How to have a Baby on a Budget

According to recent figures, it costs £218,000 to raise a child.

Ugh.

You can totally understand the “we can’t afford to have a baby” mentality when you’re faced with figures like that can’t you?

However, I don’t agree. 

I’ve recently become a bit obsessed with DIY house blogs and Pinterest boards (research for our new house – obviously), but the other day as I looked at another perfect nursery and read about the special crib bedding I felt like screaming IT’S NOT NECESSARY!

I honestly don’t have anything against people doing up their houses or making their nurseries beautiful (it’s lovely to get ready for your baby) but it seems like it has become expected to have a perfect room all prepared and stocked with top-of-the-range gear before the baby even arrives and anything else just means you’re a bad parent.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just getting on a hormonal high-horse but it’s made me mad.

WE DON’T NEED ALL THIS STUFF!

I’m not an expert on money, but I am a stay-at-home mum with a husband who is on a low student bursary:  we have a baby and we’re making it work.

Here are some of the ways we have had a baby on a budget:

Nice but not necessary

Imagine you live in a ‘Little House on the Prairie’ style wooden house in the middle of nowhere, and now visualise what your baby needs to survive; many possessions are nice but not necessary. If you have money to burn then spend away, but if you’re trying to save money throw out your Mothercare catalogue and just get the bare essentials. You can always get other things as and when you need them.

DO NOT PANIC BUY!

Babies DO NOT NEED the majority of things found in the baby aisle – I cannot stress this enough! However, it’s really easy to panic buy, especially when you’re in late pregnancy or just had a baby and you’re not really thinking straight (I know this from experience!).

Ask other parents for their recommendations on what you need and buy the minimum before the baby is born and work out the rest later.

Second hand, gifts and freebies

Before we had Ivy I wasn’t too keen on buying second hand things; I wanted everything to be clean and new for our precious baby. However, nearly new sales, charity shops and Ebay have some incredible bargains. Babies grow so quickly that much of the equipment/clothing is in great condition as it’s only been used for a couple of months.

We’ve also been hugely blessed to have received lots of gifts and hand-me-downs (probably about 90% of our baby stuff has been free).  Put the word out amongst friends and family that you’re looking for things – you’ll be surprised what people are happy to give away.

Make your own

There are a ton of DIY tutorials online for everything from a home-made activity mat to DIY nursing tops. If you have the time and energy then this is a great way to save huge amounts of money. Companies often highly inflate prices for things that are actually pretty simple and cheap to make. (I have more DIY ideas on my Pinterest boards).

Trust God

So, I know that not everyone reading this will have a faith but for me being a Christian means involving God in my financial decisions. I quite like the mantra ‘if I need it, God will provide it’ and it’s proved to be very true when it comes to getting for the baby. If you’ve been round my blog long enough you’ll have read about his provision with the moses basket, maternity clothes, pram and car seat. A few months ago I was looking on Ebay for a Bumbo Seat and the next day my friend randomly asked me if I needed a Bumbo as they had one spare. The same happened with a play mat and a travel cot! God really does provide.

I guess all of this is a natural follow on of trying to live simply and to disconnect from all the stuff and clutter that seems to so easily creep into life.

Ivy has never had crib bedding, a rocker, a video monitor or many of the other things the internet tries to convince us we need, and I honestly haven’t missed it. Occasionally those things would have been useful (or beautiful), but she hasn’t really needed it and we’ve saved so much money by holding out and making do with what’s available.

So, will it cost £218,000 to raise Ivy? We’ll see…but in the mean-time we’ll be saving money here and there a penny at a time.

What are your tips for saving money with a baby {or just money saving in general!}. I’d love for you to leave a comment.

This article was originally posted on dreamingofthecountry.com

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