There are lots of would-be parents that use pregnancy as an opportunity to, well, go crazy. The soon-to-be mothers buy lots of new clothes and get all the gadgets. For me, that would have been lovely, but it wasn’t a reality. I don’t have extra money to be throwing around so I was prudent. Whether it was by force or choice I made it through pregnancy and delivered a healthy baby on a budget of $100.
Does that seem impossible?
Let me tell me how I managed it.
- What is necessary?: Buy only clothes that are needed. Check the closet and see what you have. I am fortunate that my closet is full of dresses and elastic (fold over) waistband skirts, also in my repertoire are a number of loose fitting shirts. This meant I needed to buy only undergarments (pregnancy underwear pack of 5 – $14.99 – and maternity bras pack of 3 – $18.99 – additionally, I bought cloth nursing pads – $12.99) and I splurged buying two pairs of yoga pants for lounging at home and weekends (again elastic, fold-over waistbands – $13.99 each)
- Where is comfort?: Specialty pillows and other comfort seats seem like a good idea, but one can manage with alternative choices. Regular bed pillows work just fine when placed under your leg/knee. All those vanity/decorative pillows can finally be put to use on the couch or other chairs.
- Why indulge cravings?: Yes, it is a great excuse to eat all kinds of crazy foods and send the significant other all over the city searching for that food that hits the spots. As a single parent, I could sit down and wait for the craving to pass because getting ready and going out seemed like too much work. Truth is by eating small meals throughout the day of good and various choices you can avoid cravings. I must stress the variety – the reason for cravings is missing nutrition in your diet.
- When to splurge?: Sometimes it is important to spend a little extra, but spend it wisely. Find ways to give to others, so they will be there when you need them later. I hosted my parents who I then called on to help in the weeks following delivery. I also made important changes to the house – in the middle of a cosmetic reno I decided to add a laminate floor to the bedrooms instead of the salvaged hardwood I was preparing. (Note: I don’t count the money here as it was going to be spent at some point in the reno with or without the baby on board). But making the house safe for little ones is important – a good time to have the ducts cleaned, radon tested, and/or air tested for mold and other particles.
No matter what you choose to buy and accommodate throughout your pregnancy is important to think about a budget that works for you. Think about what is needed and what could be an indulgence.
I enjoyed my pregnancy for the experience of growing a little human, not for the over-indulgence I knew I’d just regret later. Besides this way, I had money to spend on things for my little rather than for me.