When you have a baby on the way, lots of things can seem overwhelming. And with all the new experiences coming your way, it can be daunting to think about how much everything will cost. But with a few budget tips in mind and just a little bit of self-discipline, you can make your wallet happy as your family grows.
Take an 80% Used Clothing Pledge
With all the expensive stores filled with baby gear and clothes, a spending spree can be tempting. But take a pledge, even if it’s just between you and your partner, to buy 80% of all of your baby’s clothing used. If you can snag some hand-me-downs from family or friends with kids, so much the better. And besides—they’re going to grow out of everything so fast that there’s no sense in spending a bundle on baby clothes. Plus, with an 80% pledge, it still leaves room for planned splurges on that adorable onesie or a special holiday dress.
Get Must-Haves in Bulk
When it comes to diapers and formula, buying in bulk is a must. You can save big by hitting Costco or other warehouse stores for those items you know you’re going to be using daily. And for emergencies when you’re caught without enough and need to make an urgent stop, know which spots will have the best prices—Walmart vs. Target, or supermarkets vs. pharmacies. Even better, grab cloth diapers that you can reuse, especially if you have a washer at home.
Consider Feeding Needs
There is no right answer to the “formula or breastfeeding?” question, and every family is different. But if nursing is an option for you and baby, it’s a great way to provide essential nutrients essentially for free. Formula can add up cost-wise, and there are plenty of health benefits to breastfeeding as well. If you can cut down at all on formula costs, bottle use, and all those associated costs, it’s a boon for your wallet.
Find Bigger Bang for Your Buck on Big Purchases
Items like 4-in-1 car seats and cribs are a lifesaver—and a big money saver. When you can invest in one good car seat that will last you until they’re riding in the car without one (seriously, these can take you from four to 120 pounds), you’re looking good. These convertible items grow with your child, adapting with them as they get bigger and need something different. Convertible cribs can go from crib to big-kid bed in just a few easy changes.
Cut Out Unnecessary Expenses
Sometimes you need to give your budget a jump start after all these big purchases. Take a close look at your expenses, and see what you can cull. Could you do without Netflix for a few months? What about those meal kit deliveries you don’t have time to cook right now? Could you sell a car, or downgrade now that baby’s on the way? Cutting out and reducing expenses will free up more funds for the things that really matter now.
Borrow Items Instead of Buying
Wherever you can save money on larger purchases, it will help you in the long run. And if you have friends or family with kids who are aging out of particular items—like strollers, car seats, and more—ask to borrow some of those more substantial items. That gives you a chance to test out products, see what you like, and maybe purchase down the line. Or perhaps you can pass the items back when your kids have outgrown them, making it easy to clean house and saving you money in the process.
For more money-saving tips, check out some other tidbits on our blog here.
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