The financial costs of ensuring your child is well cared for can be staggering. Parenting says, “the average middle-income family will spend roughly $12,000 on child-related expenses in their baby’s first year of life. By age two, parents are up to more than $12,500 per year.” The good news is that it’s possible to give your baby the best possible start in life even while cutting way down on these costs. First time parents have a tendency to go overboard when it comes to making sure their baby has everything he or she could possibly need. They often also don’t take advantage of these money saving ideas for new parents simply because it is hard to know everything the first time around. This advice for new parents can greatly reduce the cost of raising a new baby.
Advice For New Parents: 10 Money Saving Ideas
1. Borrow or buy used equipment and furniture.
Friends and family are often more than happy to lend you baby gear that they aren’t currently using. You can also find great bargains online, in charity or second hand shops, and at garage sales. There are really only three baby essentials that you should never buy used for safety reasons, namely car seats, crib mattresses and baby bottles.
2. Be creative.
There are lots of things that new parents can make themselves for the newborn such as your own wall decor at a fraction of the purchasing price. Here are 20 DIY baby projects.
3. Go green with cloth diapers.
Cloth diapers are an eco-friendly choice and they save a great deal of money at the same time, by using cloth diapers rather than disposables. If you are having trouble with the ‘ick factor” of washing dirty diapers, you can buy disposable paper diaper liners.
4. Breastfeed if possible.
Rather than using expensive formula, consider breastfeeding. Breast milk provides your baby with the perfect nutrition, numerous health benefits and it’s free.
5. Make your own baby food.
Homemade baby food is much less expensive that purchasing commercial baby food and you control the quality. All you really need is a blender. You can find baby food recipes and helpful hints here.
6. Try used baby clothes.
When it comes to baby clothes, stick to the basics and resist the urge to outfit your infant in the latest over-priced baby fashions (as cute as they might be). Babies actually don’t need a lot of clothes and they grow out of them rapidly. You can find gently-used baby clothes for a fraction of the price of new items. Try thrift stores, garage sales, or craigslist. Also, graciously accept hand-me-downs. Even if someone offers you something that you really don’t prefer, take it. You don’t want to insult a good source. Let friends know that you’d be happy to take hand-me-downs when their children outgrow clothes.
7. Keep the toys down.
Don’t get carried away buying toys, however tempting. Giving an expensive toy as a gift is often lost on small children, as they are likely to be more interested in playing with the wrapping paper or box it came in. Once again you can buy gently used toys or borrow toys from a toy library.
8. Baby Samples
Take advantage of baby freebies, discounts and free samples. The highly competitive baby products industry courts new parents. They give away a vast array of baby goods from bath accessories, to formula, diapers, wipes, children’s books and much more. Visit Freeflys for a list of completely free baby stuff!
9. Baby Registry
Make a wish list of all the items you would like to have for your baby and share it with family and friends. Similar to a gift list at a wedding, it will cue them as to what gifts would be most appreciated. Don’t go overboard. It is better to put the basics you actually need.
10. Take Advantage Of Tax Benefits
Don’t miss out on any benefits you may be entitled to as a new parent. Check out information on various benefits and tax credits and how to apply for them. Nerd Wallet has some great info but check with your accountant or tax software as well.
Baby On A Budget
Last but not least, make sure to create a budget. A budget is focused attempt to recognize and plan for expenses. It may be only an educated guess, but it’s far better than a wild guess. By careful budgeting, you’ll be less likely to overlook necessary expenses and to incur unnecessary ones. Budgets help to avoid impulse purchases.
One More Money Saving Tip!
When choosing a doctor for your baby make sure that your medical insurance covers your baby. Oftentimes, the coverage will be available as part of your family plan, but the insurance company requires notification to include the new family member on the policy.
I hope you find these money saving ideas for new parents helpful. Babies are adorable, loveable, endearing, and expensive. Clothes, diapers, doctor visits, and baby gear all add up. These money saving ideas for baby are sure to come in handy!