Activities with Kids

5 ways to save money as a new parent

Eloise Edington  |   13 Aug 2023


As a first-time parent, it is easy to get swept up in the excitement of buying anything and everything for your baby – and of course, you’ll probably want to spoil them as much as possible!

But did you know that there are plenty of products out there that are just, well… not that necessary? Having a baby does, as we all know, cost a small fortune – so we have come up with some money-saving hacks for new parents.

Read on for five ways to save money as a new parent, and find out how you can give your baby what they need while still spoiling them with these clothing and budgeting hacks.

Budgeting

Incorporating your baby into your previous budget is the first point of action for new parents who want to stay on top of their finances. You can plan your budget at any time, but it would be good to get ahead of things and start budgeting before your due date so that you are already prepared. Pre-planning your budget can especially be helpful as it gives you time to save before these new expenses are needed. This means that when the time comes to start bulk-buying nappies and clothing, there won’t be a massive chunk missing from important areas of your budget as you would have already allocated money to those needs. 

A good budgeting method is the 50, 30, 20 method. This is where you spend 50% of your income on necessities such as bills and food, 30% is spent on wants like gym memberships, subscription accounts, clothing, treats etc, and 20% is saved.

Things to take into account when writing up your budget are:

  • debts
  • utilities
  • mortgage costs
  • GYM membership (and any other memberships or subscriptions)
  • food (meals that work for you and your baby)
  • toiletries (things like nappies, sanitary towels, baby wipes etc) 
  • Classes (some parents enrol their children in fun, activity classes as early as possible including swimming, dance or singing classes which are great for mental and social development)
  • car or travel expenses
  • holidays
  • phone and wifi bills
  • subscription payments (like Netflix and Amazon Prime)
  • clothing (for you and your baby)
  • fun activities (going to parks, dinner, the cinema etc) 
  • medications
  • emergency fund for unexpected costs (birthdays, medication etc)
  • pet costs (if any) i.e. food and vet costs

Selling old clothes

While your baby is growing, they will speed through clothing. Selling these items that your baby has grown out of would be a great opportunity to make some spare money. Of course, set aside any keepsakes like their first pair of shoes, but sell the ones that don’t have as much sentimental value and could be useful to other families. Baby clothes are usually quite expensive in spite of how quickly new babies grow and so a lot of parents are on the look out for hand me downs or discounted items to help make things easier. By selling your babies clothes online you will not only be helping out other families, but you will also be profiting from what you might have otherwise thrown out. As an additional bonus, you will be helping to improve the environment by recycling your old clothes. Textile waste now causes as much pollution as landfill, so conscious clothing choices can really help to make a big difference for our environment and your babies future.

There are many sites you could try out to sell both yours and your babies old clothes, including:

  • Gumtree
  • Ebay
  • Etsy
  • Poshmark
  • Refashioner
  • ThredUP
  • Facebook Marketplace

Related Article – How to Help Ease Pregnancy Pains With This Perfect Body Butter Recipe

selling clothes - ways to save money as a new parent

Affordable baby-clothing brands

Now that selling your babies outgrown clothes has given you an extra bit of cash (and the warm feeling you get from being environmentally conscious) what are you going to do with it? Your child will always need new clothes but its hard to know how much of your budget you should allocate to clothes. By selling your babies clothes, you now have a nifty way of buying them new things without taking away from something else in your family budget plan.

The same website that you sold their clothes on could be a new and more affordable way to buy clothes too. However, there are also baby clothing brands dedicated to making your life as a parent a little easier — offering affordable clothing and bundles for your child. PatPat is an affordable clothing brand for new borns up to 14 year olds and there is also a section for mothers. They offer bundles and single clothing items at an affordable price to help save you money. 

There are also some clothing hacks out there shared by other parents that could help save you a small fortune on expensive clothing “must haves” for mums. For example, nursing bras, along with most bras in general, can be pricey, especially when you take into account the fact that you will likely need a purchase a few to alternate between. But there is a method called “one up one down” that mothers are using as a way to have a make-shift nursing bra our of their usual, day-to-day clothes. This is where you would wear a strap vest top underneath a regular shirt or sweater of your choice. This creates easy and quick access by pulling one side of the vest down and pulling the top up on the same side. This is an inexpensive and effective way to feed your baby without forking out for temporary clothing.

Related Article – 5 Products You May Need To Help During Pregnancy

Stock piling

Stockpiling may seem like a bit of an obvious one but it really could be saving you a ton. Nappies, pads, toothpaste and toilet roll are non-perishable items that you can stock up on when there is a deal, sale or discounted price. Not only will this help you out in the long run, but it will also mean no emergency trips to the store if you’re unexpectedly out of nappies. 

However, when bulk buying things that need to be size specific such as nappies, be sure to stockpile few sizes up – don’t make the fatal mistake of buying a ton of nappies in a size they will soon outgrow. Another tip when stockpiling is to make sure you are using the most affordable brand of nappies and other items to begin with (of course this does depend on how your babies skin reacts to different nappies, some cheaper options might work and others might not).

A good way to figure out if you are saving as much as you can on nappies is to use the app Bum Deal. This is an app that compares nappy and baby wipe prices from big retailers like Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and more. This app will tell you in which store your nappies are the cheapest and it will let you know where the discounts and offers are. Bum Deal also estimates that by shopping for the cheapest nappies during your babies first two years of life, you could be saving an extra £500.

ways to save money as a new parent daipers

Reusable nappies

Reusable nappies are easy to clean and can save you money in comparison to disposable nappies. One child will need anywhere between 25-30 reusable nappies which can also be re-used for any future children you might have.

Reusable nappies are typically the cheapest when you compare the overall expense of disposable vs reusable nappies over time. Studies conducted on reusable nappies to find out if they are cost effective showed that parents could be saving anywhere between £100 — £1,000 on reusable nappies. These savings increase if you chose to have more children. Saving £1000 per child is no small feat and on top of this you will also be helping the environment by reducing disposable waste. 

If you are living in the UK, you can receive free, reusable nappies from you local council. They offer vouchers and cash-back options for parents interested in buying reusable nappies. This is their attempt to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. Bradford Council offers a free starter pack including reusable nappies, whereas Essex Council offers a £30 cash-back if you have purchased reusable nappies. Other councils may offer different options so be sure to check your local council for freebies or discounts.

How do reusable nappies work?

Reusable nappies can be used from birth and they come with inserted liners that are removable each time you change you babies nappy. Simply remove the used insert, dispose of any waste down the toilet, place the used liner into a baby changing bucket and insert a fresh liner into the reusable nappy. The nappy can be wiped clean if it needs to be. Then you can add all of the liners used that day to your regular wash on a 40 degree cycle. They dry best hung out on a washing line however some can be tumble dried on a low heat. (These instructions may vary depending on the nappy brand you use – but hopefully you now can see how reusable nappies do work compared to disposable nappies).

How do reusable nappies work differently from disposable nappies?

There is not much difference between the two aside from cost. If using reusable nappies, you would change your babies nappies as often as you would when using disposable ones. Much like with disposable nappies, you would place the used part (the liners) into a nappy bag or bucket until you could find a place to clean or dispose of them.

Related Article – Packing The Best Hospital Birth Bag

Hopefully, these money saving tips have given you some ideas on how you can stay thrifty through parenthood (while also unintentionally having a better impact on the planet). The best thing you can do before your due date is organise your finances by making a family budget plan that takes into consideration all of the additional costs you will now have as a parent. If you need that extra help figuring out a plan, you can refer to our budgeting checklist at the top of this article. 

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