Prepare for a baby without breaking the bank

Posted on Mar 25 2013 - 2:00pm by Markell
Hey! In effort to help you guys save money, I have complied a few guest posts. I’ve been doing one a week, on Mondays. Since this is the last Monday in March, this will be the last guest post on finances for a little while. I am still always interested in guest posts, so if you have something you think other people would like to share, send it my way! 
This post is by Chantal from She has some awesome ideas on how to prepare for a baby without using all of your savings. 

Here is what Chantal has to say: 

I’m just like any other frugal mommy out there.  I base my family meals around what’s on special at the grocery store and I always return my movie rentals on time to avoid late fees.  I am totally addicted to Groupon family specials, the Food Network, sudoku and DIY projects.  Honestly, I just don’t have the time or capacity to waste my money on manicures, martinis or designer purses. 
With my husband, 2 year old and 8 month old daughters, I have inadvertently elected myself as Chief of Finances.  When you have an active family of four, expenses spread like wildfire and you have to constantly find creative ways to get what you need under a strict budget.  Thinking back to when I was pregnant with my first child, I wish I knew what I know now on how to financially prepare for a baby.  It’s so easy to buy every baby product in sight, especially when it’s your first. 
The biggest expense for me would have to be preparing the nursery when I was in my 3rd trimester.  My husband and I bought everything imaginable with the ‘just-in-case’ mindset, which is fine if you are filthy rich, but we certainly were not!  After my daughter was born, we took inventory of all our baby items and about half of the products we had weren’t even used.  In fact, we had to return and exchange a ton of items because we ended up not using them.  After my second child, we implemented a much different and smarter approach in getting just what we needed.
From parent to parent, let me share with you what I would have done differently to help you save lots of money before the baby arrives:
§  The Earlier, The Better: Don’t wait till your 3rd trimester to prepare your nursery.  Start as soon as you can and get the larger pieces, like the baby furniture, first.  It is easier on your budget if you can space out the higher-priced items like the baby crib and changing table/dresser.  We had limited space and I wish I would have chosen a mini baby crib.  It’s slightly smaller than a standard-size baby crib, less expensive, and easy to move around the nursery.
§  A Smart Baby Shower List:  Ask for items you will need, like baby bedding, high-chair, car seat, bath and diaper changing necessities, baby backpack, pacifiers, receiving blankets, bibs, wash cloths, nursery décor, etc.  You can have friends and family split the cost for higher-priced items, and you can find better deals if you are registered at multiple places.  For clothing and diapers, I would recommend accepting gift cards so you can pick them out yourself.  You won’t know the size of the baby until that special day comes, so best to get some newborn clothes and diapers, and wait till baby is born to get what you want with the gift cards.  Shop online to get good deals and save yourself the trouble of returning/exchanging tons of stuff.  Also, I would suggest having an early baby shower so you can go through all your goodies and organize your nursery.
§  DIY Décor: Being frugal doesn’t mean you can’t welcome home your baby to a beautiful nursery.  I am a sucker for DIY ideas, so hear are some fun ideas to help spruce up your nursery without spending the big bucks:
o   Tissue Pom Poms: You may have seen them all over Pinterest, but they are super easy to make and look really cool. 
o   Paper Lanterns: There are great paper lanterns kits that you can easily put together, but I like to get blank ones and personalize them with watercolor or acrylic paints, studs, etc.
o   Yarn/String Balls: Very fun and modern way to add ceiling décor to the nursery.  Take a balloon and cover with elmer’s glue.  Wrap with fancy yarn or string and let dry for 1-2 days.  Pop balloon with needle and voila!
o   Lid Art:  Take a box lid, like from a shoe box, and paint a couple coats of any color of your choice (darker colors will mask designs better).  Your box lid is now like a paint canvas and will not need a frame.  Paint whatever you like, such as baby initials or baby name.
o   Poster Art:  Get a thin frame and get a poster that fits your nursery theme. 
o   Children Art:  If you have older children, have them draw or paint something to welcome the baby or fit your theme.   
o   Old Children’s Books:  Frame an old children’s book that could be falling apart.  You can preserve it and will add a vintage style look to the nursery.
o   Family Photos Hanging Mobile:  Print a whole bunch of wallet size photos of the family.  Get 2 sticks or hangers, cross them, fasten 3-5 long strands of fishing line, and thread your family photos on it (black and white is nice). 
So there you have it.  Some golden nuggets to help you prepare for you empowering journey to parenthood.  There are so many things the baby books don’t tell you when you’re about to start a family.  Being budget-conscious from the beginning is a smart way to prepare for your growing family and for the unexpected.
  Author Bio

 Hi!  My name is Chantal Maddocks and I’m a blogger and full-time mommy.  With my beautiful family of four, I am always looking for new and creative ways to save money.  My husband, 2 year old and 8 month old daughters, are my world, and if there are ways to make my life easier so I can be with them, I am all ears!  I invite you to visit my blog at for helpful pregnancy, parenting and nursery design tips.  Happy Blogging!  


1 Comment so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Nikki March 26, 2013 at 12:39 am - Reply

    Those are some great decor ideas! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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