Having a baby can be transcendent, life affirming, and magical, but it also tends to be expensive. No matter how delightful your little darling is, he or she is likely to cost you around $12,680 in the first year alone, and that outlay only rises as they get older. By the time your child is 17, you’re likely to have spent $233,610 on raising them, which is a pretty significant sum!
Experts theorize that this is one of the factors behind declining birthrates in America, but if you’re desperate to have a baby, don’t let financial considerations alone put you off. Although we’re not suggesting you make any rash decisions, there are lots of clever ways to cut your costs, and we plan on sharing a few of them with you.
So, without further ado, here are a handful of our top tips and tricks to help you do some baby raising on a budget.
Take advantage of any freebies
As a new mum or dad, you’ve just become a hot commodity. You’ve entered an entirely new demographic, and there are lots of manufacturers who are keen to secure your custom before anyone else does. This will start the second you enter the maternity ward, with new parents usually bombarded with a long line of freebies. The only issue is that because hospital staff are so busy, they sometimes forget to hand them out, so don’t be afraid to ask for samples. This is a great way to not only get the goodies themselves, but to experiment with which products work best before you buy, thus saving you from any costly experiments further down the line. Everything from lotions and potions to diaper bags are up for grabs, so be sure to get your fill.
Draw up a baby gift list
Some people feel a little bit uncomfortable dictating what other people should get them as gifts, but you shouldn’t: you’re not forcing anyone’s hand. Lots of individuals find it really helpful to have an idea of what you need and want, and will be more than happy to make the purchases you would otherwise be shelling out for yourself. Although we’re not suggesting you include anything hugely expensive on this wish list, practical purchases such as bottles, pacifiers, bibs, and so on, can make lovely presents, whilst taking the awkward guesswork out of the equation for those who are at a loss as to what to buy a new baby.
Keep an eye out for special offers and promotions
Once you’ve exhausted your supply of free stuff, we suggest you keep an eagle eye out for special offers and promotions. There are plenty of retailers who will sell goods at discounted prices, and just as you would when buying for yourself, it helps to shop around to find the best bargains. On that note, remember that it’s not only savvy purchases re baby products that can save you money; you should be paying the same level of attention to your own purchases too. There’s a standard across a range of industries of offering bonuses and promotions; for example, the online casino industry offers free spins, stores offer buy one, get one free deals, and restaurants are always pushing early bird deals. You just need to be able to find the right one for you.
Don’t spend a fortune on feeding
One of your most important tasks as a new parent is to make sure your baby is healthy and fed, but you can do this without spending a fortune. Plenty of unscrupulous marketers will try to convince you that you need an array of essentials to take care of your little one, but it’s perfectly possible to keep it simple and still do a great job. For starters, you can save around $1,733.75 by foregoing formula and breastfeeding, and your baby will benefit in more ways than one from all the goodness that’s found in mother’s milk. If you’d prefer not to go down that route, and to use bottles instead, there are still ways to cut your costs, such as using the boiling water method or cold sterilizing rather than forking out for expensive equipment. Bottle warmers are also unnecessary and don’t need to be bought, as formula should be freshly made for each feed so won’t have time to get cold before your baby drinks it.
Use reusable nappies
We understand that some people find disposable nappies a lot easier to use than their cloth counterparts, but if you want a simple way to save yourself some money, we suggest you opt for the latter. Whilst keeping your baby in throw-away diapers is likely to cost you almost $800 over the course of their infancy, using reusable alternatives will knock around $350 off this figure for your first child, and could save you even more if babies two and three are on the cards. If the extra effort simply isn’t worth the saving, there are ways to shop savvy, such as using supermarket own-brand disposables or, if you’d rather stick to premium labels, buying in bulk whenever your preferred nappies are on offer.
Although most of us spend a huge amount of money outfitting ourselves with accessories for a new baby, they grow so quickly that most of what we purchase barely gets used before it’s time to pass it on. This is why we recommend taking advantage of this fact and buying second-hand. There are some absolutely amazing bargains out there for those who take a look on Facebook Marketplace and eBay and/or are willing to browse thrift stores and car boot sales. Oftentimes, you’ll find clothes that have never even been worn before the baby they were bought for grew out of them, or toys that have been used on only a couple of occasions before being replaced. Baby bedroom furniture, too, is likely to get very little wear, and you can save huge amounts on expensive goods like highchairs, prams, and baby walkers by choosing pre-loved options. Once you’re through with them, you could even recoup some of your outlay by selling these goods on yourself.
Follow these simple baby-raising tips and tricks today to save yourself a significant amount of money!