Babies are truly little bundles of joy and fill a parent’s heart with love. But having children is also notoriously expensive, and babies are no different.
So we have compiled some money-saving tips and tricks for new parents to help reduce costs and stress levels when bringing home their baby. Read on for 30 of the best suggestions for balancing a new addition to the family and your finances!
Boost Your Savings
Before—and after—your child arrives, make sure to boost your savings as much as possible. A great way to do this is by hiring a financial advisor who can guide you toward the best high-interest savings accounts or investments that are available.
Or, if possible, making some extra money before the baby arrives is a good idea. Not only will this help with your savings and budget, but you won’t have to worry after the birth when you are already exhausted.
Pay Off Debts Before The Baby Arrives
After the baby is born, your finances will likely not be the same. With extra medical, educational, and nutritional bills, it’s a good idea to pay as much debt down as possible pre-delivery.
Plan For Parental Leave
While many jobs offer great parental leave for new moms and dads, that’s not always the case. Ensure you understand your options in advance, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for 12 weeks of unpaid (job-protected) leave per year.
Establish a Family Budget
As with most things in life, creating a comprehensive budget for your family is essential. Make sure you do this before and after the baby arrives to continue controlling your spending and know your financial limits.
Download a Budgeting App
Make following your budget easier than ever with the convenience of a budgeting app. Having access to your budget plan on your smartphone makes it simple to keep your finances in mind when out and about or busy with your baby.
Mint, EveryDollar, and Personal Capital are just a few of the many highly-rated budgeting apps available on the App Store and Google Play.
Prepare For Emergencies
Having an emergency fund is important for many reasons, and new babies are just another reason to be prepared. Emergencies happen anytime, big or small, and being ready for something like a sudden hospital stay or broken stroller is essential.
Start Saving For Your Child’s Future
It’s never too early to start planning for your child’s future, so start putting aside some money each month once your baby arrives. It doesn’t have to be a lot either—the funds will add up over the next 18 years!
Tell People What You Need
Don’t be afraid to let the people in your life know what you need. Everyone likes to help out with a new baby on the way, and telling friends and family about the items you still require or setting up a baby registry is a great way to get them involved.
Exchange Unwanted Gifts
People love to give gifts for all sorts of occasions, from house warmings to holidays, and welcoming a new child is no different. But if you receive a gift you probably won’t use or don’t want, it’s perfectly acceptable to exchange it for something you need.
There are quite a few ways to get your hands on free baby things. For instance, many baby manufacturers offer free samples or promotional boxes for new parents, or you search local marketplaces like Facebook for other freebies.
But don’t stop there. Medications and doctor visits are expensive for adults, children, and babies alike, so to mitigate those costs ask your pediatrician for some free samples while you’re there—they might have test packets of lotions or creams available.
Join Parenting & Baby Clubs
There are a variety of clubs for new parents and their children, where you can get access to freebies, deals, and wide-ranging support from other moms and dads. Check out the available clubs in your area and see what suits your family!
Put Needs Before Wants
It can be tempting to look at all the adorable things available in baby sizes and want to purchase them all, but it’s important to put the necessary items above your wishlist entries.
Instead of spending money on items for your baby’s first birthday, focus on gathering the essentials for having a newborn in the home, including diapers, clothes, bottles, blankets, and other necessities.
Don’t Waste Money on Shoes
Babies don’t really need shoes—though they might be adorable little boots, your child will outgrow them before they are truly useful. So, save money and don’t buy shoes until your child walks.
Keep Toy Purchases to a Minimum
For the first few months, at least, your baby will not require too much stimulation by playing with toys. So, while it’s tempting to purchase various cute, cuddly toys and stuffed animals, it’s not essential yet.
Embrace Second-Hand Clothing
One of the best ways to save money is by embracing hand-me-downs from friends and family members whose children have outgrown items or no longer use them or purchasing clothes second-hand. They might not be new, but they will be just as good!
This is especially important for special occasions when you want your baby to look nice. Buying an expensive newborn outfit they will quickly outgrow isn’t budget-wise; instead, shop second-hand stores for a nice ensemble.
Buy a Size Up
You probably can’t avoid buying some items for your child, such as clothing. But when shopping for clothes, make sure you buy them big—babies grow very fast, and their tiny clothes will not fit for very long, so opt for one size up to get more wear.
Do Research, so You Don’t Overspend
It can be tempting to assume that items with a higher price tag are of better quality. However, just because a stroller is a few hundred dollars doesn’t necessarily mean it will last longer or be more comfortable—always research baby items beforehand.
And just because something has “pregnancy” or “baby” in its branding, you are not restricted to purchasing just that. In fact, these items are often pricier than standard products.
Of course, this is only valid for products that are not harmful to babies when not specially formulated for them, such as vitamins or skincare items.
Opt For Double-Duty Furniture
Stick to furniture in the nursery that can serve more than one function. For instance, a baby changing table that also features storage below the tabletop is an excellent investment and saves money on buying two different pieces of furniture.
Make Homemade Baby Food
When your baby is ready to start branching out into foods other than milk or formula, instead of purchasing premade purees and baby food, why not make your own? Find easy baby recipes with fruit and vegetables, and put your blender to use.
Host a DIY Baby Prep Night
Invite family and friends over and turn crib construction, baby wipe making, or bouncy seat building into a group activity. Grab some snacks and settle in with those closest to you for a fun evening.
Swap Babysitting Services With Friends
Hiring a babysitter to watch your child can be expensive, particularly if you are going out regularly. Instead, swap babysitting services with your friends, watching their kids in return for their help with yours.
Have Photo Shoots With Friends
Instead of paying several hundred dollars for a professional baby photoshoot, ask an artsy friend who is talented with a camera to do it for you. Not only will you save money, but the atmosphere will likely be more relaxed for everyone.
Look Into Your Local Library
Many libraries run programs for young families, including new parents, babies, and toddlers. These can include music groups, playtime gatherings, or family storytime hours, all for free, so make sure you check them out!
Try Items Before You Buy
When purchasing a large and expensive item, make sure to give it a test run first. For instance, a big stroller might seem ideal, but if it doesn’t steer easily, it will quickly become a pain!
Save & Reuse Items
Try to get as much use out of baby items as you can. This includes feeding supplies like bottles and bottle heaters, clothing, and furniture such as cribs, changing tables, and car seats. Reusing these things for each baby will save so much money!
Be Aware of Hidden Hospital Add-Ons
It’s no secret that having a child is costly, and that expense begins at the hospital. For many parents, having their baby in a hospital produces a bill in the thousands of dollars, including delivery, medication, prenatal care, and post-delivery services.
While delivering your child in the hospital might be unavoidable, be aware of the add-ons that are not always advertised. That includes private rooms, food, and even watching the TV!