It’s no secret that things have been a bit stretched here financially over the last few months. When I fell pregnant with this little bean, we were in the best financial situation we’d ever been in, however as things sometimes do when you’re a self employed couple, things went a bit tits up! Through no fault of his own, Sean was out of work for almost four months and on top of that he’s still waiting for a big job he did before that to finally pull their fingers out and pay him! Of course that’s meant that we’ve really had to watch what we spend at every turn, including when it comes to buying anything for the new baby. Thankfully, things are finally looking up with Sean having returned to work at the beginning of the year but that doesn’t mean we are able to go on mad spending sprees and so we are still watching the pennies. I thought I’d put together a little post on some of the ways we’ve managed to prepare for a new baby on a budget in case, like us, things are a bit tight in the lead up to their new arrival. Some lovely fellow Mama’s have also shared their tips for preparing for a baby on a budget.
Until recently I always underestimated the value of entering competitions online. You see them all the time on Instagram and Facebook run by brands and bloggers and while there are normally loads of entrants you have to be in it to win it! Throughout this pregnancy alone I’ve managed to win a SnuzPod3, a light weight buggy, a Cuddledry Apron towel, a swaddle blanket and some hospital bag essentials. All things we would have needed to buy and simply entering competitions has saved us well over £800!
Use what you can from older children
This is where a tiny part of me regrets buying everything in pink! I mean, I always imagined myself as a girl Mama so when this baby was confirmed a boy I was a little surprised and a little daunted by the sheer lack of neutral clothes and other things I had. However, I have managed to dig out a bunch of newborn and 0-3m sleepsuits and vests that will be just fine for a boy and the Shnuggle bath, play mat & bottles etc are all good to go too.
“Keep clothes from your first baby (great if you went unisex) and store them in boxes in size order. That way you not only have practically everything you’ll need but you will be able to easily go to them when you are tired and full of baby brain! ” – Emma at EmmaReed.net
Sell what you can’t use
I had real trouble with selling Florence’s clothes that I knew we wouldn’t use for baby boy. It’s amazing how attached you get to pieces of fabric! However I’ve managed to sell quite a lot of things that were in good condition that I know I’ll be able to replace down the line if we ever have another girl. I sold via eBay, Facebook market place and a few more specialised secondhand Facebook pages like the JoJo Maman Bebe one where you can often get a bit more for your wares.
Have a baby shower/Sprinkle
I’ve had a baby shower for both pregnancies, and while they were never about the gifts – more about the chance to have a girly day with friends and family – the gifts are a wonderfully money saving bonus! People often ask if there;s anything you need and my advice is tell them honestly! If you need nappies over a cute babygrow, or if you’d prefer vouchers to a soft toy ask for them.
Becky at BabyBudgetting agrees; “Be really honest with people close to you about your budget and when they ask what you need supermarket vouchers for wipes/nappies etc will be easy to ask for and super useful.”
“If friends and family start mentioning buying gifts for baby, ask for vouchers so you can put it towards essentials or suggest things to them you really need.” – Chloe at Life Unexpected
“If close family or friends are planning on buying gifts, write a more specific list of things you really need opposed to cute fancy outfits. I know you can’t ask everyone for this but we asked close family & friends to buy practical things which helped us out.” – Twinderelmo
Buy second hand
I’ve been scouting selling sites for good condition / barely used clothing and bits that would cost a lot more if bought new. I think my favourite bargain has to be a Little Bird by Jools ‘Happy’ baby grow I won on eBay! I’m not alone in taking advantage of second hand clothing when on selling sites.
Jess from Tantrums to Smiles says “My advice would be to check out local selling pages on Facebook etc. Lots of mums often sell on bundles of baby clothes that are practically new as babies grow so quickly! I brought a bundle of newborn baby clothes and half hadn’t even been worn and everything looked brand new. I got it for a fraction of the price it would have all been new too.”
And Catherine at Rock and Roll Pussy Cat recommends using facebook selling sites too “You can buy fab baby bundles for a few pound. Nursery equipment and toys are found with huge discounts on FB market place and Ebay.”
Josie champions second hand sales “Find your local nearly new sales, NCT, Mum2mum etc and shop there, loads of bargains to be had.” and I have to agree with her — these are fab for selling at too!
I recently shared my list of things I think everyone needs for their baby… and the things you really don’t need! If you’re about to have a baby or know someone who is, head over and check out my recommendations.
Jess & Chloe both advise making a shopping list & sticking to it!
“Make a list of essentials and stick to it when buying new things! It can be so easy to get caught up in all the cute baby things that you don’t actually need!”
“Write a spreadsheet of only the absolute essentials you’ll need, with the cost next to it so you can see what you are spending and then look for those things cheaper elsewhere (I did this. It took time but we’ve only ended up spending £500 on EVERYTHING we need for baby). “
Make sure you’re claiming everything you’re entitled to
Believe it or not, I didn’t claim the standard child benefit for Florence until November — she’s 20 months old! I can’t believe how simple the process was and how long I waited to claim, as that money could have really helped us out. Make sure you know everything you’re entitled to and that you’re claiming it as soon as you can because as the saying goes, every little helps!
“Check what benefits you may be entitled to- things like maternity grants and healthy start vouchers could be really helpful.” – Miss Manypennies
On a similar note, Sophie recommends keeping an eye on your expenses. “Check that you are on the cheapest rates for all of your utilities as that can be a huge saving that can be spent else where.”
Take advantage of Super Market Baby Events & Baby Clubs
Super markets all over are currently hosting their baby events and have some great savings on basics like nappies, wipes and multi packs of sleepsuits etc.
“Stock up on nappies and wipes especially on baby events . I think baby clubs are great too, can get some fab freebies and lots of useful coupons.” – Sadie says.
I hope these tips from myself and some other fab Mama’s help you to prepare for your baby on a budget — however small it may be!