So, our precious bundle of joy has arrived!
Yay and all that. Aren’t babies supposed to be expensive? I thought so, until I actually had one!
I have spent months couponing and “obtaining” the things that we will need for her, and am proud to say that I saved a ton of money on baby stuff. I couponed (is that even a word?) for diapers and wipes (yes I am using disposable), and got our crib, changing table, dresser, 2 strollers, 3 carseats, and like a billion clothes all for free! Literally the only things I have had to buy have been a bottle brush, a rug for her room (ok, not really a need), my pump, and all of the accessories to go with it! Huge thanks to friends, family, and our church! The takeaway: get everything you can for free! Chances are, someone you are friends with on facebook bought the stuff you need, and now their kids are too old to use it. It’s probably in really good shape, too!
I was terrified that once we brought her into the world I would feel like she needed everything, and that I would buy it for her. If you have ever been to Babies R Us, you know that there are so many things you can buy for baby that are so fun, and so convenient, but really are not needed to raise a happy, healthy baby! (Side note – I was more than happy to register for those things for my baby showers, though :-), at least once we had the necessities covered).
Much to my surprise, I found that I really didn’t have the desire, or time to spend lots of money, on J or myself! The reason is twofold:
1. A newborn occupies pretty much all of your time, meaning I really didn’t have time to go anywhere, and we had everything that we needed here at home. Some moms are crazy scared to take their newborns out of the house because they don’t want them getting sick, but that wasn’t me. I took her lots of places starting when she was 4 days old, and never stopped. However, I went into the store with a list, and stuck to it because we had to be home in 3 hours (or less) for feeding time. Also, recovering from having a baby is no joke, so I was usually quite tired from even a simple trip to the store. I didn’t have the energy to go browse and entire store. Yay for saving money!
2. Now that I am a mom, I am even more focused on setting our family up for the future than I was before! I realize that money doesn’t make for a happy childhood, but unstressed parents do :-). I did not have a happy childhood, and I want her to bond with us through experiences and having a happy, healthy home. For our family, this means paying off debt so that we can afford experiences and family bonding. I want to set her, and us, up for success.
I was so scared when I found out I was pregnant, that this baby would break us, financially, at least in the beginning. As she gets older I am working on a plan to teach her about financial responsibility, and while I realize she will get more expensive as she gets older, we are prepared for that. It turns out, though, that newborns are only as expensive as you make them, and friends and family are a huge blessing!