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Change in Spending Habits?


When I found out we were going to have a baby, I was fearful about this news affecting my spending habits. I was terrified I would run to Gap or Old Navy and buy cartfuls of cutesy outfits for our future progeny.

A few months passed and I still found myself easily able to walk by any and all baby sections without even a slight draw toward them. I thought, perhaps it’s because the baby didn’t seem real to me and after we actually saw the first ultrasound, that was when I would go crazy with spending.

Four and a half months in, an ultrasound and a heartbeat later, and I still have yet to spend a dime.

Sure, I glance around Craigslist for killer deals on baby furniture (I haven’t found anything) but I have yet to feel the need to spend.

I thought it was just me. Maybe I’m simply too cheap? Then, late one night as my husband was rubbing my little belly, he said, ‘I hope we have a boy.’ I smiled at my ‘macho’ man who wants his ‘manly’ boy until he said, ‘We can get way more hand-me-downs if we have a boy.’

The realization that he’s becoming fearfully frugal brought a tear of joy to my eye *wink*.

Maybe things will be different when the kid arrives. Maybe I’ll feel the need to spend, spend, spend. But for now, I’ll keep plugging away at my debt and worry about cartfuls of clothing later.


  • Reply KLM |

    Look for yard sales, especially those by Mothers of Multiples groups. I know many people who have gotten tons of stuff for very cheap–including clothing with tags still on them.

  • Reply Starr |

    Definitely let people buy stuff for you! With first babies, you usually end up with more clothing than you need, despite pleas for practical items. Good for you for waiting out.

  • Reply Shannon |

    Do you do couponing? Especially at drugstores CVS and Rite Aid and Walgreens that give you $$ off on your next trip? You can diapers super cheap that way…like 3-4$ or LESS a pack. Unless you go the cloth route. But something to keep in mind and start looking into. Diapers are things you should buy now, when you can get them on sale and with a coupon…they don’t go bad and you will definitely need them!

  • Reply sf mom |

    We have 2 girls and we have a house-full of toys from thrift and consignment stores. 99% of their clothes are second-hand from friends or the same thrift or consignment stores. My feeling was that I’d start off giving them “used” stuff and save the money b/c one day I’d have to buy lots of fashion items.

    My oldest is 6 and loves thrift store shopping. I find myself telling my husband to STOP getting them whatever they want at the thrift store, even if it cost him $1 or less. We have too much STUFF for them:)

    Don’t fear, there are more than enough cool second-hand stuff for girls!

  • Reply Susan |

    Two words. Garage Sales. You don’t have to know the sex to buy onesies and cute clothing for the first year.

    Also, I worked a consigment sale (called ‘just between friends’) and I saw 2 totally different points of view. One lady came in and bought a stroller, a baby bath, car seat, toys, books, clothing….all sorts of stuff and was so amazed she was ready for the baby and she spent less than $100. Another woman came in and just bought maternity clothing. I asked her why she wasn’t buying all the other things she would need and she said ‘my husband says we’ll get everything we need at our showers’.

  • Reply Mar |

    Definitely stock up on diapers if you are going the disposable route (which most daycare centers require – not sure what your care plans are). The little bugges go through a lot of diapers…

    We definitely got most of our “stuff” from two baby showers; I think all I bought were a used crib and the bedding.

    Definitely go the yard sale/thrift store buying route when you need to start buying stuff and take your child with you. I have a label concious daughter who knows what fits her best (Hollister, certain styles of jeans from American Eagle, etc.). She will not hesitate to buy these items at a thrift store as long as they are in good condition. She doesn’t find them that often, but when she does, she feels like she hit the goldmine and scoops them right up. No sense of it being ‘beneath her’ because we’ve always done it.

  • Reply Amanda N |

    The only thing I stocked up on before the birth was diapers. I bought a lot of yellow things at thrift stores in the color of yellow before we knew the sex. Still only cost me about $10. I didn’t have a shower and I still got a ton of stuff. I wish now I had a shower, but at 35 and married for 14 years before the first, it felt odd.
    If someone offers a shower (or a few) take them up on it but make it clear what you really need.

