A baby comes with a huge price tag. And now that your little bundle of joy has finally arrived, don’t be caught off guard by the new expenses in your life. Follow our top tips to avoid blowing your budget.
1. Shopping smarts
Beware of the tricks aimed at parting you from your cash. "Shops place the more affordable items at the back of the store, so you have to walk past more expensive goods first," points out Martin Lindstrom, author of Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy. Make a list, stay focused, and pick up what you need, then make a beeline for the cashier.
2. Save on diapers
Supermarkets usually carry value brands as well as premium ones. Save up on your bill by dropping one brand level or do what mum-of-two Cassandra Lim did. "I chose to put my babies in nappies because I had a helper who did the washing daily," Lim recalls. "Not only did I save a lot, but I think it played a part in my children being toilet-trained earlier."
3. Save on milk formula
Yes, by breastfeeding. What could be better than feeding your little fella with the nutritious goodness of your own milk. It's free and you won't have any bottles to wash!
4. Stock up on bargains
During a sale! Get awesome discounts on toddler clothes, even though you still have a newborn. Snap up the clothes in one size bigger and roll up sleeves and legs to fit — they will also last longer.
5. Customise it
Speaking of clothes... If you're alarmed at how fast bubba's growing out of his gorgeous (and expensive) sleepsuit, snip off the foot covering to extend their use.
6. Allow for treats
Enjoy a guilt-free latte when bub has finally dropped off and you have some "me" time. Focus on saving on the big stuff, like your energy bills and treat yourself to something nice and inexpensive. Also, a happy mummy means a happy baby!
7. Save on a crib
A decent one costs about $400. So, ask if you can borrow one from a friend, or score a good deal at baby fairs.
8. Create a baby monitor
It's easy and it's free! Use your laptop, a webcam and create a Skype account for your sweetie.
9. Pass on a new diaper bag
Keep diapers and wet wipes in your usual tote (it should be spacious) in reusable and re-sealable zipper storage bags. Pack baby bottles in an insulated bottle holder.