Babies are adorable, loveable, endearing, and expensive. Clothes, formulas, medicines, doctor visits, strollers; the list seems endless. If you’re like most new parents, the joy of the upcoming birth is necessarily tempered with the anxiety about how much everything is going to cost, and how you are going to manage financially. The following tips were learned through experience, and can be helpful in budgeting for your baby’s first year.
Tips for Budgeting and Saving on Baby Expenses:
Tip No. 1. 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.
Tip No. 2. Establish control of gifts. Family and friends share your excitement about the upcoming birth. All want to give something appropriate for the baby’s homecoming. Most people think the same way, and you end up with duplicate items that you can’t use, and other items that you simply don’t need. Sometimes it’s prudent to have a family member manage gift giving control in your place. Oftentimes friends and family, when they are aware of your needs, will combine their money with others to get you some expensive piece of furniture or equipment that you might need. For example, a car seat is indispensable when parents take infants out by car. Friends and family can combine their money to get a best rated convertible car seat.
Tip No. 3. Plan before shopping. There are many consumables that the baby will need, such as diapers and formula. Buying these items as needed at the local grocery store can be expensive. You can save money by purchasing such items in bulk at a warehouse store.
Tip No. 4. Never grocery shop without a list. Impulse buying is the bane of all budgets. If you carefully review your needs, make a list before you leave for the store, and buy only what’s on the list, you’ll save significantly during the baby’s first year. Plan your meals for a week, and buy only what you need to create those meals.
Tip No. 5. Look for sales and shop consignment stores. Retailers are always having sales and manufacturers are always touting coupons. Keep an eye out for bargains and buy when cheap. Check out consignment and thrift shops regularly for baby clothes and accessories. Don’t be afraid to buy larger sizes when they are on sale.
Tip No. 6. 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.
Tip No. 7. Check medical coverage. When selecting baby’s medical care giver make sure that your medical insurance covers you 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.
Tip No. 8. Review all insurance policies. Families spend a lot of money on insurances: life, home, and auto are the big three. Most families automatically renew with the insurance company that they have had for years. Don’t take cost for granted. Check each policy type and shop around to see if you can get a better deal. Insurance prices are competitive. A prudent shopper can often save a significant amount.
Tip No. 9. Apply for all appropriate government benefits to which you may be entitled. In many cases, due to financial conditions, income level, disability, or marital situations, government programs can provide financial, rental, or food assistance. If there is a chance that you are entitled to benefit from any of these programs, apply.