If you’ve ever shopped in the baby aisle, you know just how easy it is to let miniature-sized items fill your cart and get the best of your budget. It’s no secret that raising a baby is expensive, but it’s also easy to spend a pretty penny when stocking up on newborn essentials and preparing a nursery. As you count down the days until your little one’s arrival, ensure your home is ready to accommodate your newborn by considering these simple ways to cut costs, not cuteness.
Research what you really need.
Read reviews. Ask questions in online forums. Talk to family, friends, and coworkers. From cribs to pacifiers, there are more opinions than you can imagine for everything and anything baby-related. Since everyone has thoughts on what worked and what didn’t, why not hear them out? Oftentimes, a higher price tag doesn’t mean higher quality. Before you spend top dollar on an item or buy something on a whim, research what is most worthwhile to invest in.
Time purchases strategically.
Once you decide what you want to buy, look for a way to get it at the lowest price possible. Be on the lookout for online flash sales and plan to purchase bigger-ticket items when you know there will be store-wide discounts, like on holiday weekends. Another way to take advantage of money-saving discounts is by completing a registry at a retailer where you can buy a variety of baby essentials. Many major retailers and websites reward you with a discount on remaining items in the registry as your due date approaches or after the baby arrives. Taking advantage of this perk may mean you have to wait to make the purchase, but why bother paying full price for something that will only collect dust until your baby arrives anyway?
Borrow instead of buy.
When browsing for newborn-specific items, like a bassinet or swing, keep in mind that your baby will outgrow these items rather quickly. Your little one will only be a baby for a little while. Before you know it, they will be on-the-move and those sleepy newborn days will be a foggy memory. If you will only use an item for a short period of time, you can save a lot of money by borrowing it from someone you know. The added advantage is that this will help you reduce excess clutter in closets, your attic, or garage when the items are no longer needed, and you want to put them away.
Make the room versatile.
The nursery should be able to adjust to your growing child quickly and easily. Make sure that the theme you pick will be relevant for an extended period of time. You will have a lot more flexibility if you opt for a more neutral theme when decorating the room. You’ll also want to be mindful of the furniture pieces you buy. An easy way to save money in the long-run is to purchase a convertible crib. Some can convert from a standard crib to a toddler bed and beyond. You can also use the top of a dresser as a make-shift changing table instead of purchasing an additional piece of furniture. No matter how you choose to set up the room, be sure to baby proof from the start by securing heavy items with wall anchors and avoid items with sharp corners.
Stick to the basics.
As you prepare to welcome your baby, especially if you are a first-time parent, it can be overwhelming to know what you really need and what is extra. The baby industry wants you to splurge on extras, and it’s easy to convince you to spend more when they know your end-goal is to give your baby the world. In the midst of all the options loaded with high-tech features, focus on practicality first and foremost. Remember, babies have been raised successfully without fancy gadgets and you aren’t less of a parent if your little one doesn’t have a top-of-the-line bassinet, wipes that are warmed, or an automatic formula mixer. Spoiler alert: they won’t even remember.
During this exciting chapter of life, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the fun of buying and preparing. But this is also the perfect time to take a close look at how much you are saving. If your cash reserve could use a quick boost, check out these simple ways that you can build your savings faster.