Babies can be expensive but they don’t have to be – here are 5 ways to save money with babies.
A quick online search reveals that the cost of raising a child from birth to the age of 18 can be somewhere close to a quarter of a million dollars. The key word here is can – just because something can be expensive doesn’t mean it has to be.
When it came to my little one I tried to be as minimalist as possible. No matter how hard I tried there were still people who felt the need to just “buy stuff” whether I wanted/needed it or not.
My philosophy is to acquire things on an as needed basis. This is especially true for clothing as how I dressed my little one depended on the season. In no particular order here are My5 Ways to Save Money with Babies. Keep in mind these tips can be applied to kids of any age, but it helps to get the habit started early.
Bonus tip – Ask people to bring a book instead of a card when they come meet your little one. Books are a lot more practical and can be personalized with a little message inside just like a card.
Hopefully someone you know has had kids prior and they have saved some of their stuff to lend/give you. We had kids after most of our siblings so were lucky enough to get a lot of the big-ticket items for free from our relatives as they were done using them with their now grown kids.
I’ve done clothing swaps with friends – which are awesome! They pack a box of age appropriate clothes for my little one. Once my little one grows out of them I wash the clothes and give them back.
I’ve Outgrown It Sales
These are like focused garage sales specific to kids’ items. In my area there are multiple sales that occur twice a year – in the spring and fall. I have found these sales to be gold mines for clothes, toys and books. Kids grow so fast, they often outgrow clothes that have been worn only a handful of times (or maybe not at all). After going to my first I’ve Outgrown It Sale I decided to never buy new again. My little one gets a whole new wardrobe twice a year for less than $20.
Apps or Online Marketplaces
Examples of these are kijiji, Craig’s list, VarageSale, Letgo, Facebook buy/sell groups. All are online versions of old-fashioned garage sales so remember to negotiate. You can be the first to respond to an item by setting up alerts to be notified when that item you comes up for sale.
Online marketplaces are great for sourcing specific things you are looking for. Some toys for babies can be very big (swings, exersaucers etc.). Apps or online marketplaces make it easy to sell your stuff (especially the big stuff) when your little one is done with it. If more kids are in your future, just repeat. Saves you having to store big things and keeps your stuff in newer condition.
Second Hand Stores
Although these places do not always have the selection of the other options mentioned I found them to be good places for toys and books. The added bonus here is you’re helping to support local charities.
Do You Really Need It?
There is so much created, produced and marketed for babies and I think most of it is not needed or recommended. Do you need a change table or can you just use the top of a dresser and repurpose it as your little now grows up? Is washing change pad covers really your dream or would you rather just wipe down the change pad? Do you really need the fancy crib bumper pads or do they pose a suffocation risk?
Safety should be number one with your little one. Whatever you decide to avoid or purchase make sure you keep safety in mind.
The great thing about a lot of these options is that what you buy can eventually be handed down to someone else, repurposed or sold. Buying used also has a positive environmental impact as it helps to keep things out of the landfill.
What are some of the ways you save money with babies?