Financially Savvy Ways to Upgrade Your Home Before Baby Arrives
The year 2020 has brought on an array of surprises and for many of us, this has included the news of a brand-new baby. Whether you have recently become pregnant or are expecting in a few months, you have likely begun to look for resources and advice about raising a child.
Among the insightful tips you’ve seen, prepping your house for a new baby is one that proves to be helpful for the safety of your baby and the maintenance of your space. Your adult-centric home may not be practical for a new baby which is why a revamp to your home may be the way to go. Luckily, there are a number of budget-friendly ways that you can upgrade your home to be safe for your baby and healthy for your finances.
Only Buy What You Need
While there are hundreds of new baby gadgets, supplies, and furniture pieces that come out on a daily basis, understand that you will not need every single one. Many baby supplies are meant to assist common frustrations or annoyances that come along with parenting however, you can save quite a bit of money by prioritizing what is and isn’t necessary for you.
For example, in a nursery, a crib and a changing table are necessary for many but the popular rocking chair may not be. While some find it to be useful when attempting to quietly nurse and rock the baby to sleep, many single parents who live alone don’t have a need for it. They aren’t encountering any frequent interruptions or noise like a large family would so nursing in the living room or bedroom may be just fine.
Additionally, some of the smaller gadgets like a Bluetooth-assisted bottle warmer or a hands-free breast pump may not be required for your lifestyle. So, to make sure you aren’t overspending on supplies you don’t need, make a list ahead of time of the products you think you’ll want and how they’ll help you as a parent. If needed, build a registry full of home essentials and refer to a registry assistant at any baby retail store for advice on what will be most useful.
Don’t Underestimate Budget Retail Stores
When it comes to buying big-ticket items like furniture, never be afraid to explore budget retail stores. Select a couple of items to splurge on and look to practical and affordable solutions for the rest.
For example, many parents need a larger closet for a new baby to store diapers, clothes, toys, and so on. However, the price for building out a closet may not be feasible for everyone. Instead, you can look to a store like IKEA for budget-friendly closet systems that can be used in or outside of an existing closet. There are a range of ways you can install the system, and depending on the size you need they start at around a hundred dollars.
When upgrading the current aspects of your home, you’ll want to consider what will be the smartest investment as opposed to the cheapest. While affordability is ideal, cheap may not give you the quality you’re looking for and can result in more spending down the line. Instead, you should prioritize smart spending so that you find greater saving in years to come.
While renovations can be expensive, for some families they just make the most sense. Also, they can easily be financed to save you money down the line.
Many parents choose to upgrade flooring and railings first. Whether or not you choose hardwood or carpet would depend on your needs as a parent, however many opt to add secure railings to staircases for additional safety. Since you will be moving throughout the house with your baby, your railing can serve as added support for you now and for your child as they begin to grow and venture up and down the stairs.
If you are looking to tackle larger renovation projects before the new baby arrives, the laundry room is where many new families start. Daily and unpredictable messes often cause significantly more laundry to be done in your household. Updating this area’s functionality to become more efficient makes it extremely helpful to have a comfortable space overall.
Luckily for large upgrades like this, you can look to a range of financing options to save you money. Some common options include home equity lines of credit (HELOC) and home equity loans. Many find them to be beneficial over credit card payments because of their notably lower interest rates. While HELOC is popular for its flexibility on payments, home equity loans have become popular this year for their fixed payment amount.
With the lending market fluctuations throughout the year, a home equity loan is a more stable option for new parents or single moms that can easily be budgeted. Once you close, you receive your money immediately, leaving you with an ample amount of time to plan for any project you want to be finished before the baby comes home. And by no means does the money have to go directly to the purchase of products for the upgrade, you can always use it to hire an external contractor or designer for further assistance.
In any case, you can work with your lending officer to determine which lending option may be more practical for you.
Do It Yourself
When upgrading for a baby, remember that not everything has to be purchased from a store. In fact, many parents find that DIYs bring a lot more sentimental value and character into the home than store-bought pieces. Specifically in your nursery, you can save a good amount of money by crafting and creating the decor pieces in the room. Any signs, tapestries, or hanging decorations can be made to fit the theme you're going for and typically come at a low cost.
For example, hanging cloud pendant lights have been popular accents in nurseries over the years and require less than 10 supplies at extremely affordable prices. Additionally, parents have loved adding hanging decor like indoor baby swings or DIY canopies to the nursery to grow with your baby over the years. As an added plus, when it comes to shopping for the supplies, you are much more likely to come across savings and coupons at craft stores than you would in home decor stores, making it much easier to afford.
Plan What’s Best For Your Lifestyle
Whether you are upgrading your home with new furniture and decor or taking on an entire renovation, there are plenty of ways you can save and prepare for your new baby. Keeping in mind these saving tips and preparing as soon as possible is key to a successful and affordable home upgrade.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from other parents around you to help avoid any hiccups down the road. While we all want our new babies’ space to be perfect, don’t forget to take time to appreciate the time you’re in and dive into this brand-new lifestyle and journey you’re about to take on. Good luck!