the first in my 'budgeting for' series.....having a baby on a budget is my experience of having a baby when money is very tight.
Planning for a baby is one of those hotly debated topics, the cost of having children is constantly growing and preparing for your new arrival can easily become a huge expense . If like me and my husband you do not have savings or an bottomless pit of money to buy all your new baby essentials then you need to get shopping around.
It is always great if you are able to re-use baby things from another child or borrow things from people you know, but I myself wanted certain things to be new and as my children are a boy and a girl it wasn't always possible to use the baby things I had for my son.
My excitement in making one of my 'lists' for baby things we needed when we fell pregnant, was soon diminished when I added up roughly how much it would all cost. I was very disheartened and felt like I had fallen at the first hurdle.
Sadly the things on our list were most of the big things ......
looking at this list made me want to cry, how could we possibly afford all of this on our very limited budget?
this list didn't even include the smaller things like clothes, toiletries and 'less important but would like to have' things.
so starting with the big things I began to shop around. A simple search in google is a good place to start, the results for anything you search for can be sorted by type so go to shopping
this will show you all shopping results found on the item you entered
you can now filter the results by brand, price etc. Once you have an idea of which item you like the look of, take a note of the price with one of the larger stores that sell it. This will be for price comparison.
There are many sites that you can use to compare prices, my favourites are :
- kelkoo, great for really narrowing down your search
- amazon, with millions of products to search through you're pretty much guaranteed to find what you are looking for
- ebay, very good for getting a good deal on the products you want.
use any of the above sites to get the best deal available. When you have a cheaper price than you first found note, it down along with the retailer/web site and compare again with that price.
Once you are happy that you have the best deal for you, check that the product has everything you need (sometimes a cheaper price is because some items included from a main retailer may not be included).
and that's it, you will hopefully have got the best deal available and saved yourself a few £'s too.
Looking back at my list earlier how much did I save on the bigger buys? and where did I get them from ?
well, my pushchair was from a retailer on ebay and buying the complete travel system which included the car seat and all extras like changing bag and car seat (which was actually free) I saved..................£201
the baby monitor I originally wanted was very expensive and I eventually decided to get a new model to the one I had for my son, I managed to get the tommee tippee closer to nature digital sensor mat monitor from mothercare on offer so saved £40
I also found a great deal on POD steriliser from mothercare, which I loved and was well worth hunting for.
the grand total I saved on my original price of £873 was around £300, which meant we had some spare money to buy a few gorgeous bits and bobs for our new arrival.
Spending on a budget doesn't need to be a nightmare, it is a great feeling when you have saved yourself some money and still got what you were after.
Have you got any tips on shopping around? What have been your best buys on baby essentials?