Having a baby is not only a life changing experience, but it can be a terrifying one as well. Not only will you have a new life that you’re responsible for, but you’re also going to have another mouth to feed, another bottom to clothe and another person to love. (Trust me, you can do this.) If you prepare a little bit before baby comes, you can make things easier on both yourself and your checkbook. Check out these 5 ways to prepare for baby without breaking the bank to help ease yourself into being a new parent.
- Control Is Key – If you don’t have a budget, or if the one you have is out of control, start working on getting that fixed as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. You can’t get your finances under control without a budget that works for you and your family. How you budget isn’t important; just as long as you have one.
- Shop Responsibly – Once you’re at a 3 or 4 month mark in your pregnancy, it’s time to start deal seeking! Make a list of what you really need for baby and start hitting up your favorite thrift stores and consignment sites for deals on baby clothes and safe baby gear (no used cribs or car seats for safety). Start following your favorite coupon blogs for deals on things like diapers, wipes, and other baby care items. Since your pregnancy is less than half over, you can take your time selecting your deals. Rushing to get a deal only leads to spending more money than you should, but shopping slowly will allow you grab only the best deals.
- Be Free – Be sure that you also sign up for all of the free samples and email lists that you possibly can as soon as you hit your 5th or 6th month of pregnancy. Companies like Pampers, Enfamil and more all offer email lists that generally will give you plenty of freebies and coupons just for signing up and will continue to send them to you as your baby grows. These will generally take between 8-12 weeks to arrive so keep that in mind when requesting.
- Cook now to save later – When you hit your 8th month of pregnancy, start cooking your meals in double batches. Eat one now and freeze the other for after the baby is born. Be sure to label them clearly and to write instructions on how to re-heat if Dad or Grandma will be the one heating them up. I realize that this may sound odd as a way to prepare for a new baby, but your new (or old) budget likely has no room for fast food every night.
- Become a Barter Queen – Bartering is by far, one of the cheapest way to get things that you need or want. Place an ad on Craigslist or get together with your friends and barter for any baby items that they may have, but not need anymore. Even if you don’t think that you have skills that they would want; I assure you that you do. Babysitting, laundry services, organization services and the like are always in high demand for bartering.
Did you do any of these when pregnant? If so, I would love to hear how they worked for you!