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Honey, Look What I Bought!

Can’t stop shopping for your baby? Here’s handy tips on how to curb your spendthrift ways.

Before your baby arrived, you worried about money and the cost of raising a family. But now that she’s here, you just can’t stop spending on your precious one. Every nursery item is so cute and a must-have as far as you are concerned. You love dressing your little one in those fabulous clothes! Then there are all the learning toys you want to buy for her, the fancy stroller, the best car seat and the…

Before you know it, your spending has spiraled out of control. To help rein in your shopping habits, ask yourself these questions before you walk to the cashier.

 

Can my baby do without it?

You can’t skimp on food, creams, soap and diapers. These are necessities for your bub and you must stock up on them. But if you think your sweetie can manage without this particular item, then think again. You need to start distinguishing between purchases that she absolutely needs and those that she doesn’t.

Can I afford to spend on this?

If money is tight, you need to keep better tabs on your spending. Non-essential buys shouldn’t result in your family bank account falling below the level to pay your monthly household expenses. The short-term pleasure you might achieve from spending on your baby will soon be overtaken by the pressure of an urgent overdue bill.

Does she have a similar item?

Your baby certainly doesn’t need two (or more) of everything. Of course, it is lovely to surround her with new things all the time, but if she already has a cardigan or a rattle, she won’t even realise that you have bought her a slightly different one. And then you have the problem of trying to find room for it. Keep track of the clothes in her wardrobe and the toys in her box. That will help you avoid making a wasteful duplicate purchase.

If I buy this, will hubby and I end up fighting about it?

The most common reason for an argument between first-time parents is money, largely because the expense of raising a baby eats into the family’s finite financial resources. In most instances, the dollars need to be very carefully managed, particularly in the first six months as you adjust to your new home life. If you think that you and your spouse will have another disagreement if you get this item for your little one, then put it back on the shelf.

Is this purchase more important to me than to my baby?

Your cutie is so adorable; she deserves to have everything in the world! But do you really think she can count the number of cuddly toys or pretty dresses she has? That’s why it’s important to consider whether the purchase is truly for your child or simply to make you feel good about yourself as a parent. There are many ways to boost your self-esteem other than spending excessively.

 

By Dr. Richard C. Woolfson, Young Parents, November 2014

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