Tuesday, July 21, 2015

On Budgeting when Pregnant

Yep-- spoiler alert! We're pregnant. I say "we" because Rob holds just as much responsibility for this as I do. We definitely feel like we have been given a gift from God, and we are beyond thrilled!  In general, there have not been too many bumps along the road. We knew we wanted to have kids, and the time seemed right. So we went for it!

Pregnancy in the midst of student loans looks pretty interesting though.  Unlike some future momma's who spend a lot of dough on getting the newest and best and cutest of everything, we are trying to get only the basics and hopefully at reasonable prices too.

So far, I am receiving a hand-me down crib form my dear friend Sandy. Her kiddos are 4 and 6, and  she no longer needs it. We also need to purchase a car-seat (we'll buy this new), a high chair of some sort, a bassinet, and a changing pad to put on my dresser.  We might even splurge and get a changing table, but that's pretty much it!

No rocking chair or little nursery oasis for little T (that's what we call him/her). Little T will be sharing the bedroom with us, since we live in a one bedroom apartment. I don't really think he/she will remember anyways. I think babies only remember if they are loved, and ours definitely will be.

In addition to the big purchases, we are starting to figure out how much we might need to spend in diapers, doctor's visits, and baby bottles. Another major future cost will be child care. Most likely I will be heading back to work after the maternity leave (expect more on this topic in a future post) but we also have to crunch the numbers and do what makes the most sense for our family. It kind of makes my head spin to think of all the additional things we need to consider. But I am trying to just take it one thing at a time.

For maternity clothes, I have made a personal vow not to buy any maternity shirt that costs more than $10. I have purchased maybe 5 shirts so far-- 3 for summer and 2 for winter, and all of them under $10.  Another one of my dear friends is handing me down some of her maternity clothes including a pair of maternity pants. I also plan to wear lots of leggings and my loose fitting dresses in the winter.

Finally, another unexpected area where our costs have increased is our grocery bill. I am trying to eat a lot of fruits and nuts when I need a snack. In addition, now that it's summer, I need to make my own lunches (instead of just eating the school lunch at work.) This in addition to the frequent snacking has really tacked on some added costs to our weekly shopping bill.  Fifty dollars is no longer enough to purchase all the groceries we need for the week. And I'm okay with that. I'm okay if we need to spend a bit more on groceries if it means eating healthier and trying to cook at home more often.

To all the people out there on a budget, what advice do you have for us as we prepare for our little one?

Our very first photo shoot of little T. (This was taken at week 9; we are at 14 weeks now.)


Frugal Student said...

I had a daughter in the middle of grad school so I can talk for hours on frugal parenting when you don't have much time, lol. First, I used swagbucks to get amazon gift cards for diapers and wipes but I also got the amazon credit card for when we did not have enough.
Yes, you are going to spend more on food, I could not eat a lot of meat for most of my pregnancy. I lived on Caprese salads for most dinners and that was a bit up there. But it balances out. With a baby you really can't go out as much, you get more tired etc.
I let people know that I was buying used, so people were willing to give used. Find a local consignment store, they can be invaluable. We cloth diapered because I know we are planning on a second plus we got them used which helped stretch the diapers and wipes budget. Because we got them used we broke even by the time I went back to work/lab so buying disposables for child care was still ok. Remember to add your exemption as early as you can, next year for your little one, that helps a bit. So does signing up for daycare FSA (which is pre-tax as well and not subject to FICA).
Enjoy yourself and relax some. ;)

Portia said...

Thank you for those tips! I will definitely remember them. Just today I got an entire bag of maternity clothing from a friend of a friend who just had a baby. I almost cried looking through all the clothes; such a gift!

Rachel Addington said...

Hey there Portia.

I say, think minimalist about the baby stuff. For us, a move to China shortly after baby's birth kept us minimalist. What are baby's material needs?

1. something to eat
(breastmilk is rather cost-effective, not to mention healthiest and convenient)

2. something to wear

3. someplace to sleep

Some moms go crazy amassing things for baby. I affirm your resolution to resist. As you said in other words, possessions do not equate to love!

Portia said...

Thanks for those tips Rachel! I will try to remember that. :)