How to have a baby on a budget in South Africa

“Yay, you’re having a baby!” “When’s Your Due Date?” “I cannot wait to see the baby bump – aaaaawwwww!” “I bet he’s going to have your eyes!”…. If you’re preparing for a baby, you’ve probably heard all this and more.

Well, it’s very exciting news so, congratulations! Bringing a new baby into the world is a wonderful adventure.

But, what happens after all the oooooh-s and aaaaah-s?

Having a baby in South Africa is possibly one of the most expensive things you will ever do. According to Parent24, it costs around R 90 000 a year to raise a child. Did that sentence just make you feel dizzy too? Well, you can ease the money flowing out of your pocket with a few money-saving hacks. Here’s how you can save money without compromising the health and safety of your little bundle of joy.

Start planning now!

I don’t care if you’re 2 weeks pregnant, 5 months pregnant, ready to pop or already holding your little baby outside of your womb. Stop what you’re doing and put money-saving plans into place. If you haven’t had your baby yet, don’t wait for after birth to start shopping – do that now. Once the baby comes along, you’ll be so busy that you won’t have time to look for what you need. You’ll end up spending more for the sake on convenience instead of shopping wisely.

Don’t keep up with the Joneses

It doesn’t matter if other parents are buying the most expensive branded baby items, just buy what you can afford. Focus on getting all the essential baby items, like a cot, car seat, diapers, etc.






Compare prices everywhere

Saving a few bucks here and there will all add up in the end. Do research before going out and buying something. If you don’t know exactly what you want and need, you may end up paying too much for something or, even worse, buying something you won’t end up using – this happens a lot!

Buy secondhand items

There are some things you don’t need to buy brand new and by fishing out some secondhand deals for baby items, you can save thousands of rands. Just make sure that whatever you buy secondhand does not compromise your baby’s safety. For example, don’t buy a car seat that has lost its padding or a cot that doesn’t have a sturdy frame. You can browse Gumtree, Amazon and other like online stores, keep a lookout on secondhand Facebook groups or even ask friends and family members who have kids if they’re selling any of their baby items.

Follow the “SALE” signs

You can save a huge chunk of money by buying items that are on sale! Look out for sales online or at your favourite stores and as soon as there’s a great special on something you need – buy it! There are especially good online deals for nappies, wet wipes and other important essentials that you will need a lot of.



Treat yo self

While being frugal is essential when you’re on a tight budget, there are some things that you just need to spend a little more cash on. Something like a breast pump if you’re breastfeeding should be a top priority when it comes to buying quality. You will be using it a lot so don’t buy a cheap pump. Also, don’t compromise on a quality baby car seat because, you know, safety first. And, if your baby has to enroll into a daycare, make sure you pick a decent daycare – this will ensure your baby is safe and happy and you can feel a lot more at ease during the day.

Expect presents and spoils

You’ll find that your friends and family won’t be able to resist spoiling your little baby so don’t buy too many clothes, shoes and other newborn items before your baby shower.

Opt for breastfeeding if you can



Formula milk costs can add up so consider breastfeeding your baby for a few months. You can also rest assured that your baby is receiving all the vitamins and minerals he/she needs from your breast milk. 

Get help if you need it

Don’t underestimate the costs of having a baby. If you are struggling to stay ahead of any debt repayments, speak to a debt counsellor. Just remember, your costs are going to increase once the baby arrives!

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