We have all read the stats on what it costs to raise a child but what can you do to prepare your household financially while you wait for the wee one to show up? Feeling prepared and confident may be difficult if you are having a hard time making ends meet. Erin van Vuuren of TheBump.com advises that even though you may not be a natural-born money saver, knowing there is a baby on the way, may just be the push you need to learn how to budget and shop savvier. From her list of ‘51 Ways to Save Up For Baby’, we are sharing the top 5 here. 1. Saving on the basics for you and baby Buying secondhand gear and clothing from consignment and thrift stores will save you an immense amount of money over retail. Banding together with other moms to arrange clothing swaps and barter for larger items is not only fun but practical. Keep your eye on your local Free Sections for furniture items such as a bassinet, change table, car seat, and stroller. (When buying car seats and strollers always check the Safety recall list from Transport Canada). 2. Buy things that last Investing in sturdy items that can be handed down, resold or bartered are more valuable in the long run over repeatedly buying disposable or cheaply made products that do not last. 3. Cut coupons Every week it seems our mailboxes and recycling bins are stuffed with store flyers packed with coupons. Sort, grab your scissors, and start snipping for discounts on items that you can stockpile pre-baby and keep an eye out for those which have lengthy or no expiry dates. Coupons are also available online. 4. Baby-proof your home Prepping your home to prevent accidents can help you save on medical costs (not to mention stress)! 5. Hold out for the baby showers Remember that if someone throws you a baby shower, you will likely wind up with lots of outfits, toys, and maybe even gear. The point? Do not stock up ahead of time. You or your partner can always hit the stores afterward to grab anything else you need. Adjusting to the additional costs of a baby can be stressful but with preparation and a budget plan in place, you will be steps ahead!