If you don’t have the time to do laundry often, you may need to buy a few more outfits.
Try gender-neutral clothes.
Don’t limit yourself to the endless blues and pinks. You’ll have more choices to choose from that are cute, durable, and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Consider second-hand items.
If you’re open to the idea, buy gently-used baby items. Many of these items are barely worn and outgrown before their owner could even put any wear and tear on them. At the end of their use, you can even sell some of your items as well.
Make your baby food.
At first, all your newborn needs is you if you’re nursing. But, when it’s time to move on to solids, you have some decisions to make. There is plenty of organic pre-made baby food available in stores. If you want to save some money though, you can make your own baby food. You’ll also have the added benefit of knowing exactly what your baby is eating.
Making food for your baby is not a complicated process. However, it does take some time. You can prepare your fruits and vegetables in various ways: baking, steaming, roasting, or microwaving. Put them in a blender with a liquid of your choice (water, breast milk, or formula), and puree. I like to prepare mine in batches to refrigerate and rewarm when I need it.
Of course, not all parents have the luxury of time, so here’s another alternative:
When necessities are on sale, or you have a coupon (especially for expensive items, like diapers and formula), stock up. You can save a lot when you make bulk purchases, especially when they’re coupled with discounts. It’s always smart to stock up on essentials, since you never know what to expect during your first few weeks post-birth.
Do the following too:
Take advantage of free samples.
Many companies often offer a variety of product samples in the hopes of turning you into a potential customer. These samples can range from formula, clothing, blankets, to so much more. Sign up for a mailing list, and you’ll get to try out products before buying them. This can even help you complete your list of baby item must-haves.
Take advantage of coupons.
When you’re sure of what to buy, check if the store offers any discount codes. Some company websites offer special discounts and even free shipping on selected items if you’re buying online. Don’t forget to space out your purchases appropriately. You don’t need to buy everything all at once. You certainly won’t need that high chair, at least for a few months after the baby arrives.
Create a baby registry.
Family and friends will be anxious to send gifts. Setting up a baby registry can be fun, and it’ll make your life easier. It let your eager friends and family know exactly which gifts will help you the most. Some registries even allow well-wishers to pool their money toward a larger gift.
Bringing home your little one is a life-changing event, but don’t fret. When it comes to the financial part of your parenting journey, as long as you’re making thoughtful decisions, you can worry less about money, and focus on bonding with your baby.
Do you have any savings tips for first-time moms? Share them with us in the comments.