Do babies have to be expensive? NO!
It is so easy to get carried away when buying things for our kids. I walk into a children's clothing sore and I want to "buy all the things!!!!"
But that's not good. Especially when trying to reduce our lifestyle.
No one can deny that having a baby is expensive. But it doesn’t have to break the bank. I was amazed when registering for our baby the amount of things people think you need.
I am not a brand snob. By any stretch of the imagination. I thank my mother for that, she raised us on Payless shoes and the Dollar General.
When my husband and I were planning on having a baby our financial circumstance was a far cry from what it is now. - Within two months of my son being born my husband got a great job with great benefits that allowed me to stay home. I know, it has God written all over it.
We were looking at paying for this baby on a shoestring budget. And thanks to some generosity from friends and family- we did.
I was in the middle of my pregnancy when my husband pulled up to our little house, his red pickup truck loaded down with goodies. It felt like we had won the lottery.
There was a crib, mattress, sheets, changing pad and covers, a high chair, excercauser, toys, books and clothes.
He hauled everything into the nursery where a bassinet, bouncy chair and Bumbo seat awaited. The nursery was full and we hadn't paid for any of it!
Again, my sister and my friend, Heather, had loaded me down with there genorosity. But what if you don't have generous people in your life?
My number one peice of advice: Ignore all the lists of things magazines and books tell you that you need to have a baby. You only need as much stuff as your budget can handles.
Here are the musts:
Crib or Pack N Play
High Chair (I actually recommend a booster seat and you won’t need one for several months)
Changing pad - alternatively you can put your baby on a bed to change them
Swaddle blankets, these are my favorite
A blanket to lay baby on the floor
Car seat - extreme caution should be used if purchasing a used carseat. I would advise against it. Here is why.
Here are somethings that are great to have but you could do without them:
Now, I say you don't need a bouncy chair, but considering my son slept in that thing the first month of his life, maybe I should move it to the must have spot???
And here things you don't need:
A changing table. - Seriously, put the changing pad on a dresser and move on with your life. You don't need an extra piece of furniture you will need to get rid of later.
A wipe warmer- your baby is not the queen of England.
A diaper genie- okay, I am a hypocrite, i do own one, but it’s not a necessity.
SO how do you get the must have for cheap?
Craigslist- This online garage sale has a ton of great stuff! I have sold a car, a couch, a bed, a refrigertator and given away a litter of puppies on Craigslist. And there is baby stuff galore. This morning I saw a stroller, monitor, highchair and bouncy seat on sale for a combined $20! You can't beat that. Click here for tips on how to buy on Craigslist.
Garage Sales - This sounds like no brainer, right? It is June, so garage sale season is in full swing and many of them have tons of baby items. If you go to a garage sale make sure you have cash on hand. Be willing to haggle. While a garage seller wants to make cash, they also want to get rid of their stuff, so they will probably be willing to cut you a discount, especially if you are buying multiple items. Most local papers run a garage sale section in Friday's paper, so it won't be hard to find one.
FreeCycle - If you live in a rural area like I do this might not be an option for you. But if you're a city dweller, FreeCycle is a great place to find, trade and get rid of baby gear for free. Free is in the name!
DIY - Stores like IKEA or unfinished furniture stores offer great deals on baby furniture if you're willing to put in a little work you can get some BIG savings.
Buy for the future. Your baby doesn't need tiny furniture just because they are a tiny person. Go ahead and get your child's dresser, book shelves, etc. now and use them as baby furniture. That way when your child gets older they already have the furniture they need and you won't need to buy two sets.
Understand that everything you get doesn't have to be shiny and new. A used crib can be painted, polished and shined. A great set of colorful sheets or a colorful changing pad cover can dress up a room. Your baby doesn't care if he or she has the latest, greatest, trendiest things. They care that you love them, feed them and change them.
I found out a long time ago that when I stopped trying to impress people with what I have and how I live I was a lot happier.
Remember one of my favorite verses: But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:20-21
How have you saved money on your baby?