Baby costs in the first year can come as a shock to many young couples. Just setting up your baby’s room could easily set you back a couple of thousand dollars!
Then there’s the ongoing costs you can expect to incur in the first year with feeding, nappies, clothing, the list goes on.
In general you can expect to spend at least $10,000 in your baby’s first year of life. Some will say that’s unrealistic and you’ll be looking at a figure more like $30,000. But if you’re prepared to buy essential items on sale or secondhand, then you can save A LOT of money. Here are our top tips for baby savings before and after your little one arrives.
Be financially savvy
If you are going down to one income after your baby is born, do up a budget for that income and practice living on it now so it’s not such a shock. Put the extra money into a baby savings nest egg. (It might be tempting to blow this on a babymoon but you’ll be glad of it later).
Look at ways you can prepare to either save money or generate an income. Can put your mortgage on hold? Enquire if your employer offers paid maternity leave? Even things like shopping around for a new mortgage and changing gas and electric suppliers can save you some money.
Don’t go overboard on decorating
Of course you want your new bundle of joy to have a beautiful new nursery. But to be honest, all babies care about, at least in the first few months, is getting fed and a warm place to sleep. If you’re feeling energetic there are lots of affordable, creative ways to design a nursery, and you don’t have to spend a crazy amount of money to do so.
Shop at sales and second hand stores
New furniture is overpriced, and your baby won’t care if they have a designer crib or a second hand one that’s been given a scrub and a paint! Gumtree, op shops and Ebay are excellent places to source second hand products.
If you must have something new, then don’t pay full price at least, keep an eye out for holiday sales, especially Christmas and end of financial year. You can get many essential items like strollers and carriers at half the price. Always check products have the Australian Standards label.
Cut back on the clothes
Babies grow REALLY quickly so there’s no point having dozens of newborn outfits. They can quite happily get along with six onesies and six sleepers. You’ll probably get given a load of hand-me-downs from well meaning friends, which you should accept graciously. But your baby probably won’t wear half of them. There’s a reason those clothes will look like new, your friend’s babies haven’t worn them either!
When your bub inevitably starts growing you’ll want some new seasonal outfits but try to keep it simple, comfortable, and easy access. KMart or Big W have onesies, leggings, shorts, skirts and t- shirts that don’t cost a bomb.
There are numerous ongoing costs which need to be budgeted for when you have a baby. You may be surprised at how many nappies and baby wipes you’ll actually need. In the first year alone, you can expect to go through 2,500 nappies, so it’s a good idea to stock up the nursery with budget friendly Little One’s nappies and wipes.
Just popping a packet of nappies or wipes in your shopping trolley each week while pregnant can really help spread the load, and help prepare you financially for the exciting times ahead.
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