There’s no doubt about it, having kids is an expensive exercise. Your dollars seem to sprout wings and fly out the door and your credit card suddenly takes a pounding like it’s probably never experienced before. If you’re about to become a new parent, here are a few tips to help you keep those extra costs under control.
First up, your priorities are going to shift so it’s a good time to take a good hard look at your spending and see what you can cut back on. Eat out once a week? Why not try some new recipes at home for your favourite foods and save yourself some cash. Head to the movies regularly? Check out Stan and Netflix for a huge variety of movies, drama and comedy for just a couple of bucks a week.
It’s a good idea to create a budget and track your spending. It’s not always easy but if you don’t know where your money is going you’ll find it pretty much impossible to keep it under control. Tracking your spending will help you determine whether the things you’re buying are the things you really care about.
Next – baby food. Those little jars of mush in the supermarket really add up cost-wise but with a food processor you can make your own low cost, healthy baby food (with no nasty additives). Buzzfeed has some great baby food recipes that are fast and easy.
Nappies are a huge expense that can’t be avoided unless you have the time to use cloth nappies that can be sanitised, washed and reused. If you’re buying disposable, look for cheap nappies and buy in bulk. It’s also a good idea to wait until baby outgrows the current size you’re using before moving up a size as the bigger the nappy the higher the price. Babies do grow pretty fast though, so while buying in bulk is a good idea, stockpiling a certain size definitely isn’t. Don’t forget to join a rewards program if it’s available – for example, Huggies have a program where you collect virtual stars that can be redeemed for toys.
We all want what’s best for our children but that doesn’t mean everything has to be brand new. From nursery furniture, equipment and clothing there are loads of options to buy, borrow or rent pre-loved and save a bundle. Find second hand baby furniture on Gumtree or at your local Vinnies store, and Tree Hut Village is a good place to find out if someone near you has a baby item that you can borrow (for a small fee).
Don’t forget the freebies! There are loads of free samples and bounty bags available for new mums so make sure you don’t miss out. Fortunately Stay at Home Mum has done all the legwork to find all the best sites to sign up for your free baby stuff, so head on over there and take a look at what you can get.
Your local library is a great place to head to with baby so make sure your look up all the activities that are available. Regular events such as Baby Rhyme Time, Story Time and Toddler Time (or whatever is available from your library) are fun, free and educational.
If there’s more than just a crying baby keeping you awake at night and you’re under a bit of financial pressure now that your new addition has arrived, make sure you check out our flexible mini loans to find out how easy it is to get some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, we can usually get a payment into your bank account within 24 hours - so you can stop worrying about your finances and start getting some sleep at night!