All expectant mothers experience a wave of emotions like happiness, excitement, exhilaration, and some doubts about managing the finances. Try these tips to rein in your expenses before the baby is born.
Avoid splurging on maternity clothes
Most maternity clothes are worn a few times during the pregnancy and then banished to the back of the closet or discarded. When you buy clothes for your changing body, choose pieces that you would enjoy wearing even after the baby is born. Pick styles that resonate with your personality and fabrics that stretch as you grow. If you are on a tight budget, oversized t-shirts and stretchy leggings work just as well as clothes marketed specifically as maternity wear.
Make a shopping list and then edit it
Resist the urge to buy every adorable baby outfit you see. Instead, whenever you think of purchasing anything for the baby, put it on a list. When the list is reasonably long, review it to see if you can put it on a baby registry. Get rid of items such as wipe warmers, baby shoes and bath thermometers; they are unnecessary. Ask an experienced mother to find and cross out items that are usually never used. If there are items that you prefer to buy on your own instead, compare prices from different retailers before zeroing in on a retailer.
Something old, something new, something borrowed
The tradition usually used in weddings is a good idea while preparing for a baby too! Babies grow out of clothes quickly. If you have close family or relatives with a child younger than a year, ask if you could reuse some of their clothes. You could also find baby items at minimal cost at Facebook Marketplace or thrift stores. If you are not comfortable reusing clothing, consider other baby gear like strollers, cribs and high chairs. Children outgrow expensive purchases like winter gear within one season. Retailers like Costco sell winter wear a season in advance at throwaway prices. Keep an eye out for seasonal clothing if you are expecting a winter baby. Look for grow seams on winter gear that hold back extra material to allow for a growth spurt during a season.
Watch out for baby items that serve more than one purpose
The baby’s car seat will most likely be the first item you need to take the baby home from the hospital. While choosing a car seat, look for brands marketed as travel systems. These come with a stroller frame that the car seat snaps onto, doubling up as a stroller. You can detach the car seat and add a separate seat when the baby is older to get more use from your investment. Some baby cribs come with options to modify them to change into a toddler bed later. If you dream of enjoying a family meal with your growing baby, look for an adjustable booster chair that can fit into your dining chair instead of purchasing a separate high chair.
Give a purpose to your saving
Take the budgeting a step further and start a savings account to keep the money that you saved. When you have a reasonable amount in the bank, you can put it away as investment towards saving for bigger expenses like buying a house or saving for your child’s education.