First off, congratulations on your new household addition! The first thing you’ll want to do is run out to the nearest store and buy only the best for your newborn. Unfortunately, we have to stop at some point and understand we don’t have all the money in the world to make that happen.
The awesome news is you don’t need a ton of cash to make your baby feel right at home. To help you on your journey as parents, we’ve compiled a list of budgeting tips that are sure to keep everyone happy, even the more frugal moms and dads out there.
Separate the wants from the needs
Before you knew that you were soon-to-be-parents, you never even appreciated all the baby stuff out there. All of a sudden, you’re overloaded with hundreds of must-have items. Cribs, high-chairs, hygiene products, toys, diapers—the list never ends. Now you’re confused, overwhelmed, and staring at a bill that you never even imagined possible. You knew kids were expensive, but not this expensive!
This is where we recommend you stop and really get down to the important vs. the non-important, the essential vs. the non-essential, and the needs from the wants. The better you are at identifying the absolute necessities (and avoiding the junk) the more money you’ll save.
Research like crazy
Some baby items are best purchased without the bells and whistles. They work just fine and you don’t need to spend a ton of money on the luxury versions. Other items you’ll want to spend some extra money on, especially the items that will see extensive use. It’s better to purchase something one time than spend the next two years purchasing it over and over and over again.
Reviews are your friend here. Check out as many product reviews as possible before making your selection. Amazon and Mumsnet are excellent sources of information in this regard.
And lastly, don’t forget to check out multiple places for the same item, both online and in retail outlets across Dubai. Some items will only show a small variation in price. Other times you’ll run into a sale that can get you the same items for less than you could have ever imagined.
Get much needed advice from those that have been there before you
This is so important. You have a wealth of parenting experience all around you. All you need to do is tap into it. Check out Babycentre UK, Netmums, and What to Expect for the most updated, down-to-Earth information available on getting the best for your baby (without the crazy costs).
Facebook also contains a wealth of information, and many of these sites are the perfect place for expat moms to get the information they need (and meet some friends in the process!) Dubai Moms, Mums in Dubai, and British Mums Dubai are all excellent groups that come highly recommended.
Don’t be afraid to buy second-hand!
Second-hand baby items are usually in amazing condition. Sometimes clothing, toys, and other baby items are never even used before they’re turned into the local second-hand store. The point is, don’t judge it because it’s second-hand! Buying second-hand is the single most effective way to reduce the cost of your newborn, which means less strain on your finances, and a happier home in general.
We’ve scoured the web for great deal sites, and the two that we feel are the absolute best are Dubizzle.com and babybazaar.org. Alternatively, you could check out a handful of Facebook sites which offer great second-hand deals. These include Second Hand Dubai, Pre-Loved Dubai, UAE MUMs Classifieds, and British Mums Dubai.
If you’re still squeamish about buying second-hand from strangers, you may find it easier if it’s from someone you know. If you have friends that have had children, it may be a good time to ask them what they still have around. Oftentimes they won’t even care to sell it and just give it to you. Asking doesn’t hurt!
You can buy too much of something without realizing it
This happens a lot, especially with your firstborn. You’ll end up buying a huge amount of nappies, clothes, baby wipes, etc., and suddenly, almost overnight, your baby won’t fit in them anymore. Ouch!
Do yourself a huge favor and keep those receipts and boxes! You can either return what you don’t use or, if that’s not an option, you can sell everything on the same second-hand sites we mentioned in this article.