Raising a baby on a budget is one of the toughest things. One thing you must know is that a baby will bring a financial strain in your life. That does not mean that it will always have to be like that. One must learn to save money and take care of a child on a budget. That way, you have enough to save for future needs and emergencies.
Not only was this inspired by the Stories of Innovation week in the Afrobloggers #WinterABC2022 festival. I also happened to see a question on one of my Reddit groups. A lady asked how people are able to afford having a baby. She found out she’s pregnant and that she is in her second trimester.
Also, it important that we have this chat as we are currently facing a world recession. Our economies are crumbling right before our eyes. Prices are going up, you blink and the price of commodities has gone up. Having a baby just does not seem feasible. For those us with kids, we need to learn ways to make sure we are living on a budget.
Often times, we see some cute clothes and make impulse purchases for our babies. Here are 5 ways I have learned to care for Evan on a budget, hopefully these tips can help you too.
How To Take Care Of Your Baby on A Budget
Baby on a Budget: Thrifting
One of the things that makes us happy is buying that new outfit for our baby. Unfortunately, baby clothes are not cost-saving friendly, they tend to be costly. Often, they do not take long before the cute humans outgrow them and need another set of clothes. When you calculate how much you spend on them in the first year alone, you start to realize that a chunk of your money has been spent on clothes alone.
One thing you should know is that it alright to buy second-hand clothing to make sure you stick to budget. Personally, I love to go to our market or Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) stores to thrift shop. My aim is to always buy clothes that still look almost new.
The secret is to wash them thoroughly, then make them sit in some much needed baby soft. This has worked for me since I had Evan, and I do not intend to stop.
Sell Outgrown Clothes
How I chose to dispose Evan’s outgrown clothes is giving them to my other mom friends whose babies are younger than mine. Or have a smaller build than mine. However, there are other clothes that I choose to sell them off. I sell these clothes on Facebook groups.
That money is used to purchase new clothes for Evan. That way, I do not have to worry about losing so much money in clothes that he has worn for minutes.
What I do before I sell them off is to wash them and make them sit in baby soft, that way the other mommy does not have to worry. If you also decide to do this, I advise to really care for your baby’s clothes.
Baby on a Budget: Make Baby Food
When I had introduced solids in Evan’s diet, I was obsessed in feeding him processed purees. After a quick calculation on how much I was losing to that alone, I realized it was higher than it was feasible. That made me start reading on how I could make my own baby food.
Currently, I make all the baby food. Because I have hectic days, the plan is to always make foods that are enough for a week and then heat them when needed. That way, not only am I saving money, but also making sure my baby eats healthier.
If you want to start your journey on making baby food, I recommend checking Yummy Toddler Food because it has been so helpful to me.
Second Hand Baby Gear
One of the most expensive things for babies are their gear. Purchasing the baby crib, stroller, car seat, etc are expensive. Buying them brand new is fun, but you will have to be ready for the chunk of money you will have to depart with. To save, I would advise to buy second hand gear.
I wish I had done this when I needed to get a crib. However, I still went in a cost-saving route. What I had done was buy palettes from Cashbuild, I spent a total of MK30,000 ($29) for ten big ones. With those, I was able to have a carpenter make my baby’s crib, my bed, and a head board. The labor for that was close to MK100,000 ($90).
I bought a second hand car seat, and totally did not buy a stroller because I saw no need for it at the time. I hardly leave the house, so never need it to be honest.
Even baby books can be second-hand.
Baby on a Budget: Manual Breast Pumps
The idea of owning an electric breast pump is awesome, but it is also costly. A Good alternative is having a manual breast pump which is way cheaper and still gets the job done.
Fun fact, you can also use a hakaa as a pump and it will work just fine. The goal should be to make sure you are saving as much as possible.
Always go for sales. I have learned to go to Game stores for their Thursday sales just so I can buy Huggies diapers at a cheaper price. I often look at upcoming sales at various supermarkets and check if any of the baby’s products will be on sale. I find that I am able to save way more than ever.
Another tip is to make sure that you are saving for your baby’s education or future health costs in advance.
Have other tips, share them in the comment section below.