Being Pregnant and Broke
When I found out I was pregnant with Cairo I was in a bad place financially, like food bank and not paying bills bad. Myself and Chris were in a long distance relationship and I had been signed off sick due to back injury. So I did what I always do when times get tough, I made a plan. It went a little something like this;
Get a job for at least 12 weeks.
Ask Chris to move in.
Work out a way to have this baby as cheaply as I could.
Chris came to stay at Xmas so I asked him to move in with us, either 3 months before the baby was born or 3 months after so it wasn’t to much of an upheaval for me and my daughter, then I started applying for agency work. I got a 20Hr part time position in a call centre as I could sit down and not be expected to lift anything, as no one will employ you when you’re pregnant in the Hairdressing industry (disgusting and as discriminating, but it’s true).
Preparing for Baby
One way of keeping the cost down is to find out what sex your baby is so people can buy gifts for you, i.e clothes,toys etc. I didn’t want to know but Chris thought it made more sense financially so we did. once everyone knew we were having a boy the excitement ramped up and family started offering to buy us /gift us equipment/clothes/toys. The single biggest thing you will spend your money on is your travel system, with basic ones starting at around£200, if you join up to Boots parenting club you get massive loyalty points for buying an item that big with them, or use the cash back sites like Quidco/Topcashback/ I have one through Barclays too. We were so lucky my Aunt offered to buy us a travel system and once my Uncle knew we were having a boy he offered us his Mamas & Papas Mylo system which was immaculate and had all the extras and accessories too.
The next thing to tackle was our lack of nursery, we had a 2 bedroom house and Minis room was too small for a cot so we made a corner of our room his nursery and bought bedding that matched with the theme of my bedroom. I headed to Ebay and bought a few cheap bundles of Moses basket/cotbed bedding. We bought both our Moses babsket and Cotbed off Facebook selling pages they both had brand new mattresses and a friend of my mums gifted us a top of the range Graco Travelcot.
I took full advantage of the January sales to buy the baby some clothes but we made the biggest savings buying bundles of vests and sleepsuits from eBay, of course we were incredibly spoiled by our friends and family too with lots of people buying us outfits for baby for lots of different ages so we didn’t end up with lots of newborn/0-3 clothes.
Browsing for baby clothes led me towards Reusable Nappies, and realising I could possibly spend a huge amount of money i though id best get myself off to our local nappy library to see what the hell it involved. I came away with the knowledge I didn’t have to buy anything to start, I could borrow! and all the women there were Babywearing! this blew my mind! no pram! no crying babies! you could breast feed handsfree! (I never quite mastered it but hey you can!) so with the knowledge I could save around £1500 I was sold on the idea. I then ended up buying washable nappy liners, washable breast pads and washable wipes too. why save pennies when you can save pounds.
I found as I managed to stay quite active whilst pregnant I didn’t really need a lot of maternity wear. As I’d put so much weight on being ill, by the time I was full term I was wearing smaller trousers than when I first got pregnant. What I did buy though was Topshops Maternity jeans which I wore up until Cairo was 6 months old, a few breastfeeding vests I could wear after the baby too all of which I brought from eBay and some jumpsuits from Primark which were a Tenner each and lasted two years.
I used the internet to source the lowest price Breastfeeding bras and then every time I was notified of discounts through various mailing lists I made sure I got one, my bras retail for nearly £30 and I never paid for than £25 and I’ve had 6 in the last 20 months.
10 Ways To Save Cash
- USE FACEBOOK SELLING PAGES/ FREECYLE/CHARITY SHOPS save money on Prams, Cots ,Toys
- EBAY BUNDLES Clothes, Bedding, MaternityWear
- ACCEPT HELP/GIFTS
- JOIN BABY CLUBS/ CASHBACK SCHEMES Boots Parenting club gives you amazing points for buying big items, literally make sure anything you buy is bought through some sort of loyalty scheme, it pays to look around.
- CHECK TO SEE IF YOUR ELIGIBLE FOR MATERNITY ALLOWANCE As long as you have worked for 13 weeks in your qualifying period you will receive it.
- GO GENDER NEUTRAL it can save you a LOT OF MONEY! Does everyone really need to know whether your child is a boy or a girl from 10 feet away?
- ONLY BUY ESSENTIALS babies dont need, Moses Baskets, Jumperoos, Bouncers, Swings, or even Pramsif youre being really extreme *see babywearing
- BABY WEAR You can buy a size 6 woven wrap for £30 that you can carry your baby in until they are toddlers!
- BREAST FEED You will obviously save on Bottles, Sterlisers and formula. If you do choose formula, buy second hand bottles/ sterilisers etc.
- USE CLOTH NAPPIES/ ALDI NAPPIES You need at an absolute minimum 25 cloth nappies and fleece liners and wipes to cloth nappy full time, these can also be bought preloved to save even more money. the most economical system i seem to find is prefolds and wraps. Aldi’s nappies quite often come out as the top rated dispsoable nappy option both for price and performance. if you buy Boots Nappies you can also normally get double points on those too.