While having a baby is one of the most exciting time’s in your life, it’s also one of the scariest. One of the biggest worries new parents have is how they can possibly afford the baby. Diapers, formula, gear, clothing and other necessities are expensive and many new parents don’t know how they will possibly keep a roof over their heads and a clean diaper on their child’s behind.
Fortunately, with a few easy tips you can save big money on your baby care needs, reducing stress and leaving you more time to enjoy your growing family. Read on to discover 5 great money tips for new parents.
1. Join a warehouse club store
The membership fee might not make sense for a childless couple, but once you add a baby to the mix, the diaper savings quickly pay for the cost of the membership. A bag of 32 diapers will cost you about $7 at a discount retailer, while a case of diapers containing about 6 times that many diapers will cost $30 at a warehouse club for a savings of $12 per case. If you buy a case each month, you’ll save about $144 per year, which will more than pay for the cost of your membership. Add in that many clubs allow you to use coupons and your savings increase.
2. Buy store brand formula
If you decide to formula feed your baby, check out the store brands. Strict FDA regulations make store brand formulas adhere to the same standards as pricey name brand formulas. Save yourself some money by starting your baby off on the more affordable brands, and enjoy the savings over time. Look at your warehouse club from tip number 1 to see if they have an exclusive brand of formula that may be less than half the cost of national brands.
3. Buy used baby gear
There’s no rule that says your child needs a new high chair or a new walker. As long as you do your research and check for recalls there is nothing wrong with buying used baby gear. The exception should be the carseat. Expired car seats are dangerous and should be avoided. Typically an infant car seat expires 5 years after the manufacture date, which should be printed somewhere on the plastic part of the seat. Also, if the seat has ever been in a crash, you should never use it. A good tip is to buy your carseat new and save by buying other items used.
4. Put your due date one month ahead on store registries
The reason behind this one is not well advertised to new parents. Most stores offer a discount on items that weren’t bought after the due date arrives. If you are registering for items that you will need right away such as a bassinet or a car seat, it might be wise to put your due date as being a month in advance so you have time to get the coupon and purchase your gear before your baby arrives.
5. Buy gift cards for yourself before the baby arrives
Instead of buying and hoarding diapers in various sizes in preparation for your new baby, buy yourself gift cards instead. A $10 gift card each time you go to the store will soon amount to plenty of diaper money once the baby arrives. The exception to this idea is if you have coupons or find a good sale – then feel free to stock up until your heart is content and your closets are full.
Having a baby doesn’t have to be a huge expense. Careful planning and budgeting will help you get everything you need without breaking the bank. Reducing costs can help reduce the stress on new parents, leading to a better adjustment period when the baby arrives.