Guest Blog – Four Ways to Embrace Pregnancy and Keep Your Budget Down
Guest Blog by Emily Graham of MightyMoms
Parenting is not cheap. There are medical costs, baby gear, childcare, and a new wardrobe to buy. It’s inevitable that having a baby is going to up your expenses and reduce your savings, but there are ways to keep your spending down. If you’re going to become a mother this year, start thinking now about budget-friendly ways to usher in your new family’s life without suffering financial setbacks.
Embrace the Baby Shower
You’ve probably already had a friend or relative offer to throw you a baby shower as it gets closer to your due date. If you’re unsure about whether to let someone pamper you, the answer is: Do it! Baby showers are a time for your village to come together to welcome and support your baby. The people in your life who will love and cherish your baby want to contribute. This is the time to let them, even if you initially feel uncomfortable accepting gifts. Consider pooling a fund to hire a postpartum doula or plan or ask someone to plan a postpartum shower.
Embrace the Registry
Be pragmatic about what to put on your baby registry. You don’t need to put $10 items that you could buy yourself. Instead, think about bigger items that you wouldn’t consider buying out of pocket, but you’d be more than happy to own. You can even break expensive items down into group gifts. Some strollers cost several hundred dollars, but your gift-givers can buy smaller parts, like trays, wheels, and covers. If you’d like to make the registry more accessible for your friends who are struggling to make ends meet, add a few cheaper items that they can select.
Be sure to research the items that are currently on the market. Learn about all the different products, and check out reviews and recommendations to see which brands and styles you should buy. The baby and maternity market is saturated with useful items, and new baby gear comes out constantly to make life easier, including high-tech monitors and self-warming bottles. One mistake that many expectant parents make is only putting newborn items on the registry, and after a few months into the baby’s life, they realize that there are things they don’t have. Think about what you’ll need down the line at six months, nine months, and one year. At six months, for example, your baby will start eating solids (or pureed food), and a blender could come in handy for that.
Embrace the Mom Body
“Mom bods” are a real thing that require a new wardrobe, such as post-pregnancy clothes, belly bands, and nursing bras. The post-pregnancy stage is a tricky place to be in, because maternity clothes might be too big, and pre-pregnancy clothes might be too small. Rather than buying an expensive wardrobe for this phase in your life, look for coupons online and at discount retailers, or wear clothes from your earlier trimesters. Nursing bras have a specific purpose: they allow you to nurse without removing the bra. You can find sales and deals for nursing bras online, including promotions for bundling your purchase. With nursing and leakage around the clock, you’ll want clean bras in your closet. Even when you’re no longer breastfeeding, the bras are still comfortable enough to continue wearing.
Embrace the Sales
Everywhere you turn, there’s a sale online. With promo codes, email newsletter discounts, and coupons that arrive in the mail, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a deal for whatever you need. It could be maternity clothing, prenatal vitamins, or items that you didn’t put on your registry. This doesn’t mean that you have to let the sales lure you into buying things that you don’t need. Stick to only what you need, and use the sales to make your purchases more economical.
Pregnancy is the time for your body to prepare for baby and your mind to prepare for parenthood. Your life will change and time will slip away once the baby comes, so use this time wisely to make a budget, stick to the plan, and find ways to save money. Parenthood means having to embrace a new way of life and a new way of spending, but it doesn’t have to break the bank.
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