  • Reply Sara |

    Just Between Friends has great consignment sales all over CA. I got tons of stuff from showers, and gifts. Also, I created an email account just for baby stuff and registered it at pampers, huggies, gerber…etc. they started sending mass coupons and great deals!

  • Reply Marianne |

    I was surprised by the exact same thing. I thought I would be tempted to buy every single baby thing I saw but so far we have only bought a stroller (because we have a small vehicle and wanted a particular very small stroller and I saw it online for half price) and a onesie (because we found out the sex that day and I felt obligated to buy something for a boy- and I had a gift card). I will also be buying cloth diapers soon- we are cloth diapering because I don’t want to spend a tonne of money on diapers. They are a big initial investment but can last through more than one kid. Other than that, I doubt we will have to buy anything until the kid is born.

  • Reply Sass |

    All of these are great suggestions!

    Before buying used, be sure and check recalls… tons of cribs have been recalled recently.

    Also, I wouldn’t suggest buying a used carseat. If you don’t know the history of the carseat you run the risk that it might have been in a wreck at some point and could possibly be weakened. That is defninitely an area you don’t want to skimp on!

  • Reply Mr Dlie |

    My experience as a father to a child aged 10 months I realized that spending on them is more important than the desires of our expenses.

    Perhaps, in my opinion is indicative:

    1. Do not buy clothes for their children too much will quickly grow.
    2. Where possible, ensure that your child is breastfed for 2 years.
    3. Buy the game safe and durable.

    Monthly expenses will change dramatically, and certainly the cost of living increases. Perhaps it is time for you to find the source of second income.

  • Reply christy |

    This is your first baby – people will give you tons of clothes, so don’t waste your money. Furniture is a little tricker. We shopped around FOREVER to find a good price. Honestly, that is the only baby item we spent a large amount on. Almost everything else was given to us. So, continue saving your money and looking for good deals. You probably won’t need to buy as much stuff as you think.

  • Reply Susan |

    Clothing: if you get new, don’t wash it all and hang it up in the closet. As one poster said, they outgrow it fast! If you have the tags on it, you can return/exchange the clothing for the next size. Only wash what you know you will be needing in the next two weeks. Some babies need several changes of clothing a day (messes from eating and/or leaking)and some don’t. Our daughter was a drooler, so we just kept a bib on her all the time and would change that when it got drenched.

    Furniture: the baby won’t really care about what furniture it has. We have my husband’s old furniture, plus my childhood bed, in my daughter’s room. I figure when she is older, she will express an opinion on what she wants in her room and at that time we will spend the money on it. We bought a crib(that converted to a toddler bed low to the ground) new…and my sister gave me a changing table that we put on top of the desk. Diapers and ointments, etc, went in the desk drawers. Her clothing all went in the bureau. The set is old, but it matches. My childhood bed has simple lines. Daughter is 6 and other than not being able to keep her room clean…seems to like everything.

  • Reply ellen |

    Congratulations on your coming baby! I was most tempted by toys, but experience with my granddaughter has taught me how useless that was. “Grandma’s toy box” is pretty sparse, and stocked when she was about a year old: rythym band, 2 dolls with a basket and blanket, wooden blocks, 4 little cars, a sock monkey, and 3 balls of different sizes. She’s nearly four, and the fun never stops. I added a sit n spin when she got a little older. I wish I knew that when my own kids were young. Older kids are more demanding, but the young ones seem to just fine with less.

  • Reply John |

    My wife and I developed a monthly budget, just like everything else we buy, for baby stuff too. My wife has found amazing buys on craigslist and at garage sales. Mostly everything is like brand new and for a fraction of the cost. I know you’ll do great with this stage in your finaces just like you’ve done with the other areas.

So, what do you think ?