Having your first child is exciting – and there’s a lot to look forward to. However, expectant moms know that it’s a time filled with lots of anxieties and unknowns. As far as parenting and caring for a newborn baby, you aren’t really quite sure what to expect the first time around. From a very practical perspective, many new moms also don’t know how they’ll pay for everything that comes with parenthood. From baby products and toys to doctor visits and childcare, the financial burden of being a new mom can be challenging.
Ways to Save Money
The good news is that there are ways to lessen the burden. Using the following money saving tips, you can keep more money in your bank account and make more efficient use of the money you do spend.
- Save during pregnancy. The great thing about pregnancy is that you get time to prepare for your baby. Use these months to not only prepare emotionally, but also financially. Save whatever you can each month and stash it away in a “baby account.” This will give you a nice financial buffer when the child is born. You never know what expenses await, so it’s good idea to have a few hundred or thousand dollars put away.
- Find free samples. Did you know that many companies offer free samples for things like diapers, baby formula, breastfeeding supplies, wipes, and other common baby products? A free product here and a discounted product there may not seem like a lot, but they add up. You can typically find free offers online, at your local hospital or doctor’s office, and in magazines and local classifieds.
- Be cautious with diapers. One of the biggest expenses parents of newborns have is diapers and wipes. They add up extremely quick. A good tip is to be cautious about switching sizes. While diaper companies suggest certain sizes for certain ages, it really depends on the child. The longer you can get away with smaller diapers the better. (You get more per package). One mom says her daughter weighs significantly more than the size three diapers she wears, but has no problem with leaks or discomfort. As a result, she’s able to save a few dollars each week.
- Go gender-neutral whenever possible. While it may not help you out any right now, purchasing gender-neutral baby products will help you in the long run. If you plan on having more children in the future, you’ll want to get as much reuse as you can out of clothing, toys, and other products. This will prevent you from having to buy everything from scratch, should you have a baby of the opposite gender.
- It’s okay to borrow. You’d be surprised how many of your friends and relatives have baby products stashed away in a closet gathering dust. Well, after wiping away that dust, you can put them to use. Most people are more than happy to let you borrow – or may even give you – old baby cribs, clothing, and toys. You can save hundreds of dollars by simply asking.
- Cut back in other areas. After having a baby, you’ll need to readjust your budget. By eliminating just one or two frivolous expenses, you can free up considerable amounts of cash for monthly baby expenses.
Making Smart Financial Decisions
At the end of the day, you have to remember that it’s your responsibility – as a parent – to raise a healthy, happy baby. Unfortunately, money does play a role in that outcome. There are things you’ll have to spend on, even if it stretches your resources. But there are also things you don’t necessarily need to purchase. Understanding the differences between these categories and saving money wherever possible will lead to a happier and healthier life as parents.