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I wrote this article a few months ago about 26 Ways To Save Money With A Baby.
That article was essentially focused on having only one child. In this article, I want to touch on the different ways you can save money when expecting baby number two.
Yes, it is an undeniable fact that having kids can get expensive and understandably cost you more money when you go from having just one child to two or three. That’s more mouths to feed, more diapers needed, and sometimes even more space in your home to fit everyone.
While the amount of children someone chooses to have is totally up to them, hopefully this list of tips will help ease the financial burden that can often come with having more kids when things like income don’t increase as well.
1. Continue Saving Money
One of the first tips I gave in the previous article I mentioned was to start saving as soon as you start making plans to expand your family. This is a habit you should continue if you decide to only have one child and if you decide to have more.
Saving money is hands down the best way to help alleviate any financial burdens that may pop up down the road. Saving money can be done in a variety of ways.
You can opt to take out a small portion of your paycheck per pay period and designate those funds as strictly baby money. Or you can just put aside extra cash as it becomes available by cutting back on a few luxuries like eating out and going to the movies.
Apps like Mint can help you get a baseline on what your spending habits are so you can see the areas where you can save more money.
And Acorns, an investment app that gives you a $5 bonus when you sign up, is a great way to start investing in your future a little at a time.
Check out this article for even more apps that will help you save money.
2. Know Your Budget: Can You Really Afford A Second Kid?
Not everyone will financially budget to expand their family. Sometimes having kids is something done on a whim and sometimes a total surprise. But for those actively planning on a larger family, budgeting in advance is key.
When you’re planning for baby number two or three, you should stop and ask yourself if you can afford to have more kids. Yes, having a large family may be your desire, but can your finances handle the strain of more mouths to feed and more bodies to clothe?
Also some other things to consider when expanding your family are things like your car and house. Are they big enough to accommodate everyone and if not, will you be able to afford to expand and upgrade?
Budgeting for a bigger family means saving more money as mentioned in tip one and this article gives 101 ways you can save money on a tight budget! But it also means maintaining an active budget list.
You’ll want to keep track of all your expenses, bills, bonuses and raises and how that changes as your life progresses. When your income changes, so should your budget accordingly. By keeping a budget you won’t find yourself in any dire financial situations in the future.
3. Update Your Employer Benefits
Prior to havings kids, I had a high deductible health plan through my employer. This meant that I had more money taken out of my paycheck to cover healthcare expenses, but as a result my plan had a lower max out of pocket.
At the time, I never went to the doctor for more than a physical so paying more upfront instead of later worked for me. But, once I opted to have kids, it was time to reassess that plan and you may want to pull up your employee benefits too once you decide to have a family.
Sometimes a lower deductible plan will be the better option for you, especially in the beginning when you are trying to save as much money as possible before your baby arrives.
A low deductible plan should result in less money being deducted from your paycheck, but it will mean that your copays could be higher and your max out of pocket higher too (so avoid doctor’s visits if you can).
Sit down with your partner and assess the pros and cons of different plans, and even compare the plans offered between your employers. One company may be better than another.
4. Plan For Those Medical Costs In Advance
No one is ever thrilled about getting blindsided by a huge medical bill. Giving birth is definitely an expensive experience. But if you’ve been through it once already, you can prepare better the second time around for your hospital expenses.
For one thing, knowing you will have frequent doctor’s visits, copays and more means you can plan on setting aside extra money specifically for those costs.
Or if you know your hospital bill is going to be a specific amount again, make sure you have that money saved and ready to be used when your bill arrives.
You can also call your insurance to see what’s covered by your plan and what isn’t so you have a clear indication of what each medical test will cost you out of pocket.
Also ask them for information on things like their coverage of a breast pump, how long you can stay in the hospital, and different payment options available for when your medical bill arrives.
And if you are delivering in the hospital, take advantage of that and remember you are essentially paying for everything in that little room so go ahead and swipe as many of the provided diapers and wipes as you can, baby shampoo bowl and brush, swaddle blankets, pacifiers, and spit up rags.
I even scored a sleep sack swaddle during my hospital stay and it was a lifesaver!
5. Re-Evaluate Your Needs
Once you have tackled the task of having one kid, you’ll have a pretty clear picture of the things you’ll need for baby number two and the things you don’t need. And having more children doesn’t mean you need to duplicate everything.
If you have a wipes warmer and love it, stick with it for the new baby, there’s no need to buy a second one (even if the first child is still in diapers). If you didn’t love the use of a bassinet with your first child, sell it and use the funds for a used crib.
Here are a few things that people may want, but don’t actually need:
- Change Pad: A simple towel works just as well
- Diaper Bag: Use a bag or backpack you already own
- Baby food: It’s much cheaper to make it yourself
- Breast Pump: Most insurance companies will give this to you for free
- Nursery Decorations: A baby won’t care what their room looks like
- Finger Foods: It’s cheaper to cut up some cheese or fruit than to buy overpriced prepackaged baby snacks
6. It’s Okay To Have A Second Baby Shower
Some people love baby showers and some people don’t (I’m in this category), but even if you don’t like baby showers, you have to agree that there are a lot of benefits to having one.
A baby shower is your ticket to getting the things you need for baby one, two or three without having to shell out the cash yourself for those items. And I like to designate baby showers as my chance to get big ticket items covered, like car seats, strollers, and maybe even a crib.
Years ago it was probably a bit taboo to have a second baby shower…maybe you can come off as a little greedy, but presently I see women having second and sometimes even third baby showers because let’s face it, there are extra things you’re going to need…especially if you have children fairly close together.
So if you have a sweet friend or family member that would like to throw you a baby shower for your new addition, let them. Just keep things budget friendly by having the shower at your house (or a friend’s) and offer to help with things like meal prep.
Your first shower you can get away with doing very little work (most of the time the details are a surprise) but for the second, it’s totally fine to get more involved and help out.
6. Don’t Get Rid Of Anything
I had no idea how expensive baby items were until I had a baby. Bottles, clothes, shoes, baby wipes, diapers, and even toys all can pack a punch on your finances. And then there are things like cribs and bedroom furniture, rocking chairs and bassinets. So much money!
If you already had one child but were never sure if you planned on having more, it’s still a good idea to hold on to all of your baby items until you know for sure. There’s nothing worse than throwing out a bunch of perfectly good items, only to discover you need them a year or two later.
This means you should hold onto all baby clothes, even though the next baby might be a different gender. And if you have the storage space for it, save things like car seats, cribs, strollers, baby blankets, bottles and more.
Also, be sure to check out your local thrift store. You can score some sweet baby items at a steal and they are often in pretty good condition. I snagged a second crib that was brand new in the box for $30!
7. Use Cashback Apps to Save Money
I love grocery store apps and basically any app that allows me to save money when I do daily things like grocery shop or fill up my gas tank. I’ve managed to save quite a bit of money and earn some cool cash back perks as well.
To get started here are a few of my favorites:
- Ibotta ($10 bonus when you redeem your first offer)
- Shopkick (many ways to earn rewards)
- Trunow ($2 sign-up bonus with promo TOF19)
- Fetch Rewards ($1.50 bonus with promo HH3MN)
- Makeena (lots of offers on healthy and organic items, especially fruits and vegetables)
8. Save Your Maternity Clothes
Sticking with the theme of saving stuff, this one I’m putting down because I think a lot of ladies forget to do this. I had several friends that got rid of their maternity items immediately upon the birth of their child, only to get pregnant a year later and realize they needed that stuff again.
Unless you really can’t spare the closet or storage space, pack these items up somewhere and keep until you know you are done with having kids. Or you can let friends borrow them and just ask that they don’t get rid of anything when they are done.
But if you tossed your items and need replacements, I’d ask your friends first to see what they have that you can borrow and then head to a thrift store or consignment shop for a few extra items. Keep in mind that you don’t need much as you won’t wear the clothes for that long anyway.
9. Ask Your Friends For Items
If you opted out of having another baby shower but still need some big items, check in with your friends and family who have kids to see if there is anything they are done using or getting rid of.
Sometimes you can luck out with getting a crib, extra stroller, car seat, bassinet, and even things like clothes and toys. Most of the time they won’t ask you to pay anything for the items and will appreciate your help in decluttering their stuff.
10. Take On A Few Side Hustles Until The New Baby Arrives
They say that when you’re pregnant you are too exhausted to think sometimes, and for some this may be true. But, if you can rally some energy, this is a great time to snag a side hustle or two.
A side hustle is something you can do in addition to your day job in order to earn some extra cash. Not every side hustle has to be a part time job, but rather something you can commit to in your own time and set your own schedule.
You can work the side jobs until you deliver or, after a bit of maternity leave, you can opt to continue to keep up with a few side gigs in order to boost your family’s income and maybe even use some of that to save for when you decide to have more kids.
Some side hustle ideas include, writing or ghostwriting, photography, bartending, photo editing, graphic design, marketing and several others. Check out this article for more ideas.
Some other great side hustles include:
- Driving for Uber or Lyft: You can make up to $18 an hour by working prime times
- Working as a Sitter: Pet sit, Babysit or Homesit. (I like sitting options because your newborn and toddlers can tag along with you).
- Working as a Tasker, Thumbtack Pro or Gigwalker
11. Take Surveys To Earn Extra Cash
As much as I like a good side hustle, as a mom to a new little one, you won’t always have a lot of time (or energy) to commit to putting in some extra hours of work in your day.
That’s why I can appreciate taking surveys as a passive way to make money. You can take a survey pretty much at any time, even while breastfeeding or when baby is snoozing in your arms and you feel like you can’t put them down…or move.
If you keep your phone nearby, chances are you can make some extra money while you are fulfilling your mom duties. Here are few of my top choices for earning money right from your phone:
- Survey Junkie – One of the best survey sites out there and so easy to use.
- SwagBucks – $5 registration bonus.
- Pinecone Research – Earn a minimum of 300 points per survey, which is equal to $3 and cash out any time.
- Ipsos – Every 100 points is the equivalent of $1 and you can cash out with as little as 500 points.
- Zap Surveys – Download the app and get a guaranteed $6 on your first survey.
- MyPoints – $10 registration bonus
12. Keep Baby Items To A Minimum
Accumulating a bunch of baby stuff can get out of hand really fast. This is especially true when it comes things like toys. Hopefully you followed the previous suggestion on saving everything from baby number one.
If you didn’t, try not to go crazy replacing items, especially toys. You can actually provide a lot of child entertainment with things likes spoons and a metal lid (instant drum set) or a pair of old socks (sock puppet).
By not cluttering you house with the latest and greatest baby items, your kid will never know what they are missing and you won’t feel like you need to splurge on the next best thing just to keep them entertained.
13. Don’t Forget About Freecycle
I love the Freecycle Network as a source for baby items. Freecycle is made up of over 9 million members around the world who are getting and giving stuff for free! Membership is free and everything listed is free and you are only required to pick up items yourself.
As an added bonus, Freecycle is also great for non-baby items, like a piano or composter or chairs, etc. I highly recommend checking out Freecycle for the stuff you need before shelling out any money somewhere else.
14. Breastfeed Or Start Holding On To Coupons
Maybe breastfeeding didn’t quite go as planned the first time around. That doesn’t mean that you can’t give it another go. Breastfeeding is a huge money saver when compared to the cost of formula.
But, since life can be unpredictable, there is a chance breastfeeding may not work for round two and that’s okay! This is when you can start stockpiling any formula coupons that you come across (I received a ton at birthing classes).
Better yet, feel free to reach out to formula making companies and request samples of their product. Most companies will happily send you a sample of every type of formula that they make and will include coupons in the package as well.
Check out this article for places to get free baby samples.
One thing to take away from all of this, is that kids are only as expensive as you make them out to be. Babies aren’t born wanting a bunch of stuff. Food, a clean diaper, something to keep them warm, and lots of love are pretty much their primary needs in the beginning.
All the extra stuff we heap on children is totally unnecessary. So you definitely can expand your family without breaking the bank.
If you’ve had one, two or several children, how have you managed to save money? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading and happy frugaling for your growing family.