Happy Friday!! I recently did a poll on my Instagram asking what kind of post you wanted to see and there were so many of you that wanted one on Budgeting for Baby. So – by popular demand… here it is!
When I was pregnant with my first, we were young and had little money to prepare for a surprise baby. But we managed to make it work. Even this time around (7 years later), we wanted to stick to a budget with how much we were spending on everything. I mean, as awesome as it would be to have a top notch designer nursery, or every single one of the latest and greatest baby gadgets… that’s just not in the cards for us (or most people for that matter). Plus, you can totally have a cute nursery without spending a fortune!
For tips on designing a Nursery on a Budget, check out this post!
«Don’t forget to download your free guideline + worksheets by clicking the button below»
Budgeting for Baby
First thing’s first – you need to decide on a budget before you make any decisions on where your money will be spent. If this is your first baby, I recommend browsing through some of the must-have items like cribs, car seats, etc. before setting a budget so you have a general idea of the average cost. This will allow you to make a realistic budget. Obviously setting a budget of like $100 is not going to be realistic (unless you can get all hand me down items! – more on that below).
Needs vs. Wants
Next, make a list of some items you need versus items you want. For example, a place for baby to sleep is a necessity. This could be a full sized crib, mini crib, portable crib, etc. However, I would consider a baby swing a want. While they can be really convenient to have, it’s not absolutely necessary for the health or safety of your baby. So start making a list of the different items (everyone’s will look a little different).
Start saving up some money as soon as you find out you’re pregnant! I suggest setting up a separate savings account (either in your name or the baby’s) that you can transfer into so it’s clear and separate from the rest of your money. Even if you can only afford $5 a week, or a paycheck, that money will add up and can really help you purchase some necessary items (like diapers, or wipes) later down the road. Seriously, saving up will be so important for anything unexpected you run into. So take a look at your budget and make it work! If that means eating out one less time, or skipping coffee a few times… do it!
Saving on Items
Now that you have a rough plan or the items you’ll need, the items you want, and a budget in place, you can start purchasing. Some people like to get started right away and others like to wait until after the baby shower. I personally like to wait until after the baby shower and here’s why. Put everything on your registry. No matter how cheap or expensive the item, put all of your needs on there. Why? Because you never know what somebody will purchase for you and if they’re able and willing to help – let them! Babies are expensive and anything will help. Plus, sometimes a group of people will all pitch in together to get you a more expensive item.
MUB Tip: Some registries really are better than others – check out this guide on Best Stores to Set up Your Baby Registry » here.
While there are certainly items you will want to purchase brand new, there are plenty that you can repurpose or purchase used at a huge discount! Also, if you have any friends or family that are done using furniture, clothes, or any other baby items – ask if you can have them. Here are some other ideas for you:
- Cribs – refinish an old crib (just make sure it’s still safe)
- Nursey Décor – have an old lamp, dresser, or other item that you’re not using any more? Give it a paint refresh or a new element and add it to the baby’s room. This post I wrote also has several more ideas!
- Shop Consignment Stores – there are so many consignment stores out there for gently used baby clothes and items. I shopped at these frequently with my first.
Other Ways to Save
If you have to purchase some items with your own money, here are some other ways you can save pretty big!
Amazon Subscribe and Save
I don’t know if this was around when I had my oldest, but it is certainly an option now. And I’m taking full advantage of it! When you are signed up for Amazon Prime (which I highly suggest for several reasons… but I’ll save that for another post), you can set up a subscribe and save order and receive a discount of 15% or – here’s the best part – 20% on diapers!!! Yes – diapers are a baby item necessity that will get used up fast and Amazon offers you 20% off!
Join Amazon Family 30-Day Free Trial Here
Purchase in bulk when you can
I know this isn’t always an option depending on how much disposable income you have, but if you can afford it, do it! Double check the cost per item/oz/etc., but generally buying in bulk will save you money in the long run. For example, I purchased value packs of wipes, disposable face/hand cloths, and baby wash at a much lower cost!
Purchase convertible items
I really put some focus and energy into finding items that would last from baby through toddlerhood and beyond this time around. With my first baby, I found that a lot of items saw little use, then were outgrown. So this time, we purchased a convertible crib that transitions from crib to toddler bed to full sized bed frame! Two more items I’m really excited for are this convertible rocker chair (that transitions from a baby rocker to a toddler chair), and this activity gym (that has like 5 different uses all great from infancy to toddlerhood)!
Don’t forget to download your free Baby Budgeting Guideline for more suggestions and printables to help you along the way!
»Chime in mommas! What are some of your favorite budgeting hacks? Is there anything you do that didn’t make the list?