Monday, May 21, 2012

Budgeting for a new baby

I know this is a lengthy post, but I had a LOT of information to share :)

Remember these are just my suggestions when it comes to budgeting for a new baby, they are in no way strict guidelines to follow.

This step can help you source what YOU NEED from the potential hundreds of things suggested to you to buy when expecting a baby from either: the Internet, your baby books or even a pregnancy app on your phone.

- Begin writing down the first few things you can think of that you'd LIKE to have for the baby. They can be a mix of wants, would love to have and even the items you've been told you CANNOT possibly do without. Title this: My choices

- Ask you friends and family (even better if they have young children or have recently had a baby themselves) if they had bought anything for their child/children that they found they didn't really need. Write these items on your list with a separate title: Recommendations. Don't be afraid to ask WHY they didn't use the item.

It's time for step 2. Don't fret that you may have missed something, the important things are sleeping, eating, the car ride home and anything else will be covered before the baby arrives.
Go through the list with a friend/family member/partner if it helps and start to look at the things you don't necessarily have to buy BEFORE the baby arrives e.g a highchair doesn't need to be a top priority for a few months.
Online shopping is a great option, especially if you're almost at your due date and don't feel like battling the shoppers and traffic. If you have your heart set on a certain brand or type of product, make sure you shop the absolute heck out of it via research. Just because a shop is advertising 20% off that said product, doesn't mean you can't get a much better deal on it online or at another shop.

- The great thing about shops that have the online shopping option is they generally advise you if an item is in store, how many are left and at what price. This can make you feel more at ease you won't miss out on the item straightaway just by knowing your other choices.
If the thought of the total expense is getting you down, look at how you can tackle some of the top priority items.
- Lay buy is a great option for a lot of people, no matter their income, as it allows you to purchase the items over your pregnancy without taking away all your income in one purchase. Lay buys generally come with a minimum deposit (on the spot) and repayments, find out what you can afford to pay and go from there (I've never come across a company that makes you pay an early payment fee for finishing your lay buy early)

- Small items such as bibs, clothing items, toys, bouncer chair, even bottles and sterilizers can be purchased weekly. Just aim to buy one thing a week for the baby, it could range from $5-$300 for a baby monitor. Whatever you can afford.
Whether you opt to have one or not, baby showers can be a great way for friends and family to feel more involved in your pregnancy and offer heaps of great little presents that can take the ease of you buying them or worrying you don't have enough of something.

BUT sometimes, and this happens A LOT! Baby showers can mean you end up with TOO much of something you already have/ may not ever use and not enough of the things you'd love your baby to use. So, my tip for avoiding this is simple. Don't be afraid to let people know what you would love to have, just make sure you can give as much notice to them about it as possible.

People want to feel helpful and involved and by them knowing what you NEED or WANT and not having to guess, it makes everyone MUCH happier.

So there you have it, my 5 How to Budget for Baby Tips. All the best of luck and love to those who are currently expecting or just had a baby.

Until next time,

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