I was in the baby
goods store with Lily when I notice a pregnant mum struggling to understand the
differences between the myriad variety of baby bottles. I asked if I could
offer her my opinion and we engaged in a brief conversation about the relative
benefits of one type or brand over another.
Her trolley was full of stuff for the new baby and I offered one last piece of free advice: "don't overbuy before the baby comes, you won't know what you really need until it arrives." Good advice that I had received from well-meaning mums but not necessarily followed!
A first baby is an exciting rollercoaster and now nearly ten months into the journey of first time motherhood, it is not surprising how much we have spent on our child.
According to BabyCenter, an international parenting resource, one-off and ongoing costs for a child's first 12 months can add up to $16,000.
I will share some of my financial wisdom to those new mums needing to know how to best avoid the baby gear buying traps.
- Make a list of essentials
A quick internet browse will bring up blogs and lists of things people have found essential when rearing a baby. Have a look at the lists and mark of items that you consider you'll definitely need and ignore the rest!
- What to buy new
Make a list of the things that you definitely need to buy new. For example, car seats and other safety related items where it's best to know their history.
- Create a Budget
Knowing what you can afford to spend - on both the big ticket one off items and the regular essentials - will help curb the overspending when you step into the bright lights of the baby stores and see all the glittery, shiny things you'll want to buy.
- Don’t buy new if you don't have to
There are an amazing number of websites, markets, car boot sales, and facebook pages and groups with mums selling their children's old stuff. As they say, one person's trash is another person's treasure. You will find gold if you take a little time to get to know the sites and browse the markets. Be warned, these places can be addictive and you may find yourself spending way too much precious time and money on stuff you don't actually need or want but will buy because it seems like a bargain!
- Find it for free
Do you have friends or relatives who are wanting to get rid of their old baby stuff? They may be willing to give it to you. Then there are websites where people giving away baby things, like freecycle. Remember though, you get what you pay for!
- Consider hiring for short term use
Your baby will spend a few short months in a bassinet before they outgrow it. It may be worthwhile hiring a bassinet from the hospital for a short time rather than buying a new one outright. Another item worth hiring could be a breast pump, at least until you know whether you're going to need one or use one for any length of time.
- Shop smart
Shop during the sales and buy the larger one off items for a discount, or take the floor stock at a good discount. The supermarkets regularly have baby items - nappies, wipes etc - on sale. Buying in bulk will save in the long run, as long as you have the storage room!
Do you have some top
tips for saving money or not overspending when it comes to your kids?
In : Financial Planning
Tags: budgeting baby "cost of baby in first year"