Finding out that you are pregnant and then planning for the arrival of your bundle of joy is an altogether different feeling for the excited, soon-to-be parents. There is a lot of anticipation and in the enthusiasm to prepare for the new arrival in their lives, some couples make the mistake of spending their money indiscriminately on mundane things and regret later.
The addition of a baby into the family means an increase in the regular monthly budget. There will also be many unexpected expenditures, which you can never be prepared enough for, apart from the usual -- clothes, baby care products, hygiene products, accessories such as cribs, strollers -- the list is endless. In fact, it is always advisable to start saving as soon as the parents-to-be get confirmation of the pregnancy.
Here are some valuable tips for smart budgeting for baby --
1. Buy in discount -- If you plan well and have an idea of what you need to add to your house to make baby comfortable, start hunting as soon as you become pregnant. Start early and keep an eye out for stuff that is on sale -- be it clothes, furniture or any other essentials. Stock up on these and you will be happy that you saved. But don’t go overboard -- buy only the important things and those at fabulous discount.
2. Bring home limited baby supplies -- When it comes to diapers, clothes, bottles and so on, it is always better to check what suits baby the most and then buy. Often, parents buy stuff randomly and then regret later. So initially, buy limited supplies so that you do not waste anything, in case it does not work for your little one. Moreover, as the baby grows, her needs will change and what you bought a few months ago, may not suit her.
3. Make use of baby shower gifts -- If your close friend or sister is organising a shower for you, wait until the event is over, to buy baby stuff. That is because your friends and family are likely to gift you loads of things to help start your life as new parents and what you receive could well suffice for the first few months. It will also save you money and you won’t end with two or three of the same item.
4. Make your own baby food -- This may be a little difficult, if you are getting back to work soon but is definitely a good solution and beneficial to baby. Instead of buying expensive baby food and formula from the market, make your own baby food at home. All you need to do is dry roast and powder rice, various cereals and pulses. Store these in airtight containers and cook in few spoons of water, whenever required. This is not just economical when you have a tight budget but also healthy and nutritious for your baby compared to shop-bought options.
5. Breastfeed your baby for a longer time -- As most doctors and advocates of good infant health will tell you, breastfeeding is definitely a desired option compared to formula feed. Of course, mothers may have their own challenges, so we have to consider everything before deciding what to feed baby. If you are a working mother, buying a breast pump is a practical solution, as you can store your breast milk for the little one. Breast pumps are expensive but worth the buy.
6.Buy accessories that grow -- Invest in furniture and any other essentials, which can be adapted in such a way that they are useful even after the little one makes the transition from baby to toddler. For e.g, when buying a crib, invest in the kind which is adjustable and will grow wit baby. Moreover, the crib should be such that it can be converted to a cot or a settee once your baby has outgrown it. This way you can save money for more essential stuff.