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Getting Ready for a Baby on a Budget

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Money Saving Tips for Your New Arrival

I’m at that age when my friends are starting to have children of their own. When I look at all the photos they post on Facebook, I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel a yearning to have a little guy (or girl) of my own. But, then I think of the life-changing responsibilities (and financial needs) that go along with having a baby and I remember I’m not quite ready yet.

After doing some research online, it looks like it generally costs around $2,000 to set up just the nursery. With that said, I’ve heard of some moms spending $6,000 in one go while baby shopping for their nursery room and another mom who’s only major expense was a $60 bassinet (including the pram/stroller and stand). So how do you know what is absolutely crucial? How do you separate the must-have’s between the nice-to-have’s? Where can you save money in order to afford more of what you like vs. need? Here are the tips we’ve gathered up from around the web:

Think More Long-Term

While cradles looks so sweet, the truth is your baby will only use them for a short period of time. If you are tight on space and budget, you may want to skip these altogether or try finding them second hand to save money. Either way, devote more of your attention (and baby registry) to longer-lasting items like a crib. Items that will get more use also deserve to be higher quality so they can last throughout the years as much as possible. When choosing a décor for the nursery, choose lamps and wall color /patterns that you envision your child growing into. Avoid super babyish prints and accessories, which will then need to be replaced faster than you may have anticipated.

Use What You Already Have

If you don’t have an individual room dedicated for the nursery and you need to set up a space within the bedroom or home office, using furniture you already have in baby-friendly ways can save you both space and money. Instead of buying a change table, one mom told me she used a waterproof mattress (with a spare cover for when one is in the wash) that she puts on top of chest of drawers.

Choose Multi-Use Items

Look for items that combine a number of functions. For example, seek out highchairs that can easily be attached to a kitchen chair also transported to the grandparent’s. This will save you both money and space on buying a high chair and then something portable when going to other people’s homes. Similarly, instead of purchasing a bassinet and playpen, look for a play yard that has a bassinet insert. You can also find strollers that will convert to high chairs and diaper bags that are versatile enough to take you from newborn to toddler.

Stock Up on Hand-Me-Downs

Infants outgrow their clothes so quickly – and it’s such a shame to see such cute clothes “go to waste” in a matter of months. If you are coming up with a baby registry, think of putting clothes on the list last because it’s better to get those staple furniture items (e.g., crib) than something that will fall out of use quickly. Certainly indulge yourself in purchasing a few clothing items that really catch your heart, but be prepared to reach out to family and friends for hand-me-downs. This not only saves you money, but you can feel better that you’ve made a more green-friendly decision, as well. If you can’t get enough hand-me-downs, consider yard sales, consignment stores, and even Craigslist or eBay.

Whether you’re a mother-to-be or looking to have children in the near future, always consider your budget and prepare a plan of attack before the big day arrives. It will put your mind at ease and you’ll be able to enjoy your pregnancy and few months of motherhood much more!

About Jessica J.

A native New Yorker, Jessica left behind the Big Apple almost 4 years ago to pursue new adventures around the world. Powered by caffeine and a relentless curiosity, she has now settled in Tel Aviv Jaffa with her husband, American cat, and a new appreciation for budget management.

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  • Krista Bainbridge

    These are wonderful tips and I think will help people long term with planning for a baby! I have a few I know could benefit from this!

    • Jessica J.

      Thanks, Krista!

  • Autumn~Bloggin Momma

    Yes having a baby is not cheap by no means but I have never understood why people spend so much money on the baby’s room, crib and such. You have some great tips here and I believe you will be ready for a baby soon 🙂

    • Jessica J.

      Thanks 🙂 My friends keep encouraging me, too! It’s good researching and writing these articles for the potential near future!

  • These are great tips – but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of recycling, hand-me-downs, and paying it forward! I gave away allllll of my baby stuff last summer (because we didn’t think we’d be ready for another one), and then we decided to try for #3… and I’ve now gotten second-hand almost everything I need for this baby from friends & strangers!

    • Jessica J.

      Yep – without paying it forward, we end up breaking the cycle of kindness! Thanks for adding that part!

  • These are great tips, and planning ahead is key! People will learn a lot from this! Great article!

    • Jessica J.

      Thanks, Emilee!

  • Saving Common Cents

    Really helpful tips I wish I had known when my babies were being born! I really agree with the idea of finding multi-use items. Kiddos grow so quickly…it’s smart to think ahead!

    • Jessica J.

      No kidding! I’m still shocked to see how quickly my friends’ babies and kids are growing up!