How to Set a Smart Baby Budget and Save Money on Every Purchase
Babies are cute, but boy are they expensive! If you’re a parent-to-be, you may be wondering how you’re going to get ready for your little bundle of joy without busting your budget. We know how overwhelming this feeling can be, but don’t worry! With a smart plan, it’s possible to stock up on everything you need while staying under budget.
Set a Budget
Besides setting a budget for your general household expenses, use this time to plan out your financial big picture, along with baby expenses. We like Mint’s guide for using coupon apps and determining ways you can get by while spending less.
For baby gear, it helps to consult a checklist so you can get an idea of exactly what you’ll need. If you plan on registering and having baby showers, you can anticipate receiving some items as gifts, but you still want to know how it will all add up.
With your budget in hand, the next step is to find ways you can cut costs on everything from regular household expenses to the nitty gritty stuff like diapers and wipes.
One of the first things to do is to look at your overall household budget for where you can reduce ongoing expenses. This includes adjusting your spending on more frivolous items like box subscriptions, takeout, and cable. You can also look for ways to cut costs by assessing your taxes, health insurance and even car insurance. The blog Living on the Cheap recommends investigating any bank fees, credit card interest rates, and other ongoing bills like your cellphone plan to see if you can get a discount or even cut some fees altogether.
The trouble with buying maternity clothes is that you don’t want to spend too much since you will only wear them for a limited time, but you still want to look nice, especially if you need professional clothes or comfortable clothing for after the baby arrives. To work around this problem, look for sales and discounts, but allow room in your budget for a few splurges, particularly for items like a multitasking nightgown, soft and cozy leggings and sweaters and even a plush robe.
One of the best ways to save on baby gear is to buy used. You should always buy car seats new, partly because of expiration dates and recalls, and also because a seat that has been in an accident or dropped is no longer safe. However, online deals and store coupons can make car seats more affordable, and other big ticket items can definitely be bought second hand.
Another rule of thumb is to only buy what you really need. Remember, too, that you won’t need everything right away. If you don’t receive a high chair as a gift, there’s no need to rush out and buy one since baby won’t be eating solid food for a while!
Any parent will tell you how these repeat purchases add up, and that’s on top of investing in gear. The good news is that quality baby items are made to last, so you can use them for subsequent children or sell them second hand later on. There’s no doubt that your budget will look different with a baby in the mix, but that cute little nose and toes will be 100% worth it!
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