Preparing for a baby goes beyond buying cute tiny outfits and those heartwarming ultrasound photos. A lot of financial preparation is required right from the day of conception to birth and nursing. The baby’s cost continues to grow as they grow. It is a lifetime commitment and responsibility.
Therefore, you want to make sure you save from every corner to avoid denting your wallet. Remember, your little bundle of joy may not have a lot of financial needs initially, but you are likely to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of details, terms, and information that could blow your expenditure.
It can be a lot to take in, not to mention tons of friends, family, and neighbors with opinions on what you should and shouldn’t buy. Keep in mind that everyone’s lifestyle is different; what may work for someone else may not work for you.
However, with a little planning and budgeting, your savings account will not only remain intact but brimming with money as your heart is with love.
With that in mind, here are four pregnancy tips for first-time moms:
Create a Baby Shopping List
For a first-time mom, the excitement of discovering you are pregnant can lead you to drop at the nearby baby store and purchase several miscellaneous. While there is no problem with this, it can quickly sink you into a financial crisis even before your baby is born.
Never underestimate the power of a shopping list. It will not only remind you of everything you need to buy but also enable you to buy only what is necessary. The list of baby items is endless; some are necessary, some are not. Others, your baby may have to wait until they are a bit older to use. A list will help you stay in focus and guide you on what to buy before the baby is born and what not to buy until the baby comes.
Understand Your Hospital Expenses
Your health should be your number one priority. If you are lucky to have health insurance and maternity insurance, it’s time to review the policy and understand what is covered. Your pregnancy will involve regular visits to the doctor and sometimes to the gynecologist, which can take a toll on your wallet if you are not prepared.
You can enquire the cost of giving birth, an early pregnancy scan, lab tests, and prenatal vitamins from your doctor and calculate the amount of money you will need to set aside for this. If you are carrying a precarious pregnancy, your doctor may recommend taking an ultrasound exam every monthly visit. Most health insurance policies cover ultrasounds. Check with your hospital and find out if they are covered to update your budget.
Giving birth can also skyrocket your budget, especially if it is a cesarean surgery or if there are complications during delivery. Don’t forget there will be other postnatal care, pediatrician visits and potential medication that will arise when the baby arrives.
Consider Buying or Borrowing Second-Hand Items
There is absolutely no problem in buying or borrowing used items. In fact, you should avoid purchasing some items if you can borrow from friends. Look for opportunities that will give you value for your money. If you have relatives or friends who had a baby before, they could have plenty of items they don’t need, and this can be your chance to buy them at discounted prices or, if you are lucky, get them for free.
Baby items such as strollers, car seats, toys, and even cots can be swapped or bought at a second-hand store. You might be surprised at how much money you save and still get everything on your list.
Buy Some Things in Bulk and Stock
In their first years, the babies will use diapers, which are well accompanied by wipes. The average baby uses an average of 6 to ten diapers a day. If you are not going to breastfeed exclusively, formula may come in to feed your baby for the first few months. All these items can be bought in bulk, and you can actually get them at wholesale prices, depending on the amount you need.
Remember not to buy too early into the pregnancy or too much, to avoid getting caught up with the expiry. For disposable diapers, consider going for bigger sizes as opposed to the small sizes. You never know the rate at which your baby will grow. Additionally, take advantage of discounts offered every other time, such as Black Friday offers on giant retail sites such as Amazon and shop in bulk during that period.
When your baby arrives, the last thing you want is to start directing your energy and time on financial matters. If you are not financially organized, you end up being stressed and worried, which negatively affects the pregnancy. Eliminating financial worries can help you, and your spouse rest better and enjoy your journey to parenthood. Don’t forget what your baby needs most–your love!
*Photos by Jonathan Borba.