Planning a family on a budget

Starting a family can be very expensive but by planning ahead and agreeing with your partner on how you plan to raise your children, you can give them everything they need without breaking the bank. The first year is the hardest with so many things to buy and so much to prepare for the new arrival, it can get overwhelming and you can forget your financial commitments. From birth to three years, you only need to concentrate on nappies, clothes, food and transport and as the child grows there won’t be the added expense of things like nappies.

Planning
Sit down and take the time to discuss with your partner the things you will need when the baby is born. The basics are: Moses basket, crib or cot, car seat and pram, clothes & nappies and maybe some toys. Many places offer tips on starting a family by buying second hand goods or even borrowed goods – I don’t believe in this and you can have good quality new goods for your baby without spending a fortune.

Buying for baby
Buy a swinging crib instead of a Moses basket or cot for the first six months whilst you breast feed the baby as they should be close by. After six months, the baby can have his own room – if you already have an existing bed, you can buy a side guard saving you the additional cost of buying a cot and then a bed. Most people buy a Moses basket and then are forever bringing it up and down. Buy a play pen so that when you are down, the baby can lay quietly by himself. New playpens have a new born baby holder that looks like a hammock to cradle the baby. As the child grows this can be removed and the baby can learn to play and entertain himself.

If you have a car you will need a car seat – most prams come as a bundle and you can get a car seat, new born pram seat and older seat for the baby as it grows. There’s no need to keep buying new prams. A changing mat costs only a few pounds and for the first 6 months you won’t really need a feeding bottle unless you are going out. A steriliser is not needed as all you need is to place bottles into boiling water and some steriliser such as Milton which is safe for babies.

There are many things that are not needed but are available such as a nappy bin that individually wraps the dirty nappy in a bag; it’s not expensive at £18 for a starter set but some new mums may not see the reason to purchase it. The same goes for a baby bouncer and walker, young children could be placed in a play pen instead, it’ll teach them to get used to their own company as well leaving you to be free to cook, clean and tidy.