There is a myth out there that having a new baby is really expensive. I am sure it can be, but in my experience it definitely doesn’t need to be. I was worried, as a solo mum and the only provider, how much I was going to have to spend to prepare for my baby’s birth and all the equipment that I would need.

I’ve actually not found this to be the case at all.  I’ve managed to quite easily to stick to a very small budget. I also try to stick to reduce, reuse, recycle principles where I can, so this was a good opportunity to put that into action.

Here are my tips:

Hand me downs

I’m really lucky that I have lots of friends who’ve already had children and they were in the position to give me hand me downs that they no longer needed. I would say that this has been my main source of kitting myself out. I’ve been given clothes, a sling, cots, moses basket, baby bath, books, blankets and toys. I’ve found that often friends are pleased to be able to pass on the items they don’t use any more, to a good home and they love seeing them being utilised by someone else. I always send pictures of Daisy wearing outfits that are hand me downs and my friends love to see them.

People are not always sure if you’d want their old things, so make sure you let people know you’d be happy to take them off their hands.  You get what you need and they get to declutter their house! Everyone’s a winner.

Facebook market place

My best bargain to date was from Facebook market place. I bought a Silvercross Travel system with car seat, Isofix base, pram, buggy and accessories for £180. New, that would have cost over £1000. It has a few scratches and a bit of wear and tear, but overall is in great condition. Once I have finished using it, I also plan to sell it back on. My preference was to have an excellent quality second hand pram, rather than a cheap new one. Silvercross is an excellent brand and I couldn’t be happier with my purchase.

On Facebook market place you can search by location and go and see things before you pay for them, there is also the opportunity to negotiate on the price.

eBay

I have searched for a few things second hand on eBay. I got a bundle of excellent quality babygrows that had hardly been used, as babies grow out of them so quickly. They are often in immaculate condition only being worn a handful of times (or sometimes still with the tags on) before being sold on.

Generosity of friends

My lovely friends threw me a baby shower and brought me gifts for Daisy. I obviously don’t want to rely on friends , but even when I asked people not to bring gifts, they insisted that they wanted to. I received loads of really useful and thoughtful things from generous friends and family. I had shared the colour scheme of my nursery, so many of the gifts matched really well.

Charity Shops

Some charity shops stock children’s stuff and there are a few shops that are dedicated to children. There’s one of these shops in Formby, round the corner from my mum’s house, which has everything you can think of such as clothes, toys, pram’s and more. I picked up Daisy’s bouncer chair from there for £4.99. She uses it every day and totally loves it. New it would be about £50. Cost per use is crazy low and the condition of it is like new. It’s worth having a look if any charity shops near you stock children’s items and seeing if you can bag yourself a bargain.

Resisting the latest trends

You could buy the latest gizmo for every single eventuality. Social media knows you have a baby, or you’re expecting and it will pop up selling you all the latest gadgets you ‘need’. If you purchase all of these things your house will be totally cluttered and many may remain unused with much money having been spent. My top tip is to wait until after the birth for some things. Before you have your baby, especially if it is your first, it is hard to know exactly what you will need, so it can be wise to just get the essentials, then, only afterwards, it becomes clear exactly what you need and what it useful vs a nice to have. Then you can spend money on what you really need and what is a necessity for you and baby.

Every mum is different and every baby is different so what is an essential for one, might not be for another.

Choose what is important to you

Have a think about whether there’s something that’s really important to you and spend money on that area, rather than splashing out across the board. This way you spend money on the things that you value most.

 

If you follow these tips, you should be able to avoid spending loads of money and ensure you have everything you need at a fraction of the price.

I’d love to hear any further cost saving tips you have.

Categories: Finance

Mel Johnson

Founder of The Stork and I, following my path to solo motherhood.

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