G and I have spent a lot of time recently discussing finances. When I say that, most people assume that something is up, but nope, it's just a topic we enjoy touching base on occasionally. And with our first child coming this fall, and plenty of start up fees with that, it's been a frequent topic of discussion.
I've always said that I was perfectly okay with used items. Mainly because I recognized that most things for babies don't get used long enough to be really worn, and that other things get worn so quickly that buying new only keeps it looking nice for a short while. I went a little crazy for a bit over a pottery barn crib that didn't work out (they no longer carry it, otherwise it'd totally be mine). But overall, I'm fairly calm. We already have a dresser that will have a changing pad attached to the top. We have G's grandmother's rocker. And we have a pretty tiered side table to sit next to it, to keep books for me to read, burp cloths, etc. The furniture needs some work (we'll be painting the dresser and side table, and the rocking chair will be sent off to be recovered), but other than a crib, we're set furniture wise. I plan to keep an eye on craigslist for a crib (we aren't planning to move her to her nursery until she's 3-4 months old).
We're cloth diapering and have plans to buy a lot of the stash brand new (due to a couple new things that we think will work well). However, thanks to a consignment sale, craigslist, ebay, and meeting up with a blogging friend later this month, we actually already have a nice start. We're exploring the different types and getting a variety to try this way without it breaking the bank.
Also, thanks to the consignment sale I have the exact JJ Cole Urban Bundle Me I wanted...it looks like it didn't really get used, but I got it at half the cost of it in stores. I also have cute pink chuck taylor shoes that I picked up for $2 (they're big enough for when she's walking). And our collection of used clothes we've been acquiring for a very long time means we have a Ralph Lauren corduroy snowsuit (pink) for the winter, plus a ton of onesies, bibs, blankets, and dresses. That coupled with gifts and hand me downs (my niece is about the same time of year clothing wise as our daughter will be), we're pretty set for that for awhile.
And I've won some nice items such as the Boba carrier, a blanket, diaper bag, etc. We've also kept an eye out on freecycle, and have enough small bottles for her entire infancy (and they'll fit the breast pump!). We still have to buy new nipples, but that's a minimal cost.
Does this mean we're only buying used? No. We have been discussing a stroller and carseat deal from Britax for next month that costs a pretty penny. But the car seat is one of, if not the most, safest car seats you can buy, and the stroller has the ability to add on an extra seat (meaning down the road a toddler and a baby or even two small kids can share it). I also splurged last night and bought 2 4-packs of Aden Anais muslin swaddlers, because they had a facebook deal for 30% off. We have a baby swing on our registry that if it doesn't get bought for us then we get it at 10% off (which is why I even put it on there!). And if it comes down to it, we'll buy the crib new if need be. We also have the costs of re-doing the rocking chair and sending the pram off to be made all sparkly, something I'm not even going to try and guess at the cost.
Part of the blessing is that we've been planning on kids for a long while, so have slowly accumulated items over time, either for free or inexpensively. And while we have a purple bedding set that was given to us last summer (when we were looking into the foster to adopt), chances are that will go on to bless someone else, because I'm hoping to sew most of the crib bedding myself, thanks to some amazing tutorials.
So, you've read all this and you're thinking, "that's great, but how does it apply to me? I'm not having a baby." The concept can be applied to anything! The easiest example is of course in decorating/supplying your home. A lot of items in my home that people compliment me on were free (like our beautiful antique mirror and dressers), or bought used. And while I've still not attempted it, I've heard making things like curtains and throw pillows is super easy (and I'll let you know how it goes because I've gotten fabric for pillows). It's about getting creative, and having a good idea of what you're going for, because that makes sifting through things (either in person or online) easier. And by saving in some places, it will allow you to "splurge" a bit in others.
**I have been keeping lists of what we already have, and will share once it gets closer to time about costs and savings for those who might be planning for babies.**