The cost of having a baby adds up very quickly. But being a parent doesn’t need to cause you financial heartache. Learn how to budget for a new baby and save money while enjoying the addition to your family. If you’re still in the planning stages, find out the “5 Financial Steps to Take Before Your Baby Arrives.”
Determine Your Living Expenses
A new baby means you need an all-new budget. Get a pen and paper and start jotting down your income and expenses. Figure out how much of your income you’ll need for essential living costs and how much you can save. You should also think about longer goals like funding your baby’s education down the road. Putting money in savings or money market accounts is a good idea as well, so you have a cushion in case something happens. Three to six months of living expenses should be saved.
Save With Apps and Coupons
There’s an app for everything, and that includes savings on goods for newborns. Given that there are a variety of new items you’ll need to buy, you’ll want to be a smart shopper. From baby food to diapers to clothes, you can find sale prices, manufacturer coupons and other deals out there. If you want to see how the savings add up, record how much money you save from coupons or apps. Try depositing the amount you saved from each coupon into an account for your child for future events or purchases.
Assess Your Insurance
Make sure you look at your company’s health insurance and compare it with your spouse’s, so you can get the best possible maternity coverage. Baby care is very expensive before and after he or she is born, when you consider the routine tests, ultrasounds, labor, delivery and follow-up visits to the doctor. Make sure to check out different policies as well to find a good fit for your new family.
Keep Clothing Costs Low
Borrowing clothes instead of buying them can save you a lot of money, so be sure to talk to family and friends who might have an old baby wardrobe lying around. As you figure out how to budget for a new baby, buying secondhand is a great option with big savings potential. Make sure to check consignment shops, online stores or yard sales to get some good deals on clothes in great condition. Babies grow quickly, so most used clothing will only have been worn a few times.
Skip Unnecessary Items
If you aren’t sure about purchasing an item, don’t spend the money on it. There are tons of baby items available that you simply do not need. Skip bottle warmers, change tables, bath thermometers and other gadgets that only add an extra expense to your spending plan.
Knowing how to budget for a new baby lets you enjoy all the precious moments to come. Share your tips for family finances in the comments!