We show you how to save so you can afford to have a baby.
If you’re able to breastfeed, you won’t need to fork out for expensive formula, although this may be an issue that is out of your control.
Save on food
Food inflation has been in double-digit figures for the last two years, taking up a growing chunk of household budgets, so this really is one of the most important early interventions you can make. Start by planning meals for the adults in the household and buying accordingly. Where feasible, buy in bulk.
Start thinking about baby food
Though it may seem like a long time away now, it will be upon you before you can say, “Where’s the blender?” While you have the time, pick up kids’ recipe and nutrition books and start getting an idea of how to easily balance your growing child’s nutritional needs. I’ll give you not only a healthy dose of confidence but also a heads-up on techniques to save cash. You’ll soon realise that a young baby’s dietary requirements don’t necessitate cooking multiple dishes for every meal.
If you plan to carry on working for most of your pregnancy, get a lift to work and share petrol costs. Depending on your personal circumstances, this could apply to you and your partner, and you’d both be doing the planet a favour, too.
Learn to question if you really need an item
You don’t need the designer luggage or silk curtains for the baby’s room.
Don’t spend a lot on maternity wear
Just get a few basics. You can actually wear normal clothes for most of the pregnancy, buying only a few key items. Investing in a Yummy Mummy Tummy will allow you to keep wearing your trousers and skirts (undone) until late in your pregnancy.
Stock up on nappies
Buy one pack of nappies every month you are pregnant so you have a stock when baby comes and money is tight.
Make a wish list for your baby shower
Everyone wants to buy you something but there is no point in having 10 pairs of socks your newborn won’t wear while you are short of babygros. Tell whoever throws it for you what you need, or sign up for a baby shower registry at one of the large baby retailers.
Don't remove labels
Don’t unwrap or remove labels from clothes unless you know you will use them. That way you can return it and exchange for something you do need.
Become part of the baby-go-round. Accept offers of second-hand items with gratitude and return or pass them on when you’re done. Pop into one of the many good second-hand baby goods dealers around the country, or visit websites like Gumtree or Junkmail. You might get high-end items for much less.
It is, however, wise to be more discerning with second-hand car seats, especially those whose accident history you don’t know. If you’re not sure whether you will need an item, wait and see, or ask other moms about their experiences. You don’t need everything as soon as baby comes home. A high chair, for instance, is only necessary at six months.
Scale down on scans
Discuss with your doctor which scans are essential and which are just nice to have, and so cut down on medical expenses.
Depending on your finances and medical insurance coverage, you may consider taking your baby to free post-birth state/government clinics rather than private facilities when it’s time for follow-up weigh-ins and vaccinations.
Take up babysitting offers
Give great consideration to your support network. Obliging babysitters hold the key to you reclaiming your sense of self. Use them. Paying for the same service can cost a fortune.
To read more, read "All about UIF".
Your pregnancy hormones may send you deeper into la-la-land as the months go by, but you can rest easy knowing that you’ve covered your financial bases.