From baby bottles to high-end strollers, there are numerous costs that are part of being a new parent. Fortunately, there are a few different ways to juggle your new baby with your current and future expenses. In fact, there are ways to even SAVE money during the process.
Mike Sullivan, Director of Education for Take Charge America (a national non-profit credit counseling agency), tells us to, “Take time to evaluate your baby needs versus wants…Many products and services are marketed as essential, but they’re really not. Be cautious of gimmicks and stick to purchases you know are crucial to raising a healthy and happy baby.”
Here are 5 great ways how you can save:
#1 Baby budget
Create a new family budget that includes your new expenditures. Make sure to take into account all the expenses that will come the second your baby does, like healthcare, childcare, daily baby needs, mommy gear, and transportation. Also, don’t be afraid to think outside-the-box for solutions to managing your weekly budget. For example, a Visa prepaid card is a great way to create a baby expense account that you can reload on a regular basis. You can also use online monitoring to track your expenses and further safeguard against racking up baby-debt.
#2. Choose “convertibles”
Try to find baby gear and furniture that has more than one use. In fact, the more you can use it for different activities, the better off you will be. For example, buy an infant car seat that attaches to a frame of a stroller.
#3. Maternity leave
Many working moms (sometimes dads) get 6 weeks of maternity leave or more. Make sure to find out if the leave is paid or unpaid. And especially pay attention if it’s unpaid, so that you can start saving to prepare for the upcoming income gap. Also, find out if you can use stored up vacation or sick days, as this would be additional pay that that you can save during the hiatus.
#4. Luxury does not always equal quality
Your baby won’t know the difference in brand names, so why should you dress them up in designer brands when they are going to be growing so quickly. Save the stress until they are older! There are generic brand products that are just as good as the luxury names. Plus, your baby can’t tell the difference between a normal baby swing and the top-of-the-line baby swing.
#5. Stock up
There are some items that you know you will need lots of, so be sure to buy the biggest package of select items like baby formula and diapers because you get more bang for your buck when you buy in bulk. As well, try and wait for sales and/or coupon deals to make sure you maximize your savings.
Raising a child is a serious financial undertaking, but it’s always worth it! Don’t be afraid to shake things up and try to find ways to save money, as long as you are able to keep your baby healthy and happy. Whether you follow these guidelines and immediately set up a budget with a Visa reloadable card, or simply follow the above tips loosely, the important part is that you prepare yourself for the inevitable increase in the cost of a new child.