f your current state is breathing into a paper bag while panicking about the costs of having a baby (or another baby), you can cut that out right now. You’re going to be okay. Mums are some of the craftiest, thriftiest people on the face of this earth. It’s like it’s wired into our DNA. Seriously, you’ve got this.
Here are some practical, mum-approved money-saving hacks to help you slim down your baby budget.
Reuse and recycle
You don’t need the latest $4,000 pram to enjoy your baby, or to keep them happy and healthy. Hell, you don’t even need a brand new one! Here are a few ways you can save by recycling.
- Buy secondhand: Find good clothes, toys and books in op shops, or scour Facebook Marketplace if you’re looking for something specific. You’ll often come across decent brands (Oh, hello Country Road!) in really good condition.
- Literally scour the streets: We don’t necessarily suggest dumpster diving (that’s taking it a bit far), but lots of families in the suburbs leave unwanted toys and furniture by the side of the road. Some of it is in pretty good nick too! Just be sure to clean anything down thoroughly if you decide to bring it home.
- Hand-me-downs: Older siblings, cousins, or your friends’ children are a great place to source the classic hand-me-down. Reuse those cute little clothes again and again for freeee.
- Toy/book swaps: Get your mother’s group together and ask everyone to bring toys or books that their babies are bored with. Then get swapping. A book your baby has read a billion times is hours of entertainment for another.
- Invest in reusable nappies: Cloth nappies may cost a bit more to buy upfront, but they last for ages. They can save you about $1,000 per year as opposed to using disposable nappies, and we can’t even fathom how many nappies you’ll save from landfill.
Rent or hire
The thing with babies is they don’t stay babies for very long. A lot of the things you’ll invest in for your baby (change table, cot, toys) will only be used for a couple of years. Renting can be a good way to cut down on costs rather than buying things outright.
Here are some examples.
- Toy libraries: These are stocked with well-made, educational toys for different age groups. You can even hire out larger items like bikes and slides. Many toy libraries charge an annual subscription fee which is cheaper than buying new toys, and you just return them when you’re done.
- Baby equipment rental: Some companies like Hire for Baby allow you to hire out things like car seats, cots, prams and more. You’d need to work out if the cost will save you in the long run, versus if you were to buy something and use it for seven years with three different children. But baby hire can be great if you need to save cash upfront.
Sell things you’re finished with
You can always make back some of your money by selling things you don’t need anymore. For example, when your baby grows out of its bassinet or capsule. Throw it up on Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree or Ebay, and chances are you’ll find another thrifty mum who’ll gladly take it off your hands.
BUT don’t skimp out on these important things
There are some things you shouldn’t try to save money on when it comes to your baby.
- Hygiene: Making sure you’ve got new, clean bottles, for example, is super important. You can often safely use a second hand breast pump as long as all the equipment that touches your milk is new and sterilised.
- Safety: When looking for things like a high chair or car seat, you need features that will help your little one stay supported and safe. While you don’t need to buy top of the range items, and secondhand often works fine, make sure you invest in safe, age-appropriate equipment for your bub. If you’re looking for a secondhand car seat, for example, make sure the listing specifies that it complies with Australian safety standards.
- Healthcare: It’s important that your baby has their regular developmental checkups and that you visit the GP if they’re showing symptoms or if you’re feeling worried about their health. In saying that, you can find clinics that bulk bill, so if you’re worried about costs ask your doctor if they can do this for you.
Happy saving mama!
Have any other great saving tips? Share in the comments.