This week Husband and I took a big breath and looked at our budget. *Gulp* I normally love looking at our budget and crunching numbers, however, this month I was nervous. Not only am I lacking an income contribution with my recent job change, but there are also several big expenses coming down the pike for us with medical bills, house repairs, and preparing for baby. Avoiding looking at the numbers seemed better than facing the facts, this month. However, I was pleasantly surprised that we’re going to make it another month, surprise, surprise! It helped that Husband was quite hopeful about our situation. While I was somewhat gloomy, his disposition was rather sunny and he helped turn my doubt around.
While budgeting we asked the question, “what do we need to buy before baby comes?” What a complicated answer that can be! Thankfully there is a handy-dandy calculator over at BabyCenter.com that allowed us to put in our own numbers and helped us talk through an estimate for our growing family. This calculator is the first thing that helped me find my footing in the corn maze that is starting a “baby needs list.” I mean, every merchant wants to tell you why you need a long list of their products and they are good at sounding convincing. “Why, yes, you’re right! I do need a $1225 baby stroller, or every lotion and cream on your baby line.” Even blogs can be misleading with item after item they suggest one needs to purchase. After eagerly signing up for BabyList as my registry database, I quickly learned it was not going to be a place where I could read suggested registry lists for help or browse their catalog for items. I’m guessing they get commission for consumers taking their product suggestions? I am still excited for BabyList to be the one registry I use instead of holding a registry at two or three different stores.
What does baby actually need, though? The best advice I have gotten so far is, “babies don’t need much.” They don’t care what their clothes look like, or what their crib is made of, or what stroller you set them in. Ultimately they need diapers, a car seat, and food. I think I can handle that. Both my mother and mother-in-law have been helpful in suggesting ways I can limit what I buy for baby as well as how to find discounted, gently used items. I will definitely be using Craigslist to snag baby items in the coming weeks, as well as checking out second-hand baby stores. It’s looking like our budget can cover a baby after all!
Help a mama out: What’s on your “buy before baby” list? Or what items did you find you really needed/really didn’t need after baby came?