How to prepare for a baby (without going broke)

Preparing for a baby doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Magazines and TV ads will tell you that you need to spend a fortune in preparation for your little darling's arrival, but it's simply not true. When my husband and I were expecting our first child, my husband was working at a small radio station and had a pretty small salary. I was a teaching assistant at our local special education preschool, and my paycheck was also pretty small. Here are some of the things I've learned about preparing for a baby when you don't have a lot of money.

Borrow things. Women love to share maternity and baby items. Don't buy a lot of things before you publicly announce that you're expecting, because once you make the big announcement, you're sure to get offers of gently used maternity clothes, baby clothes, and baby well as lots of baby advice. I think it's a rite of passage for women to pass down their maternity clothes to other pregnant women. Take advantage of it.

Buy used. There are many stores that consign strictly baby and children's items. Consignment stores are great for stocking up on baby clothes and baby equipment. Since the owners are usually very strict about what they will accept for sale, the items you'll find in a consignment store are generally in excellent condition.

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