Raising Baby On A Budget: The First Year

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Mom knows best! At least that’s what I thought until I started shopping for my baby. Suddenly I was like Rebecca Bloomwood in Confessions of a Shopaholic. There’s so much to buy and so little time. It was natural to splurge on all that I could get my hands on once I entered the baby aisle. Oh, all the cute, exciting, and not-so-relevant things they have to offer. I had lost count on the number of things I bought thinking “I might use it one day.” And the classic “Everyone’s getting one. So why shouldn’t I?” And there’s nothing that lures a Mama like me inside than SALE written in big red letters. That’s the absolute worst. That’s when my mind plays a trick on me thinking that I’m actually saving tons by buying everything on discount prices. But did my son ever play with it? No. Or did I ever use it more than once? No. And, boy, did I go overboard buying in bulk!

So, here’s from a mom who has bought many things for her baby thinking one day it might be useful but never was. Here’s from a mom who wanted the best stuff for her baby and realized that my baby doesn’t need that many products to remain happy and healthy. So here goes: How to raise your baby on a budget the first year…

Tip 1: Take A Sneak Peek Into Your Finances

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This is the first thing that you ought to do before the baby arrives. And if you are on maternity leave, then it’s likely that your take-home pay would be a little less. So start thinking about ways you can cut back on your monthly expenses. Because now that you have an additional member in your family, you should know how to make things work on a smaller budget. Don’t worry, with some planning, you and your baby will be fine.

Tip 2: Make It Homemade

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Once your baby starts on solid foods, it’s best to make it yourself instead of buying prepackaged baby food. Not only will you be saving money, but it is also more healthy and organic.

Tip 3: Say Yes To Breastfeeding

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I’m sure you know all about how breast milk is the best milk. But it can also save you tons of money. Not everyone can breastfeed due to several reasons, and that’s okay. But if you can, you will be saving a lot of money by breastfeeding your baby.

Tip 4: Think Before You Buy Anything

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Don’t buy anything unless you really need it or if it’s going to make your life easy. There will be many things shiny and new when you go shopping. And if a product is made specifically for babies, then there’s no looking back. But before you do that impulse buy, think if you really need it. Or if it would matter in your baby’s life. Here’s a tip – if you have to convince yourself really hard to buy a product, then you probably don’t need it.

Tip 5: Accept Hand-Me-Downs

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If you have more than one child, then you’re in luck. You can use their crib, car seat, toys, and dresses that you have piled up in your garage. Unless it’s worn out or damaged, go ahead and make the smart choice of using it for your baby. You can also get used items from your close friends and family members if they want to give it away.

Tip 6: Lookout For Sale

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Buy things you need in bulk when it’s on sale. I know what I said about sales earlier. But sales are a great way to live on a budget as you will be able to shop more on discount rates. But make sure you don’t go overboard. Buy only those things that will be of value no matter how attractive the offer price looks.

Raising your baby on a budget won’t be stressful if you follow all the 6 tips that I have shared with you. And especially in the first year since your baby doesn’t care about the kind of toys he/she gets to play with or how expensive they are. Focus more on being there for your baby and raising a happy child.

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Mitha Shameer

Mitha is passionate about writing on topics related to women and children. She loves to present the brighter side of life to her readers in the form of her articles. She writes on games, stories, arts & craft, celebrations and more for MomJunction. When she isn't glued to online shopping websites, she loves reading books and watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S.