Written by Janine Rogan
Thursday, August 16th, 2018
The average cost of raising a child is $10,000 to $15,000 a year until they turn 18, but the costs start affecting new parents much sooner than when baby arrives.
From maternity clothes for your growing bump to baby furniture, costs can add up in a hurry. There are steps expecting parents can take to ensure pregnancy doesn't drain their bank account!
Aislin Laschowski is a new mom in Edmonton, AB, who welcomed her son into the world this past March. I asked her how she managed to save money throughout her pregnancy. Here are her tips:
Saving on Clothing
- Stick with a colour palette. Aislin doesn't have a colourful wardrobe, so sticking to neutrals wasn't hard for her. Sticking to a colour palette makes it easy to mix and match and ensures you don't have to buy more clothing than you'll need as your body changes.
- Borrow from friends. "I lucked out in that a close girlfriend with very similar style spent last fall and winter pregnant. The pieces she lent me worked throughout my entire pregnancy." If you can find a friend with a similar style, consider sharing your wardrobe between the two of you.
- Buy secondhand. Aislin snagged a few over-sized button downs and some v-neck tees from an Instagram closet sale. "They're all perfect for breastfeeding and a quarter of the price of most nursing tops." In addition to this, Aislin found steals on Kijiji or through a maternity rental organization.
- Buy clothing that can accommodate your bump but you can still wear when you're not pregnant. In total Aislin spent about $200 on maternity-specific clothing and $400 on non-maternity clothing that accommodated her growing bump.
Saving on Furniture
There are a few items you may want to splurge on and others that might not make sense. However, borrowing from friends that are holding on to items for a second or third child is a great way to minimize costs. Hopefully, you can return the favour!
For Aislin, a comfy chair for breastfeeding was top of the list. "We bought a glider and a vintage rocking chair," she says. She also notes that they were given a beautiful crib and an infant seat from a friend, and are borrowing a bassinet. Cribs have safety standards, so check the make and model online to ensure there are no safety issues.
Don't Skimp on Car Seats
When it came time for a car seat, price didn't factor in, but safety did. "My husband did a ton of research on car seat safety and we also checked in with other parents about what they liked/disliked about a few different models. The bucket seat also fits onto our stroller base with adapters, so we've never had to wake a sleeping baby transitioning him from car to stroller."
There are some things that are more important than saving a few dollars and safety is one of them! The Government of Canada has information on car seat safety.
Keep to a Budget, Even if it's Hard
Being mindful of where you're spending when it comes to your pregnancy is important. Taking note of how much everything costs is a great step in ensuring that you'll stay on budget, and that you don't get so caught up in the excitement of having a new baby that you end up overspending.