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The blogging sphere has crowded up very quickly in the past decade and it even looks like YouTube is taking over. Starting a blog in 2021 se...

Tuesday 27 September 2022

How to Save Money on Baby Costs

How to Save Money on Baby Costs

The birth of a baby is a life changing event. It not only affects your physical and mental health, it also tells on your finances. You may need to move into a house with an extra room; you will have more use of water, gas and electricity. Your bills will definitely increase. Also, maternity leave means a drop in your regular income and then down the line there is the cost of child care. These coupled with the fact that most people have babies in their youth when they are also trying to get established in their careers, means that the decision to have a baby can seriously destabilize one financially, if not prepared. Rich or poor, babies are being born anyway. It is therefore necessary to find ways to cut down on the huge expenses that accompany the birth of a newborn - even more important with the UK's current cost of living crisis.

Here are 6 ways to save money on baby costs.

1. Accept used products from friends and family. In the excitation of expecting a new baby, it is easy to overspend. There are lots of blogs and YouTube videos about what to buy and though mostly helpful, some of the things you will buy will be a waste. We were blessed to have generous senior friends who out of their own good will gave us some of their baby stuff still in perfect condition. It really saved us money especially for the bulkier stuff like baby cot, Moses basket, and baby stroller. However, it is advisable to get a brand new car seat as it must comply with safety rules.

2. Try cheaper nappies. Size 2 Pampers pack of 46 from Tesco is £6 compared to Size 2 Mamia pack of 58 from Aldi which is £2. Just see how much can be saved. In my experience, the Mamia nappy was even more absorbent than Pampers. I also tried Tesco's Fred n Flo Size 2 nappy which was about £3 but I found it worse than Aldi's Mamia and Pampers so I dumped it. Before settling for expensive brands, try out cheaper brands.

3. Breastfeed. I understand that certain situations may impact on one's ability to breastfeed. But breastfeeding, apart from its numerous health benefits, is another way of cutting costs. SMA Pro first infant formula 800g is £11. Other brands are even costlier. Exclusively formula fed neonates can go through one tin within 3 days. 

4. Buy cheaper bodysuits. Bodysuits or onesies are those vests that are fastened at the nappy area. They are usually worn beneath a sleepsuit or any other clothing. They are inadvertently going to poo on some of them. Why invest £50 on an expensive bodysuit when one can get 10 for £9. These expensive bodysuits are going to be covered anyway. They look cool in pictures though. Also, babies grow very quickly. If you invest a lot in new born clothes and shoes, they may outgrow them before they get a chance to wear them. My baby came out big. He did not get to wear some of the new born shoes we were gifted.

5. Throw a baby shower/gender reveal. While you should not count on gifts from friends or make that the reason for throwing a shower, gifts from friends and family go a long way in cutting baby costs. 

6. Apply for child benefits. Check to see if you are eligible for any available child benefits and apply. You could get help with childcare costs or a monthly stipend for the child. It may not be much but, a little is better than nothing.

A newborn baby brings joy but can put a strain on the family finances. I hope with these few points of mine, you are able to save a few dollars, pounds or Naira. Please comment below with additional tips.

Radiant ~ September 2022

Sunday 4 September 2022

Why Christians Struggle in Life - The 3 Enemies

Why Christians Struggle in Life

photo credit - midtowndowntown.com

Despite the victory that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ bought believers, many Christians still live defeated lives all through their time on earth. Many Christians are still poor, sick and depressed despite being free from the oppression of Satan and the bondage of sin.

The Christian life is not void of troubles, don't get me wrong. Jesus said "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." - John 16:33b NIV

There are trials that we will have to face in order for the life of Christ to be perfected in us. However, there are troubles we bring upon ourselves and these are the types we should make every effort to avoid. "People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed?" - Proverbs 19:3 MSG

Here are three things I have discovered that can hinder a believing Christian from living a successful purposeful life.

If you are struggling in life, you might want to check that one of these three does not exist in your life.

1. Ignorance

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6 KJV

Many Christians pray and hope for God to give them ideas for success, but do not actively seek knowledge. We are in an era of enlightenment. There is knowledge everywhere. They are in books, blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos, etc. Literally, "wisdom calls out on the streets..." Proverbs 1:20 NET

Daniel was full of wisdom. His wisdom was not only supernatural. God gave him understanding of books. As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom" Daniel 1:17a NKJV

Rather than waiting on inspiration to re-invent the wheel, we should be diligent in going after existing truth, wisdom and knowledge both from the Bible and other literature. 

2. Laziness

Some people know what to do but are just too lazy to do it. 

They may either not bother doing it, do it inconsistently, or do it not long enough. 

"His master replied, 'You wicked lazy servant!..." Matthew 25:26 NIV

This servant in the parable of the talents did not bother going to work with his talent. He hid it. So the Master called him lazy.

"The slothful will not roast his game; but the diligent man will get precious wealth." Proverbs 12:27 KJV  

So this man went out and did some work in catching a game, but did not see it through to completion. He did not roast it. How many unfinished projects do we have? I am guilty myself, with so many unpublished blog posts (started but never completed).

3. Cowardice

Some people know what to do, are able to give it their best but do not do so because of fear.

  • Fear of failure. They might have failed in previous projects. Once beaten, twice shy.
  • Fear of their idea being taken from them.  So they fail to develop their ideas.
  • Fear of the initial sacrifices they may have to make to see the idea through. So they remain in their comfort zone.

"I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look here is your money back." Matthew 25:25 NLT

That lazy servant in the parable of the talent said his excuse was fear of losing the money. Has fear of losing money prevented you from making a wise investment?

"But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." Rev 21:8 NLT

It is quite alarming to see that cowards are among those going to hell, named first even before murderers and the immoral. So we should fight off fear with the same zeal we fight off sin.

In conclusion, a non-believer would have these 3 enemies as well as the devil and sin to battle with. But somehow non believers are even more aggressive against these 3. Since they do not rely on God, they go after knowledge with all their might and work hard because they have only themselves to trust.

But believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are at a more advantageous position. The devil has been defeated and sin has no dominion over us. We have been set up for success already. We should not then shoot ourselves in the foot by allowing ignorance, laziness and cowardice rob us of our blessings.

I am still having to deal with number 2. Which one is it for you?

If this blog post has blessed you, please leave a comment below.


Radiant ~ September 2022