There are several budgeting areas you'll need to prepare for if you're having a child in the near future, and one of the most significant here is clothing. Because kids grow rapidly in the early years of their lives, they'll run through lots of clothes - and having a solid budgeting system for your baby and infant clothes purchases is valuable.
At NPS Store, it's our pleasure to offer a huge range of discount clothing options to clients, assisting them with and kind of clothes shopping they're taking part in. What are some basic tips for consumers on how to budget for baby and infant clothes and stick to that budget over a period of months and even years? Here's a rundown.
Our first major tip here: Don't just wing it. Sit down and decide on an overall budget for baby and infant clothing, taking into account how much the child may grow over a given period of time.
For instance, start by deciding how much money you're willing to spend on clothes each season and then break that down into individual pieces. This can help ensure you stay within your clothing budget while still providing your baby or infant with everything they need.
Next up, you'll want to think about the kinds of essential items your child will need and make sure to start with those. Items like onesies, outerwear and sleepwear are all good basics to begin with. After that, you can look into more fashionable pieces like dresses or costumes that may fall within your budget.
Many parents learn the sex of their baby well in advance of birth, and there's a natural temptation to go on a splurge and purchase a whole range of items beforehand. However, we recommend holding off on that until the baby's actually born. That way, you can be sure to purchase the right size based on their actual measurements when they arrive.
Another key reason for this: You're likely to receive quite a few newborn clothing items as gifts from friends and family. Rather than having an excess of clothing for them, you can use those gifts to supplement your shopping list and save some money.
Speaking of gifts, creating a baby registry is another great way to get essentials for your child. If you've got friends and family who are willing to help out with the costs, this can be a major boon to your budgeting efforts.
Be sure to do some planning in advance when it comes to building your registry - you'll want to narrow down the must-haves and the items you know your child will need, rather than just picking out all sorts of random pieces. Also be sure you leave a clear place for people to mark the items they've purchased, ensuring you never accidentally double up on items.
While you don't necessarily want all of your child's clothes to come from second-hand sources, you can certainly look into supplementing your budget by taking advantage of hand-me downs. If any friends or family members have clothes their children have outgrown that are still in good condition, consider asking if they're willing to donate them for your child's use.
Once again, make sure you check the sizing of these items before allowing your child to wear them. That way, you can have peace of mind that they're not wearing clothes that are too tight or too loose on them.
When it's time for your own shopping, be sure to take advantage of discount stores. Not only will these places offer more affordable pricing than many department stores, but they often carry a wide selection of brands and styles that are perfect for kids.
If you're having a baby shower as part of the festivities, make sure you don't forget to return any items that your child doesn't need. Some stores will even allow you to swap out items for store credit or provide a full refund - so be sure to take advantage of this in order to remain within your budget.
This is one area where some advanced planning before the shower tends to pay off. Let guests know that they should bring receipts and gift receipts along with the items, and be sure to organize those returns as soon as possible.
One consistent tip that will help you save money on baby clothes: Take good care of them! Wash and maintain the items frequently, and make sure to use gentle detergents that are designed for babies and infants.
This will enable the clothes to last longer and ensure they remain in good condition even after multiple uses - which is especially important if you're taking advantage of hand-me downs.
Finally, if you want to save even more money on your child's clothing budget, consider cloth diapers instead of disposable. While this may take a bit more planning and maintenance, the long-term savings can be quite significant - so it's certainly worth considering as part of your budgeting efforts.
Overall, having a baby means plenty of clothes shopping ahead - and understanding the best budgeting practices for baby clothes can help you make sure your child has what they need without breaking the bank. With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to getting the most out of your clothing budget.