Let's be real, not all of us are born to save money. Especially when we were single. But when a baby is on the way, I have to say that knowing how to budget is incredibly necessary.
Here are some tips I would like to share with you from my personal experience on how you can avoid overspending on the newest member of the family!
1. I would say I'm quite small, and if you are as well, you probably won't need maternity clothes. I was so excited when I first found out I was pregnant and immediately shopped online for maternity clothing that some have only been worn once (because I felt bad since I've already purchased them) and some were not even worn.
2. We own two baby bathtubs - one was purchased by my husband and the other was a gift. Obviously you'll only need one. I've only started using it when Jake turned six months because he grew too big for the sink. I felt so much more comfortable using the sink instead of the tub in Jake's early days (with the bath support inserted). The sink was perfect for his small size, and he only really needed a quick wash instead of a bath - it was convenient. If I could turn back time I would rethink the bathtub until he is a bit bigger, it would also save us some much-needed space in the bathroom!
3. Baby cot/ bassinet: Of course, being a new mom purchasing a baby cot was at the top of my list. Now let me tell you, Jake hasn't slept in there once. We co-sleep on the bed, and when he turned four months we tried to put him in the cot to actually make use of it but he still cried after some time. Now he is bigger, the cot is simply a playpen for him to chill in the afternoon and play with his toys. He still naps on our bed.
4. Breastfeeding doesn't only come with a long list of benefits, it's free! and since I'm an at-home mom, I breastfeed Jake full time. We did try to give him formula but he refused to consume it so it's all good because that's one thing saved.
5. Buy diapers in bulk. This definitely saved us money. Diapers like Offspring and few other brands offer large discounts when you buy in a bundle, they come with wet wipes too which is pretty cool!
6. Jake has so many toys, some of which we bought and some of which were gifts. Sometimes he would end up playing with just his handkerchief or socks and he looks really entertained. Makes me wonder if it was worth getting so many toys for him in the first place. Definitely don't get fancy ones. But if I can recommend one thing, it is to make sure that their toys are safe and non-toxic. I think having just a small collection of safe, high quality and long-lasting toys is better than a pile of potentially harmful ones.
7. Shopping during sales is a given, but always remind yourself not to get too excited. This was my mistake which I sometimes regret (but try not to think of) because he has an enormous amount of clothes and some were only able to be worn once or not at all (which is quite disappointing). Babies grow extremely fast so if you're thinking on getting expensive clothes, I personally feel you should only get them for when they're a year or older so that they can wear them for much longer. So resist the urge to splurge!
8. Don't shop when you're emotional. I understand this is easier said than done especially with all that pregnancy hormones running through your veins, but excitement can lead to over-shopping and buying things you don't need. The things that I have purchased and have not needed include countless amounts of soothers/pacifiers, teethers (one is really enough), so many bibs (because everything looked so cute), hairbrush & comb set (an infants hair doesn't need brushing if they have any hair at all), baby oil (I come to a conclusion that they might have unnecessary ingredients and chemicals, and end up using just pure coconut oil instead).
9. Make your own baby food: There are so many easy-to-follow recipes out there for you to make your own baby food. I think they are simply a better and healthier option. Before Jake started eating solids, I did my homework and studied baby foods at the aisles of the grocery stores. Some of them had sugar even after being labelled 'No Sugar Added' which is uncool. Some of the foods had a shelf life of one to two years and it really made me wonder how much preservatives are in them. Even for myself, I wouldn't want to get food that has the longest shelf life, it's always nicer to have a fresher option and I think my baby should have the same. Aside from having control of what goes in your baby's food, making your own baby foods are also cheaper.
Always research on what items you really need and if you will actually use them. This is something I have to keep reminding myself too!