Having a baby is a joyful and exciting experience, especially for first-time mums. But it can also be financially challenging. It can quickly drain our resources if we don’t plan and make smart buying choices. So, here are a few of my money-saving tips for mums to keep you and your newborn happy while staying on budget.
Helpful Money-Saving Tips for Mums
Babies need a lot of support and care. And for us mums, that means spending on food supplies, clothes, furniture and a lot more. While these are all important, we also need to keep everything balanced, particularly our budget and spending habit. Good thing there are several ways on how to reduce childcare costs and spend wiser:
- Stick to essentials. You can consult experienced mums for advice. But, in general, your little bub only needs a few things like nappies, singlets, sleepsuits, cardigan, blanket, bonnet and car seat (if you’ll be transporting by car).
- Shop in advance. This tip should give you time to shop around, browse buying guides and take advantage of sales.
- Buy things in bulk. This tip is best for nappies and other baby supplies with a long shelf-life. Aside from being cheaper, it’s also a great time-saver.
- Go for budget brands. All items for babies typically go through the same quality tests as expensive brands. Also, your baby will grow in record time that spending on branded items, be it clothes or furniture, may not be practical.
- Borrow or buy second-hand items. There’s nothing wrong with using quality pre-loved items for your baby. This way, you’re not only helping friends to declutter and saving money but also giving unwanted things a second life.
Essential Factors that Help New Mums Save
Now that you know how to manage your budget for your baby, you need to identify the essentials you need to buy. I’ve listed a few of them down and identified some budget-friendly options you can consider.
One of the best money-saving tips for mums is to choose to nurse our babies. Breast milk is free and readily available. However, if breastfeeding is not possible, formula milk is also good, though more costly, option. It’s best to consult your paediatrician on what feeding alternatives suit you. You can also contact the Australian Breastfeeding Association for their classes, breast pump hire, 24/7 helpline and more.
Once your baby is ready to eat solids, making homemade baby food is an excellent money saver. It’s simple to make in batches, too. More importantly, going homemade will lessen your worries about food additives and allergies.
The choice between disposable and reusable nappies is up to you and your baby’s preference. Choose a nappy that works and is not very expensive. Reusable nappies cost a lot at first but can significantly save money in the long run. It’s a good option if you have time to wash them after use. If not, disposable nappies by inexpensive or supermarket brands are your next best alternative. Buying them in bulk would save you more money, too. But if you opt for premium nappy brands, a good tip is to stock up when they are on sale.
I know. All those adorable baby clothes are hard to resist! But when you’re on a budget, pay more attention to clothes that are comfortable and can withstand constant washing. Here are other money-saving tips for mums when choosing babies’ clothing:
- Don’t buy in advance. Babies grow up fast and will soon outgrow clothes you bought only a few months ago. Focus on staples like singlets, socks and sleeping suits. Also, choose slightly loose clothing for comfort and to make room for sudden growth spurts.
- Stock up on whites. These clothes are easy to wash thoroughly with bleach. Plus, you won’t have to worry about costly cleaning agents for stain removal.
- Go unisex. It is easier to pass down neutral-coloured items to your next child or another mum’s baby. So, don’t go overboard and buy all things pink or blue!
- Skip costly shoes. Babies can learn to walk indoors more quickly without shoes. Also, you’ll likely carry or place them in a stroller when outside. So, choose inexpensive soft booties instead.
Some mums may prefer their babies to co-sleep with them. But keep in mind that your baby needs to sleep in a safe place during the day. So, it’s better to have a bassinet, cradle or cot on hand. If you are getting a second-hand crib, make sure to check its safety guidelines online if a manual is no longer available.
One of the money-saving tips for mums that I like to share the most is to buy multipurpose baby items. This way, you save money and make the most of your purchases. A crib that turns into a bed, for example, is perfect when your baby becomes a toddler. High chairs that become regular chairs and a changing table that doubles as a dresser are great options, too.
Your transport choice for your baby will depend on how often you choose to walk or take the car when travelling. For example, a baby carrier or stroller is best when you often walk around to shop or jog to the park. If not, then a car seat is a better choice. But one thing I always have with me when travelling with my son is a nappy changing bag. I make sure to pack at least three nappies, baby wipes, extra clothes and other essentials, depending on how long we’ll be on the road. That way, I won’t have to resort to impulse buying.
Being a great mum doesn’t mean splurging on the most expensive baby stuff we find. It’s always better to give what we can for our babies and save the rest for their bright future. Have fun shopping for your little one!