This time of year just seems rife with showers. And I don’t mean the kind that show up in the weather forecast. What is it about springtime that makes us think of baby showers? Something about the budding trees and flowers, or maybe all the pastel on the clothing racks at stores? Whether you are throwing a baby shower for a friend, attending one or planning one for the future, I am here to help! This week, let’s talk about how to handle, plan for and budget for those oh-so-cute baby showers.
Registry Road Map
Having just had a baby, I can tell you that buying from the registry is my No. 1 tip! What good is that really cute outfit if you don’t have crib sheets? If you absolutely must gift that adorable little sailor outfit, make sure you pick up some plain onesies, too. If the mother-to-be doesn’t have a registry, don’t hesitate to ask her or the party host if there are any special requests, such as multiple sizes of diapers.
I was really lucky that we had two boys with birthdays a mere one day (and a few years) apart. We didn’t have to ask for anything clothing-related this go-round. If the two boys grow at the same rate, Jack’s clothes will align for Pete in the right seasons. If you’re invited to a shower for a second baby or a well-equipped mom-to-be, the registry may not be as full. In this instance, it’s okay to be a bit more imaginative with your gifting. Think along the lines of experiences, such as a gift certificate for a massage, haircut or even a house cleaning.
Mom on a Mission
If you’re the mama who’s registering, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. For instance, make sure you register for items across a wide variety of price points. You may have a group of cousins or friends who will pool money together for a big-ticket item like a crib or changing table but don’t forget to include some $10-20 items or even less, too, as people love to make baskets.
If this is your first baby and you’re unsure of what to add to the registry, keep your budget in mind and invite some experienced mothers to tag along. Someone who’s had a baby recently can give you insight on the latest gear. You may even have this friend walk through your house or apartment before hitting the stores – their “mom-sense” may pick up some ideas you never considered (and yes, “mom-sense” is real).
Hostess With The Mostess
Maybe you’re hosting a baby shower for a relative or a friend. Don’t let the shower become a source of stress – celebrating someone’s growing family is far more important than breaking your budget to impress anyone. Talk to a pal or a co-worker who’s hosted a party recently to get a good idea of the budget, especially if you’re planning on a specific location. For example, renting a space at a restaurant can be expensive and food is often not included in the pricing. Could you use a church or throw the shower at your home instead?
One of my favorite websites, Pinterest, is an amazing resource for theme ideas for decorations and games. Is the mother-to-be a well-known early riser? Throw her a shower with a breakfast or brunch angle. Egg bakes and hash browns can be pretty easily put together the night before and these ingredients are usually budget-friendly. And with pink or blue food coloring, the possibilities for punch or juice are fairly endless.
Or, you may consider throwing a couples shower and getting the guys involved in celebrating the forthcoming bundle. After all, the father-to-be may need to fill up his own diaper bag. This popular shower trend is a fun way to get the whole family or gang together. With the weather improving, you may even consider throwing a “Babe-B-Que” and ask attendees to bring potluck side dishes.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, if you need it. Consider co-hosting with mutual friends or a cousin. No matter what you choose to do, keep the shower low-stress and cost-effective by setting a budget and planning ahead.
Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens.