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Becoming new parents bring sleepless nights and emotional highs and lows. Yet the problem that stands out above all others is paying for it all.
It costs thousands of dollars to bring up a child. This guide will show you how you can make sure that you’re giving your child everything they need without breaking your wallet
1. Save Money on the Nursery
The nursery is the area dedicated to your new arrival. It will be the place where they nurse and where they learn to recognize shapes and colors for the first time. It might even be the part of the house where they first learn to walk and say their first words.
Giving the nursery everything it needs to thrive can be expensive. There are multiple ways in which you can save money on the nursery.
Shop Around for Second-Hand Furniture
Don’t feel like you have to purchase all new furniture. Nurseries for babies change quickly as the needs of your child change. This means your furniture might only be usable for a couple of years before you get rid of it. And thousands of new parents are in the same situation as you.
A great place to start shopping for used nursery items is Amazon Warehouse. This platform features second-hand furniture shipped in to Amazon by others. Another great option is Craigslist which can often lead to free furniture.
Make Your Own/Repurpose
Another option is to make your own furniture. Homemade furniture adds a touch of character to your nursery, and it can be fun to make at the same time. You can also try repurposing existing furniture.
Use anything from around the house. Just add a coat of paint to it, sand down the corners, and you instantly have a child-friendly piece of furniture for your new nursery.
Don’t Buy Brand Names
Brand name furniture could last for ten years. But keep in mind you only need furniture that will last for a couple of years. Your nursery will be changed beyond all recognition after that point.
There’s no need to pay a premium for brand name items. Stick to non-branded pieces of furniture for the most value.
2. Save Money on Formula/Baby Food
Baby food can quickly add up to hundreds per month. You’ll notice your grocery bill expanding after the first few months when your little one moves onto solid food.
Formula is also expensive before this point, but baby food is the real killer. This section is going to show you a few ways to reduce the cost of both formula and baby food.
Use Receipt Scanning Apps
Receipt scanning apps pay you to take a picture of your receipt as long as a certain item is listed on it. Some of these apps require you to purchase at specific stores while others do not. In fact, some don’t even care what you buy, just as long as your receipt includes the total purchase price.
Let’s walk through an example with one of the most popular receipt scanning apps – Ibotta – where you can earn anywhere from $.25 cents to $5 in cash back per item.
- Register for a free Ibotta account by clicking this link here. You even get a $10 bonus scan your first receipt.
- Browse their offers. Since they’re partnered with thousands of brands and hundreds of stores, you’re bound to find something, especially when it comes to baby items.
- Take a picture of your receipt. Just be sure to include the store name, location and list of items purchased. You can even claim multiple offers per receipt.
- Wait up to 48 hours to receive cash back in your account.
- Once you reach a minimum balance of $10 you can cash out for gift cards, or wait until you reach $20 to cash out for PayPal.
Interested in more apps like this? If so, we suggest taking a look at 10 apps that pay you to scan grocery receipts.
Stick to Non-Brand Names
It doesn’t matter what brand is on the product. What matters is what’s inside the formula/baby food option you choose. Compare the brand names and the non-brand names.
You’ll find that, in many cases, what’s inside is nearly exactly the same. Your little one won’t lose out on any of that much-needed nutrition just because you stay away from the designer names.
Consider Reducing Portion Sizes
Adults tend to look at baby food and formula with their own eyes. They don’t realize that the average child will never make a dent in what you deem to be the correct portion size.
Giving your child less isn’t being stingy, nor is it compromising on their health. It’s reducing the amount of wasted food at the end of the meal.
Smart Shopping Habits
Refining your shopping strategies will ensure that you save money on food. The first option is to start clipping coupons. Many people shy away from this because they think it will make them look cheap, or they simply don’t know how.
Platforms like the Krazy Coupon Lady will show you all you need to know about using coupons. You should also consider buying in bulk. Membership options like Sam’s Club are perfect for helping you to buy at wholesale prices.
Buying baby formula and food every week is much more expensive than one monthly purchase.
3. Save Money on Hygiene
Hygiene will be a big priority during the first year. Your child will have limited control over their vomiting and spitting. This can make the home an extremely messy place to be for new parents.
Keeping things in check with baby wipes and diapers will take up a significant amount of your time, and wallet.
Switch Sizes of Diaper Slower
The logic behind this is that bigger diapers mean you’ll have fewer diapers per box, meaning that you’ll have to purchase diapers more regularly. This doesn’t mean you should leave your child feeling uncomfortable, but a lot of parents switch sizes before they really need to.
Think about the Price Per Diaper
Don’t look at the size of the box when thinking about which brand you’re going to purchase. Think about how much you’re paying per diaper.
This can be done by dividing the price of the box by the number of diapers inside. You might be surprised that the brand names come with a higher price per diaper.
This makes no sense since all diapers have the same use and relatively the same comfort level. Cost per diaper is what matters, rather than the brand name or the package it comes in.
Stick with Plain
When it comes to soaps, powders and other solutions you might be using, you should stick with the plain, standard option. For example, it makes no sense to pay out more for scented soap when non-scented soap will do the job just fine.
Don’t get carried away with all the options available. As long as the baby is clean and is in good health, that’s all that matters.
4. Save Money on Accessories
The accessories you purchase for your child will be the bigger one-time purchases you have to consider. They won’t take a regular chunk out of your monthly income, but they will hurt you in the short-term.
Wait for a Deal BEFORE the Birth
The biggest mistake parents make with these purchases is they will look to buy after their child is born. This puts them in the impossible position of trying to find a deal when they need to make a decision right now.
Take advantage of your time if you’re going to get the best deals. Plan months in advance for these purchases.
This will allow you to look for the various discount codes that can be found on strollers and other big ticket items. You’re sure to find a big discount if you’re willing to wait.
Rent Out Items
Strollers are one item that you can actually rent from baby stores. You might need to shop around to find one that offers rental agreements, but when you find one you’ll be surprised at how affordable this can be.
Renting a stroller can be cheaper than buying. Furthermore, there’s nothing to stop you from trading one model in for another if you find something better.
Buy Now, Pay Later
If you can’t afford to buy now you can look at getting what you need on credit. It’s not uncommon to see one-year interest-free credit offers.
You will need a good credit rating to qualify for these types of offers, but if you have it this can shift the financial headache to a time where you have more liquidity.
5. Plan for the Future
The best way you can save money is by planning for the future. As a parent you have responsibilities that you would have never considered before.
Here are some of the nest eggs you should have in place for your child.
A children’s savings account can be started for as little as $5 per week. Many financially smart parents will create savings accounts on the day their child is born. They will add a small amount each week until they come of age.
Accounts like the Discover Savings Account allow you to do this.
It may not sound like much, but if you allow compounding to work then a small yield can leave your child with a few thousand by the time they leave home.
You could even roll this money into an index fund to double your yield. Research the various savings accounts carefully to ensure you make the best decision. Motif Investing gives a $150 bonus to new investors.
Get Life Insurance
Life insurance is a necessary protection against one or both parents dying. It’s likely not going to happen, but it’s important to not leave your child financially unprepared should the worst happen.
Taking out life insurance at a young age is cheaper than you think, and the investment is worth it. We recommend taking out whole life insurance to spread your costs and to remove the need to renew your policy when it comes to an end.
Read the terms and conditions carefully to ensure it covers your family adequately.
Remember Gift Tax Rules for Grandparents
Involve grandparents in planning for your child’s financial future. They can be an unexpected source of income for your child and most grandparents welcome the chance to be involved in planning for the future.
Gift tax rules may change, so be sure to keep up-to-date with them or contact an accountant. Typically you can give up to around $14,000 to someone else without worrying about taxes.
Gifting money to grandchildren can also help grandparents with their own estate planning. Larger estates should be handled by a financial expert.
Should You Save for College or Save for Retirement?
Parents know that the costs of college is extremely high. Decide whether your child going to college is the right decision for them.
People are living longer than ever before and retirements are lasting longer. You need to make your money go further. If you run out of money you don’t want to pass the financial burden onto your children when they’re all grown up.
You’re also missing out on a lot of benefits by not saving for retirement. Maxing out things like your 401(k) should be a priority due to 100% matching. Take part in every program and take advantage of every tax break you can.
The same advantages don’t come with saving for college. Some argue that college is your child’s responsibility and that it’s up to them to pay it off.
Raising a child is an expensive task. Make sure you’re well prepared and have the financial means to raise one. If you have any other tips or tricks on how to save money raising a child, feel free to let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!