Raising A Baby On A Budget!
Over the past three years my wife and I have managed to raise 2 babies on a tight budget and have learnt many important lessons on how to save money raising a baby on a budget! I hope some of them are useful to you.
Buy Store Branded Baby Clothes
If I’ve learnt one thing as a father raising a baby on a budget it’s that babies grow and they grow quickly! Bearing this in mind the old cliche ‘you get what you pay for’ doesn’t apply in quite the same way with babies as it does with young children or adults. I know you still want to give your baby the best, but try not to be a brand snob when it comes to buying baby clothes. If you see something you genuinely like but it’s a cheaper brand that you would not usually consider buying, try to keep in mind the length of time your fast growing baby will be wearing the clothing for. Own brand baby clothes will likely even last for baby number 2 was it to arrive.
Shop Online Instead of on the High Street!
It’s worth checking Kiddicare regularly because they are always running different sales and individual products can often have big discounts. We bought a Chicco Liteway Puschair from Kiddicare. When we bought this pushchair it was only £60 which was at least £40 cheaper than everywhere else we had looked on the internet or the high street. We also saved money on some great smaller items like our celebrity teether friend Sophie The Giraffe!
Keep baby clothes, don’t give them away or sell them!
Everyone has a different experience and thought process after childbirth. When we had our first child I remember driving home with our amazing new baby in the car seat and feeling the most overwhelming yet exciting feelings I’ve ever felt in my life. At the same time though I looked at my wife’s exhausted face and saw in her eyes that she never wanted to go through that experience ever again!
This feeling may stay with you for a while and you could easily make the money saving mistake of giving away baby grows, baby shoes etc that your baby has outgrown or perhaps selling them on eBay thinking that you’ll never need them again.
In my wife’s case the painful memory of childbirth was soon overtaken by the love she felt for our firstborn son. She soon became broody again and boy were we glad we had stored all those old baby clothes. Within 18 months we had another baby boy and a stash of clothes we could use again. I know my wife would kill me now if I didn’t mention that we do still buy some new clothes for our youngest boy as she constantly informs me they need memories of their own. It did save us a lot of money having the basics available to reuse though!
My Wife Thinks Supermarket Branded Nappies Are Better!
This has been the most pleasing discovery to my wallet. We’ve had plenty of experience buying nappies now. We’ve tried all the brands including Huggies and Pampers, yet my wife actually swears by supermarket own branded nappies. Now believe me if something isn’t right for my boys she won’t let me buy it just because it’s cheap, believe me I’ve tried! We tend to shop at Sainsbury’s or Asda and both own brands seem to be good but I’d have to say she prefers the Sainsbury’s little ones own brand.
Buy On Ebay
I understand you might still want to buy the occasional high street or even designer branded item for your baby, after all they are your pride and joy. We’ve already mentioned how quickly babies grow and as a result baby clothes don’t get as much wear as adult clothing. This is why I have no problem buying high quality and even designer baby clothes off auction sites like eBay. You can pick up some amazing quality items, some of which have never even been worn, for less money than you would pay for a supermarket own brand. One strange anomaly I did notice though, is that some used items when you include shipping costs sell for more money than the new item is selling for in the shops themselves, so watch out for that.
We personally bought some excellent designer and high street items from brands like Catamini, Next, Baby Gap, Disney, Hilfiger and many more for a fraction of the cost of buying new!
Don’t Let Pride Stop You From Accepting Hand Me Downs
When our family and close friends first started offering us the baby clothes they had stored away, we were at first a bit reluctant to accept the offer. Our pride was stopping us from accepting because we thought we should be buying these things ourselves. We soon realised that it was just a very generous offer from the people closest to us, who had also brought up a baby on a budget and were just trying to help us to save money whilst raising our baby!
Buy An Oil Filled Radiator
Any parent wants to make sure that their newborn baby stays warm enough during the night and nap time! Buying thicker quilt covers doesn’t always work though as they just kick them off and even if you buy a baby sleeping bag they could still be breathing in that cold air. There are cheaper alternatives to keeping the heating on all night however that will help you budget your energy costs whilst baby sleeps.
Just because you want to keep baby warm during the night doesn’t mean that you need to be as warm as baby. We personally found that buying an oil filled radiator helped us save money and cut our energy costs dramatically as we were only heating one room instead of the whole house. I know you can turn individual radiators up and down using thermostats but it’s a lot of hassle doing it every night and we found using an oil filled radiator much easier and more economical.
Be Sure To Get The Benefits You’re Entitled To!
This is an important point even though it may not be a money saving idea. When you have a baby you may suddenly be entitled to many social benefits you were not entitled to in the past! If you don’t claim these benefits you won’t get them so make sure you get expert advice on benefit entitlements!
Think About Those Worse Off Not Better
In my eyes this is the only way to stay truly financially happy whilst raising a baby on a budget! We can all look at those that have more than we do and long for that lifestyle. It will only depress you in the end though. Instead try to think about those who have less. You are giving your child a good life in a loving home and they will love you forever for it!