BUDGETING FOR BABY – 6 TIPS FOR SOON-TO-BE MOMS Being a mom is a full-time job, which includes preplanning and various other tasks. Soon-to-be Moms should not only think about operational responsibilities, but should also consider the financial implications of having a baby. Whether baby is on the way or you are thinking about starting a family in the long run, you cannot avoid taking responsibility by budgeting for your baby. Zeeva experts say that a once-off amount or set-up costs (before your baby is born) can add up to R10 000, or in some cases R15 000. And as soon as your little pink foot has arrived, the estimated costs per month can differ between R5 000 and R8 000. Zeeva shares a few things to take into account for your baby’s budget (before your due date and during baby’s first and second year): Equipment and Accessories The essential items you need to look at buying before baby arrives are: a few things for the nursery like a cot, mattress, changing station/table, bath, curtains and bedding/linen. Other equipment includes a carry cot, pram, baby bag, a car seat and a high chair (for eating purposes). If there is room for accessories in the budget, it is considered as optional. You should therefore shop around if you really have a need for a baby monitor, educational toys for stimulation, a bath thermometer, and/or humidifier for example. Zeeva also encourages soon-to-be Moms to save some bucks by considering second-hand items such as a stroller, changing station and high seat. Do note: previously owned cot mattresses or car seats are not recommended because of potential safety issues. You can find affordable second-hand items on OLX, Baby Exchange, Baby-Go-Around and Gumtree. Clothes Kids grow up way too fast and that’s why baby’s clothes need to be part of your monthly baby budget. You can save up to 50% by keeping your eyes open for discounts and end-of-season sales to buy your baby’s outfits in advance. Hand-me-downs from friends and family are usually still in a good condition – a bonus for mom’s pocket. Food and Formula First of all, if you consider breastfeeding, there are a few costs involved like a breast pump, breast pads, a feeding pillow and nipple cream. Total breastfeeding costs can amount to R3 000 or R5 000. Your baby is also going to need baby formula and the price usually varies between R600 and R900 a month. When your baby is about six months old and you need to give him or her solid foods, consider steaming vegetables in the steamer instead of buying bottled baby food. It is not only a potential healthier option (no added sugar), but it can also save you a few bucks. Nappies and Toiletries Your baby’s nappies and toiletries can be quite expensive. It is therefore essential that you include it in your baby budget. Your baby will start off with four to twelve nappies a day and later on in the first year use 6 to 8 a day. You’ll need a lot of size 3 and 4 nappies for your baby. Toiletries are always welcome at baby showers (wink wink nudge nudge) and include items like shampoo, oil, wipes, powder, bum cream, body lotion and nappy bags. Medical Aid(including checkups/vaccinations) Make sure that you get the necessary arrangements in place with your medical aid to include your baby-to-be as a dependent. You can make use of a state or private hospital as well as a birth centre. Government hospitals are much cheaper but soon-to-be Moms tend to prefer private hospitals. And these days many women are considering a midwife to assist with childbirth at a birthing centre. Do your homework to find the best suitable solution for you personally as well as for your budget. A normal birth is also cheaper than a caesarean or emergency caesarean birth. Be therefore sure to have an emergency fund tucked away as your medical aid covers most costs but not all costs. Potential costs you need to also take into account are medicine costs and professional fees charged by your gynaecologist, anaesthetist, obstetrician and/or paediatrician. Do note: government health clinics are free of charge when it comes to your baby’s immunisation, but private clinics have expenses involved. Childcare/Daycare Childcare is a hot topic these days. Whether your baby is taken care of at home or at a crèche, moms want their babies to be in a safe, happy, educational and healthy environment. They will spend a lot of money to make sure that their baby is taken care of in the best way possible. According to Zeeva’s Smart Women, Smart Money 2017 survey (that was completed by over 3000 women) mothers spend more than 10% of their nett salary on their children. Zeeva therefore encourages mothers to do their homework to find a suitable yet affordable option like a family member’s help, a nanny or a daycare. Daycare costs, for example, can differ between R2000 and R4000 depending on the area. Expecting a baby is a blessing and an exciting time for soon-to-be Moms. Don’t let baby budgeting unnerve you and let you miss out on a wonderful new chapter in your life. Take the above tips into account and get your budget going. If, however, you are overwhelmed with current debt and not able to save for the baby you are planning or that is on the way, get in touch with the ladies at Zeeva. They will assist you with their lady-focused debt management program. 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