Being a new parent is always daunting; every mother, father, aunty, uncle and stranger will give you their ‘advice’ on how to parent, what to buy etc. Eventually, you have a mountain of receipts, a hole in your wallet and a crying baby on your hip. Life can be hectic but it doesn’t have to be; here are some helpful money-saving hacks that will ease you into that new, exciting chapter of your life.
Breastfeeding can be challenging and it doesn’t work for every mother out there, however, if you can do it one of the added benefits (on top of the nutritional and emotional ones of course) is that it can be very cost-effective because it’s well, free. If you do decide to breastfeed and it works for you, try and borrow a breast pump from a friend (a brand new electric breast pump can cost up to $300) or opt for a cheaper manual one.
If you decide baby formula is best for you and your baby, there are still ways you can save money, subscribe to baby formula newsletters which often give your discount codes, buy in bulk on sale (make sure your baby like and will drink a certain brand however before you buy in bulk) and opt for powders over liquids or concentrates.
2. Baby clothes
As a new parent buying baby clothes can be one of the highlights, your own little dress-up doll, but it can be one of the most pricey commodities of parenthood. Don’t forget your babies will have rapid growth spurts that often leave those clothes you bought while pregnant useless.
Buy a few cute outfits but don’t go too crazy – you also don’t know exactly what size your baby will be when born and they may skip to 0000 and go straight to 000. Remember that in those first few months you will want convenience and comfort so save the intricate, special outfits for when they are a little bigger.
Don’t forget hand-me-downs will be your best friend and choose colours and styles that are unisex which you will be able to use for future babies. Babies also don’t need shoes for the first few months of their life (babies often learn how to walk better with bare feet), use soft boots as an alternative, they’re both better for your babies little feet and they’re often cheaper.
Nappies will be an ongoing expense but to save yourself constant trips to the shops and money buy your nappies in bulk (subscribe to newsletters that will give you deals on wholesales for nappies).
You can also look into reusable nappies, that will be a bigger upfront expense but will save you money in the long run.
Furniture is another big expense, but to avoid this, buy items that have a dual purpose (e.g. cots that can turn into toddler beds or playmat beds, chest of drawers that can also be a change table).
5. Books and toys
Your local library or Vinnies will be your allies in your new parenthood journey. Libraries offer free children’s books, interactive toys and there are often free baby soft play activities for you and your child. Second-hand stores also give cheap alternatives to expensive toys, where you can find books, toys, cots, bouncers and so much more.
You can also start a baby book/toy club with friends or local mums and rotate toys and books between each other.
Remember babies don’t need a lot of fancy toys – half the time they will be more interested in playing with the box they come in than the toys themselves! Get creative and make toys out of things you already have around the house!
6. Baby food
Once your baby is ready to start solids there will definitely be some more expenses on your weekly grocery bill. Opt for fresh produce that you can batch cook and freeze, cook up any unused vegetables in your fridge each week and blend them up.
Use ingredients/meals that you are using for your whole family’s meals rather than making the baby separate meals – to save money and time.
7. DIY your life
If you want something done, do it yourself, right? Cut costs whenever you can to optimise your savings! Use your unused bags as changing bags and rotate their toys, your baby won’t notice the difference and it will save you having to regularly buy new toys.
8. The great outdoors
Forget expensive activities or attractions, plan outdoor excursions; picnics, scenic drives, small hikes, they will all give your baby fun new experiences and memories without breaking the bank.
Parenting is never easy, and having a new baby can be incredibly stressful, but utilising these few tips can save you money, worry, and you can focus on you and your baby’s happiness.