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Spending with a newborn!
Preparing for Birth On a Budget
Member Name: stephbond89
Preparing for Birth On a Budget
Advantages: You don't need as much as you think!
Disadvantages: Too many unneccesay things on the market!
So you got those two blue lines on the little white stick- you're heart is racing, your so excited to meet your little one even though it is still 9 months away. The thoughts of telling your parents, of letting your friends and partner know, but then it hits you, oh gosh, what are you going to do for money? You'll have to give up work for at least a few months, and get a fraction of your wages, you'll have a new mouth to feed, and what about all the STUFF the baby needs! How on earth will you afford it all!!!
Well not to worry- I just had my first baby, I don't work (though my husband does but with a relatively low income), and I managed to get everything my daughter needs without spending a fortune!!
First, write a SENSIBLE list of what the baby actually needs. There are so many pointless things on the market which you don't need for the baby...so don't worry about skinting yourself for them!! Here is a sensible list of what you really need for the baby:
Moses Basket and Stand
Sterilizer (you could just buy a large bowl or bucket and use sterilising tabs or fluid)
6-12 bottles and teats
6-12 newborn vests
4-6 newborn sleepsuits
3-4 baby towels
a warm coat or jumper
plenty of mittens (70p for a set of 2 in Asda!)
1-2 newborn sized hats
a changing bag
a changing mat
baby bath or seat/float for the big bath
breast pump (if breastfeeding)
car seat (if you have a car!)
pram (you may be best getting a travel system if you are going to be using the car seat a lot).
Nightlight (may not sound necessary but for me if was a must have as baby is scared of the dark!!!!!)
I would also get a few outfits in a slightly bigger size incase baby is too big for newborn clothes- they will grow into them, but dont make the mistake I did and only buy 0-3 month clothes, as my baby had no clothes which fit right until I got out to go shopping!!!
OPf course there are hundreds of other things you CAN get, but you don't have to get them things like a baby sling, nappy disposal unit, changing station, warderobe etc.
I would also stockpile on nappies and baby lotions and wash in sales etc running up to the birth!!!!!
Ok now for the saving money part!!!
First off make sure you are gettig everything you are entitled to. If you leave work during your pregnancty after 22 weeks (so long as youhave worked for them for the qualifying period), you may be entitiled to Maternity Allowance instead of Maternity Pay. If you are signed off work with sickness in pregnancy, you may be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance.
Then there are the grants, at the moment all pregnant women get £190 in Health in Pregnancy Grant (this ends in April 2011 due to government cuts), all women get this at their 25th week of pregnancy regardless of your circumstance.
For those on low incomes, you may qualify for the Surestart Maternity Grant which is £500 (you can only get ONE of the grants!). So be sure to look into these grants and benefits before worrying too much.
Now on to buying things. Consider looking on websites like Freecycle.org this is a website where people offer items free of charge- I got a sterilizer and changing mat which goes over the cot off there, but there were other things offered which I wasn't quick enough to get; cots, moses baskets etc! All you'd need is a new mattress for these items!!!
Look on Ebay! I got a GORGEOUS moses basket and a rocking stand for just £10!!!!!!!!!! RRP was £100! I was ecstatic although a moses basket and stand only usually cost around £30 brand new, I had a saving of £20 AND I had the moses basket stand I wanted which I would never have been able to afford otherwise.
People sell most things they had for their babies especially if like me they could not store their items after the baby was too big for them and most are happy to sell them cheap for mums to be like me who couldn't afford much!
The pram tends to be the biggest expense, most travel systems are over £300, we had no chance and I was annoyed that after she had grown out of it, I would have to sell it at a much lower price than I had paid as I would never have the room to store it for IF we ever had another baby.
I very luckily found a beautiful Mamas and Papas Freestyler travel system for just £50 with the car seat and in amazing condition! A good £300 less than the RRP even though it was hardly used!!! Meaning when my daughter is too big, it won't be a huge expense down the drain.
Look in the sales for baby clothes: don't spend £10 for a tiny dress or £15 for a couple of baby grows, look in the sale items in the likes of Asda, you'll get the clothes half the price!!!
Ask family and friends for their old baby items, most parents keep the clothes and cot etc for their next baby even long after they've decided on no more children and will usually be very willing to give it to you for nothing, it's always worth asking!
Try putting £10 a week away for when the baby is born, if you do this over 8 months around 36 weeks, this is £360..and will definitely help you out in the first few weeks until your tax credits and child benefit are sorted, for me it was 5 weeks before it was paid to me, if I hadn't had my mum lending me £25 a week until I got my money through I would have been very stuck for buying nappies and milk, so if I was to do it again, I would definitely put £10 a week away to help in those first few weeks!
I really hope these tips help mums to be, been pregnant is an exciting and scary time, don't worry about spending thousands of pounds on your babies cot...they won't remember it...and nobody will see it apart from you and your partner! Don't buy into the gadgets and gizmos which you probably won't use...just buy the necessities and if you find you have the money spare, you can buy the extras then!!!
Summary: Just buy the essentials!!!
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