As a SAHM for 2 years now, I would like to share how finances affect our parenting. Before I begin, I would like to clarify that we're not that dirt poor until we can't afford to buy anything, but as a parent now, we think the following items listed have indeed helped us save lots of money, enabling us to spend it on items which we really need and are of better use.
1. We gladly accept hand-me-down items!
* Image from Google search
Since we became a parent, we really love getting hand-me-downs from our relatives, friends and even ex-colleagues. You have no idea how much we save from not needing to buy bath tubs, toys, books, clothings, shoes, sandals, playpen, even a baby crib (which we used less than 1 week for Ben before we decided to co-sleep). All the money saved from not needing to buy things like this are better use to buy better quality food and necessities for the family.
* Our Point: You don't need to buy branded or new things when you can still make use (reuse) of old things. Recycle, recyle, recycle! And just because you are using hand-me-down stuff doesn't mean you are poor, just that you'd rather save the money for something better and appreciate that the old stuff can still be reused!
2. We are into DIY-ing some of Ben's stuff!
* Image from Google search
My regular blog readers would have read my post about my hubby's 1st DIY playmat and 2nd DIY playmat for Ben. Initially I was thinking of learning to make it using felt but that would take time (to learn a new craft) and money (to buy the supplies). In the end, hubby decided to use cardboards instead and we saved money from these DIY projects! My MIL also made and sewed some of Ben's pillows and bolsters herself.
* Our Point: We don't always have to buy new toys for our kids. We can make it ourselves and cultivate a sense of independence and creativity in our children to imagine and create things themselves! Also, by DIY-ing the toys, we are also recycling products like cardboards etc.
3. We are into preparing and making our own baby foods
Ben having pureed carrots...
When Ben was ready for solids at 6 months old, we bought a small tin of Nestle rice cereal to mix with my breastmilk for him to try out. After that, we decided to prepare Ben's food ourselves. Meaning, we buy the ingredients from the grocery store and prepare it in batches and freeze it. It saves us money and we are more at ease knowing what went into the food Ben ate.
* Our Point: Just because it is soooooo convenient (I know this cos we bought that 1 small tin of Nestle rice cereal to try out. Guilty I agree!) to get baby food outside doesn't mean we should just buy it to save time and work. If you can, make and prepare the food yourself and it will save you more money and you will have peace of mind knowing what goes into the food that you are feeding to your child!
4. We are into breastfeeding
Seriously, breastfeeding really helped us save LOTS of money. We don't have to think of what formula powder, what bottles, what steriliser, what utensils etc etc to get. Of course, I am so thankful I am able to breastfeed Ben (he's 31 months old now btw) for so long and even now, by tandem nursing him and baby Alyson!
Me tandem nursing Ben and Alyson on the 1st night I was back from hospital...
* Our Point: If you can, do try to breastfeed your child, no matter how long you can do so, just give it a try! I get really frustrated hearing new mums (or mums to be) giving up or not even giving breastfeeding a try! Such a waste!!!
** Read: Ecclesiastes 7:12 (NIV), Hebrews 13:5 (NIV), Psalm 4:5 (NIV)