Our family recently acquired our newest addition, a fourth child. Having a baby does not have to be expensive. I think we MAKE it expensive with all of the new furniture, blankets, room decorations, etc. To me, it is simple we do not live beyond our means which means second hand stuff works just as good. If it is free it works even better!
Too many times we get stressed out over money and if we think back to when our parents were children, incomes were not as high as they are now, and that did not stop them from having childern. There is always a way to save money, the key is how.
Instead of looking at our expenses I am looking at the opportunity as a challenge. None of our lifestyle will dramatically change I have to change how I think about it and develop a plan of action.
My first step was to look at all of the ways having a baby would be expensive, and then made it my mission to address each step to get more savings. Having more than one child should not break the bank it should allow for room to grow with financial savvy.
Used hand me down baby clothes from our last two boys that were taken very good care of will be used again. I have them all marked by the size and are easily accessible. When we do need new clothes I will go to the goodwill on 50% off day and shop for the next season of clothes. They are usually in good condition and if not then I don’t buy them. After that I take my list and go to a few secondhand children’s shops to finish my list. For the younger boys I can shop at garage sales, but not for my five year old and 15 year old. The clothes by this stage are pretty worn out. Before I buy anything I use a list. As I weed out old clothes that are ready for the next child I will keep a running list of what I need. For example: If my 3 year old has 10 pairs of play pants then he is good on pants. Then, I check our church clothes for how many pairs of dress pants he owns. If he has two then we are good on pants. I use the same system for shirts, socks, and shoes. For each person in the family I try to keep us at about 8 outfits each.
We have an abundance of toys. From Christmas, birthdays and garage sales we are overloaded in this area. My advice is to definitely save money and buy toys second hand. Since my first child I have had the rule of no toys except for birthdays and christmas. Still, after 3 children that are all boys I have managed to save toys from each one at each age. No money spent in this area.
Newborn babies go through a TON of diapers. I use cloth diapers as much as I can through the day. Actually, I love cloth diapers because they are easier for me to maintain and I know that I am not throwing my money in the trash can. (I feel the same way about toilet paper but no one has come up with a better solution)!
For my cloth diapers I went to a consignment shop and bought all of mine used. For each diaper I did not pay more than $5.00. Compared to new ones that can cost between $15.00 and $20.00 each. These had no stains and were extra padded for wetness.
This is the most natural and healthy way to go. After doing the math for six month of breastfeeding I will save over $600.00. My baby is healthier and we get to have a close connection that no one else gets with him. Between breastfeeding and diapering with cloth this alone will save over $1000.00 in the first six months.
I did not breastfeed my first because I was young and vain, and with my second it was very hard so I quit at two months. By the time my third came around I figured it out and utilized the hospitals lactation consultant so that I could make this work. For him I was able to breastfeed for six months. This baby I hope to continue until he is at least one year old. At least that is my goal.
Utilize this free service. They are paid to help you learn to breastfeed so that it will be an enjoyable experience!
BUY USED EQUIPMENT
I will buy used baby swings, exersaucers, bouncy seats, carriers, blankets etc. from a consignment shop. I know that they still have to look into the safety guidelines for the equipment. I will not buy a baby bed used, but will shop for sales and coupons. There are certain things like beds and mattresses that I will pay a little more so that I feel safe using them.
Usually if friends are done having children they will pass down their used items. This is my favorite way to get baby equipment because it is free!
Babies do bring expenses, but I feel that doesn’t happen until they are older….like 4. The real expense starts when they go to school or start to homeschool, sports etc. Feel free to add any additional thoughts on ways to save money with a baby that I missed!
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