- Family and Parenting
Having a Baby on a Budget
Planning for a Baby
Once you have done your test a few times and you finally realise that you are actually pregnant, then the excitement kicks in as well as the panic.
If you do not have a medical aid or free hospital cover, having a baby could be a very stressful time and the last thing that you need when pregnant, is stress.
To avoid stress and conflicts between you and your partner, you need to plan. It is obviously too late to get onto a medical aid as it won't cover you, no matter what story you give.
A medical aid takes three months to begin to cover you but unfortunately pregnancy is an existing condition which means that you will not be covered.
If you get a hospital plan or any other cover it will still not cover you.
Your baby does need cover too and this will be covered if you sign up for a medical aid whilst you are pregnant. If you couldn't afford medical aid before the pregnancy then how would you be able to afford it now? This is probably what you are asking yourself but let me tell you that you would be saving money in the long run as being pregnant is expensive.
You will need many things during your pregnancy and once the baby is born, bills for medical will be expensive if you have not saved up enough.
Let's face it, those who have not planned and do not have a medical cover have clearly not got any savings in the bank and if you do, then it is not enough to cover a hospital bill, let alone a baby and all the things that go with it.
There are a few ways to plan ahead, even when the baby has not been planned....don't panic but get yourself ready to learn to save and here's a word you will have to learn in a hurry.....BUDGET.
Having a Baby with no Medical Aid
This is the biggest worry for many as public hospitals in some countries are not the most hygienic or safest of options to choose from and for many there is no choice but to use one.
You will need to take a look at each government or public hospital before you decide to select one to be your birthplace for the baby. Make sure that you do your research and don't be afraid to take a look around and ask lot's of questions. You also have the right to check the credentials of the doctors and they usually have no problem showing you, unless the paperwork is fake.
You cannot be covered on a medical aid but your baby can and this is a good idea to do as you will need a Paediatrician and if there is a complication or you need baby to stay in hospital for longer, than this will all be covered.
Get one that covers hospital and doctors as you do need this when baby is born.
Now for the first step: You need to be healthy in order to have a healthy baby which means that you need to take vitamins on a daily basis, you need fruit and vegetables on a daily basis and you cannot skimp on this, it has to be done.
Have a look at your local Clicks store if you have one in your country and if not then go to Boots or a discount pharmacy to get your vitamins.
Gynaecologists require you there once per month and you need to be comfortable with the one that you choose. These visits are not cheap and you do need to save up for at least R15000 that is $1400 if you are lucky. This is just for the consultations and scans, but blood tests and anatomy scans are separate and these are costly too.
Once you have got your Gynaecologist fees ready then you need to check with the hospital in order to book a bed for when you have the baby. This is more if you have a Caesar but in general an Anaesthetist, Paediatrician and Gynaecologist is required when giving birth. The rough estimate for the hospital and doctors is around R50 000 or $5000. Not cheap!!!
How can you afford all these costs and still try to organise things for the baby?
If you absolutely cannot go into a public hospital then you are going to have to try very hard to save up, plan and budget. Say goodbye to those little extra's that you have scraped up to buy because for the next year or two you will have to save it for the baby.
Ask the hospital for the pre entry forms and also ask them if they have a discount for cash as well as a payment plan for you to pay it off.
Baby Items on a Budget
Nappies are what you use the most of when having a baby and these are not cheap as well as the formula too.
Breastfeed to save money and this is also a good way to lose the baby fat, so you will be doing yourself a favour too.
Nappies can be bought at any local grocer and you should buy one bag each time you go shopping so that it is not a big chunk all at once when baby is born.
Reject nappies are sold cheaper than the ones in the store and there is nothing really wrong with them, except for a tear or a mark.....but it works and you can use them without having leaks anywhere. Sometimes the factories make an error with packaging and tears or marks are left on the nappy, which means that they cannot be sold to the public by the company as it is a reject product but a clever person, goes out to buy them from the factory, repackage it and sell them as rejects for half the price......this will save you lots of money so swallow your pride and do what is right to suit your pocket.
Baby clothes can also get expensive and what you have to remember is that they grow so quickly and buying hundreds of baby items because they are cute is not going to be good for your bank balance.
A newborn baby needs very little clothing because they grow out of them so quickly and the best place to buy these clothes is from the cheapest store that you can find, which means you have to look around, shop around and look online for the best prices.....this goes for everything.
There is always a cheaper store than the one you are looking in.
Do your homework and price watch for everything!!!
Cheap Prams, Cots and Baby Chairs
Many stores can be very overpriced for baby items as they know that you will spend anything because it is your first born and the excitement runs away with us but you need to look around and check your prices everywhere.
Prams and cots need to be secure but you do not have to have the best model and the most expensive is not always the best quality product either.
A car seat is very important and you need to check which one is the best option for you to get and this should also be shopped around for.
A good suggestion would be to go window shopping for a while and take a look for bargain, they come round often and you will find them, so wait before you buy impulsively.
Ask family members if they have any items to spare or give away and if you don't have a problem buying the items second hand then you can always find them on sites like eBay, Gumtree and Craigslist.
Do your shopping in stages but remember that the first thing you need money for is the birth of the baby and do not shop until you have saved up for that first. The baby needs to come out and the rest can be planned as you go along.
You also do not need a feeding chair or pram in the beginning as the baby will be too small to use them.
Invest in a carry cot as this is what you will need for the first 3 months.
You can also look at factory stores that sell the name branded products as they might be slightly cheaper or they might allow you to pay it off.
Would you buy used items for your baby?
Baby on a Budget
Pay for the hospital first and ask for options to pay it off or get discounted rates for cash. Each time you get paid take a chunk out of your salary and put it away or go directly to the hospital and pay them.
Each time you go to the store to buy groceries buy a pack of nappies or one item for the baby, e.g; shampoo or something you will need.
Plan the clothing items and ensure that you do not buy items that you will not need. For a 0-3 month baby you only need about 8 baby grows as they will grow out of it so quickly.
Shop logically and don't just buy things because they are cute buy them because they are needed and leave cute for friends and family to buy.
Partner Planning for Baby
A good way to have a baby on a budget is to learn to budget. Understand that the hospital and doctors need to be paid and this is priority number one.
Once you have paid for the hospital you can then go and buy the things that you need but look at the factory, reject and discount stores before you buy and learn to swallow your pride and do what is best for your wallet.
A very important factor is making sure that you and your partner are on the same page in regards to budgeting. You both have to save up and stop spending on things that you do not need as this is the time to be money savvy. It is not forever and before you know it the baby is here so get on with it, have a plan to budget and save and take the next step after you have saved enough to bring the baby into the world.
Tips for Baby on a Budget
Enjoy your Baby
Have a look at the video for tips on having a baby on a budget and take a look at as many as you can before you buy anything!
Having a baby is a happy and wonderful time which should be enjoyed as the time is something that you can never buy back.
Enjoying the baby is what you and your partner need to do and before the baby arrives, you need to have all your budgets and plans in place to avoid stress.