Budgeting tips

While there is no greater joy than being a parent having tamariki does add to your costs. It's a really good idea to make a budget that includes these extra expenses. Below are some tips for keeping your costs down. 


Alter your budget

The first thing you need to do is to change your budget to reflect the added cost and your change in situation. How will you get by on one or a reduced income? Are there ways you can cut down your fixed costs? Remember if you are working you may be eligible for paid parental leave to help you with the first 14 weeks of being a parent. 
To find out more go to the Department of Labour website at: http://www.dol.govt.nz/er/holidaysandleave/parentalleave/index.asp 


Don’t buy it all at once

During your pregnancy try and get the big purchases over time to avoid having to fork out for it all at once. This will cut down your stress and help you feel organized when the time comes.  


Buy second hand

What can your whānau or friends provide you with? What can you buy second hand – Trademe has some remarkable deals on beautiful pēpi clothing, car seats, bassinets, highchairs…you name it, it’s on Trademe! 


Hire it

There are a number of organisations that hire equipment such as bassinettes and baby capsules which may be a cheaper option. If you want to find out more talk to Plunket and they will be able to let you know what’s available. However, if you are planning on having more than one pēpi you may want to think about buying your own as this may save you money in the long-term – especially when you consider that if you look after it you may be able to resell the item once you have finished with it. 


Nappies

Nappies alone are estimated to cost up to $1000 per year so it’s definitely worthwhile shopping around for the best deal on these. Ultimately, resuables are a much cheaper option and much better for the environment. Modern cloth nappies have come a long way. Most of them look just like disposables in shape, and have velcro fasteners or domes to snap them into place – no folding or pinning needed. They have also become easier to wash than traditional nappies as the type of fabric used means that most do not need soaking. 

If you decide that you want to use disposables then you really need to think about where you buy these. The best option is probably to stock up at the supermarket when they are on special. If you prefer to shop online Nappies Direct also have some good deals when buying bulk. 
http://www.nappies.co.nz/home/home-default.aspx


Ask for advice

If you are about to have your first pēpi getting advice from an experienced mum can save you money and stress. Decisions about what kind of stroller or breast pump to buy can be difficult to make without advice from somebody who has been through it. Talking to other mums about what they liked – and what they wished they hadn't spent their money on will help you to decide what is a necessity and what’s a frill.


Childcare

The cost of childcare needs to be considered and you need to do the maths to figure out what is best for you. When you make a decision you also have to consider what works for you and your tamariki. So your best option may be to: 
  • Stay at home.  

  • In-home care. This may be cheaper than day care, especially when you have several tamariki. Another option may be for several whānau to get together and share a nanny. This has the added benefit of being in your home so you don’t have the extra fuel and time costs of drop offs. There are a number of nanny organizations that may be an option such as, Barnardos, PORSE and Annies Nannies. 

  • Early childhood education. If you are considering this option it pays to have a think about what centre may be best for both you and your tamariki. For advice on this issue the Ministry of Education provides a number of tips and points to consider. 
    http://www.minedu.govt.nz/Parents/EarlyYears/OtherInformationAndResources/Choices.aspx

  • Find out if the government can help you with any costs. Click here to find out more.

  • Informal arrangements where your whānau or friends look after your tamariki may also be a good option. This could be in exchange for you looking after their tamariki on another occasion or helping them with something else. It has mutual benefits without costing you a cent.