The lead-up to having a baby is a seriously exciting time, but it can also be very draining on the bank balance.
Doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds, prams, cots, clothes, the list goes on. A lot of parents-to-be are left feeling stressed and under pressure wondering how they’ll ever afford it all. After three children, my husband and I now look at the cost of setting up for a new baby in a very different way to how we did when we were expecting number one, but, as they say, hindsight is a wonderful thing. It’s actually incredible how someone so small can cost so much (often before they’re even here!).
The good news is that there are a few clever ways to save when it comes to setting up for your new arrival which will still make sure you (and they) have everything they need without leaving you rocking in the corner when the credit card statement comes in.
1. Get familiar with your local buy, swap and sell sites.
Baby items like bouncers, activity centres and play mats can cost a fortune when purchased new from a store. The funny thing is, your baby will usually outgrow them before you know it, meaning there’s no need to fork out the big dollars.
People often sell these items at a hugely discounted price on local buy, swap and sell sites when their kids have outgrown them, and all it takes is a little bit of internet research. Thanks to sites like Facebook, Gumtree and eBay, you’re almost guaranteed to find what you’re after very close to home.
I purchased a brand-new activity centre (in the box) for my second son, which was a duplicate gift given to the seller for $30, when I could have walked into a baby shop on the same day and paid well over $100. Because these items have not been used for long, they’re usually in great condition, and with a quick wipe-over you’ll never be able to tell that you didn’t stress out the credit card to get it.
2. Buy for your needs.
Before my first son was born, I went crazy purchasing every possible item I could imagine a baby needing. It’s a common mistake a lot of parents make. It’s important to remember that the shops will still be there once your baby is born – and online shopping is a wonderful thing if you’re not quite ready to brave the outside world. Buy what you know that baby will need during its first few weeks at home and space out the other big-ticket items like high chairs and activity centres until you know for sure that you’ll use them.
The same goes for clothes. It’s easy to get carried away buying cute outfits, but any mum will tell you that the first few months are spent in onesies (for winter babies) and singlets and nappies in the summer. Basically anything that’s easy to change (again and again and again). It’s amazing how many items I purchased that were rarely used simply because I didn’t really know what life would be like as baby grew. Turns out I didn’t really need that mechanical nappy bin with its $35 refills – nappy sacks and a walk to the bin works just fine!
The same goes for medical care. Excuse me? Yep, you read that right. If you thought your options for having a baby were limited to public or private care you’re wrong. With the launch of ahm’s black + white boost flexi option, parents-to-be now can now be more selective with which components of private care they wish to have. As an alternative to paying for all the bells and whistles, ahm offers a bit more of a stripped-back option with a number of services and features without the huge insurance bill at the end for things that you might not consider as important.
The best way for me to describe the product is that it’s the middle ground between having a baby in the private sector and the public sector. Patients who choose the black + white boost flexi option pay a reduced premium for restricted obstetrics care. You’re still able to choose the one obstetrician to oversee the duration of your pregnancy and you’ve still got access to awesome extras like Clinical Pilates (a lifesaver in the later stages) and lactation consultants, but you’re not paying the high premiums for full obstetrics care. It’s all about paying for what you feel is important throughout your pregnancy, and saving some money on thing you might not be concerned with.
3. Ask around.
You’d be surprised how many useful baby items people have lying around their houses, gathering dust. I for one could stock an entire baby store with toys, clothes, play pens and all the other things that children need. I’m not quite ready to part with them “just in case” but for the meantime, they’re taking up space in my garage and I’d be happy to lend them out to friends who could use them.
Ask your friends and family what they have before going out and buying something, because chances are, they’re more than happy for you to borrow the bouncer or the baby bath for the few months you need it. Obviously you need to return all the items and keep them in good condition, but it’s a great way of sharing the love (and saving the expense) on things that baby will outgrow very quickly.
What is your top wallet friendly tip for any soon to be parent?
This content was created with thanks to our brand partner ahm.
At ahm we take a fresh approach to health insurance and cut out the complexity. Everything we do is about making things simpler. That’s why we offer affordable and flexible cover, so you can make the most of what matters to you. And our new boost range is no exception.
We understand that you can never fully prepare for a pregnancy or parenthood, but with ahm health insurance you can at least plan for it. Explore your options today at ahm.com.au/boost