From snuggles to first steps and new words, your role as a parent is an experience like no other. However, with the new sense of amazement, also comes the overwhelming feeling of your newfound costs. Don’t drain your bank accounts in order to provide for the newest member of the family. Here are a few ways to save here and there in those early years:
1. Buy clothing used, never new. While you can often get caught up in styling your new little one, it's important to stick to a budget and not let your spending get out of control. If it's your first baby, you can more often than not, count on a few new outfits coming in the door once the baby has arrived. However, if it's your second or third, that might not be the case. Friends and family members who have had a baby recently, or those that are heading out of the baby stage, can be a great resource. That being said, don't be afraid to reach out to those individuals for opportunities of gently-used clothing. Babies don't wear certain sizes for long, so used clothing can easily save you money in the long run.
Another great way to land gently-used clothing is garage sales. Check social media or swap shops for sales near you. Grab a little stain remover (just in case) and they'll be like new!
2. Utilize registry discounts. Whether it's your first baby or your second, be sure to create a registry at your favorite retailers. The process will help you plan out your needs and wants, while making it easy to also check out reviews and suggested products online. Most registries will offer a discount at some point before the baby's arrival. This will allow you to shop your must-haves or larger items at a better price, saving you on some of the pre-baby expenses.
3. Take advantage of your insurance benefits. Be sure to check in with your human resources department to make sure you're taking full advantage of the resources offered through your benefits program. This might be in the form of covered motherhood essentials or a dependent care coverage.
4. Prepare frozen meals before arrival. After your family welcomes home your new bundle of joy, you will be exhausted - from staying at the hospital to adjusting to your new life at home. With stress and diminished sleep, it will be way too tempting to forego making dinner and just head out to a fast-food joint for nourishment. This can be a nice treat after spending so many days in the hospital, but can easily become a habit and cause your budget to go out the window.
Instead, try making freezer meals during the last months leading up to your due date. Ask your friends and family for easy meal suggestions and maybe they'll even add to your froze stash.
5. Subscribe and save on the essentials. As new parents, allow yourself to use technology to your advantage. Many large retailers now have the added convenience of purchasing items on a recurring basis in order to receive an overarching discount. This is available for many baby items, including: diapers, formula, wipes, food, and more. In addition to the baby essentials, add your household essentials to your subscriptions lists. Toilet paper, deodorant, shampoo, paper towels, laundry detergent, and cleaning supplies are just a few of many household items that you can add to your delivery services while saving your time, money, and sanity.
Congratulations on the changes coming your way! By keeping these five budgeting and saving tips in mind, you'll be able to start this exciting stage with an ease of mind and a happy wallet.
If you're in the process of saving or planning your new budget, Money Manager can help you easily track your money going in and out. Even better, it's free. Check it out today!