Something happens when we see that first plus sign (or double line, depending on your test) and it seems like all our money goes to the new baby!
Last post I talked about why it was important to save or set aside money to attend a childbirth class like our Birth Boot Camp. Now let's talk about HOW!
Stash the Cash
Before we talk about how, let's talk about where to put that extra savings! Open up a Tax-Free Savings account and call it your Baby Fund, or something a little more fun. A separate account like this will make you think twice before removing funds for something frivolous. Or go old school with a piggy bank that you need to beak open! Even a mason jar can help make it easy to keep the extra money separate.
Trade Lunch for Savings
If you work outside of the home, it's easy to get into the habit of eating lunch or grabbing that snack or daily coffee at the place close by. Sadly, its an expensive habit! You can cut your costs by packing your lunch with leftovers or easy fixings. Not only will your wallet thank you, but your body will too as many to go type meals are high in salt and bad fats. You can increase your protein, good fats and good carbohydrates with your made at home (and with love) meals.
We love (happy) chickens in our home. In order to save money, we purchase whole chickens in bulk (10 at a time). Roasting a whole chicken is super easy and makes several meals worth of chicken all ready to go! Stir fries, sandwiches, fajitas, soups...just added the already cooked meat! Plus, make your own bone broth with the bones for extra health and savings!
Used is the New Cool
There are a number of items that you can pick up on the local Facebook swap groups, Kijiji or from friends that will save you big money and still be safe. Strollers, baby carriers, cloth diapers, clothing and toys can be found at great prices. Inspect EVERYTHING before you buy and be safe when meeting up with strangers. The one item I would never recommend you buy used is a car seat. But maternity clothes...head to the consignment shop! Baby & Me in Calgary has an awesome selection of consignment maternity for all sizes!
Less is More
There are so many cool gadgets and STUFF on the market for babies and new parents. Are these things really needed? Not really. Talk to your mommy and daddy friends about what stuff they actually used and scope out the minimal homes blogs for ideas.
Baby Clothing: Minimize
The strangest thing happens with baby clothing...they never wear half of what they have. Check out your local second hand kids store and see the numerous baby sets still with tags. Sure, you end up changing baby frequently (especially with poo-numis and disposable diapers), but expanding beyond the usual repertoire of a sleeper or onesie (weather dependent) is rare. Take the hand-me-downs your friends offer or hit up the second hand stores.
Hold onto your hats, this is going to get real...what if you didn't set up a nursery? What if baby didn't have her own fancy and decorated room? What if you didn't have a change table or you set a used one up in your living area? What if there was no crib and you co-slept with baby? There are so many alternatives to the traditional and expensive baby's room. Pinterest has some amazing set-up ideas for inspiration to think outside the box.
Register with Meaning
Finally, take advantage of a registry for your babe, but do it with purpose. If you are going to use one, try one of the many online versions that you can input from many local stores the EXACT items you would like. Do not put silly or not truly needed stuff on it!! If you want to be taken seriously, use it properly. Direct people to use it and ask repeatedly that they do use it to select a gift if you have one. You can even add your birth class (select it early enough) to the registry for a great group purchase!
I hope these few suggestions will inspire you to save money for your new baby and ensure you are putting the cash down for the priority items. What items are a priority for you and your partner? How have you saved money creatively? Please share with us in the comments section as it may help someone!
With Love and Light,