Having a baby can be one of the most joyous events of your life. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most expensive, since all the costs of raising a baby can really add up. However, there are many things that you can do to save on expenses and make paying for your baby more affordable.
1. Prioritize your spending. Many parents feel that they need to have everything they will need for baby ready by the time he or she gets home. But it would be better for your budget if you prioritized immediate needs and put aside less urgent expenses. For example, instead of buying a crib, the baby can sleep in a bassinet or cradle in your room, and you can postpone your purchase for a few months.
2. Choose gear that you can convert as your child grows. For example, you can buy a crib that can convert into a baby bed or a stroller that changes to accommodate your baby as he grows into a toddler. If you plan on having more children, you can also choose strollers that convert to accommodate two or more babies. You can also buy clothes that are one size larger since your baby will quickly grow into them.
3. Buy baby products in gender-neutral colors. Instead of buying blue or pink items depending on the gender of your child, choose items that are green or yellow, for example. This will allow the gear to be passed on and used by future children.
4. Skip nursing-specific clothes. If you are breast-feeding your child, you don’t need to buy clothes that are specifically designed for nursing mothers. Instead, blouses that button in front and tank tops will do. Or you can simply cover up with a scarf when nursing your baby.
5. Buy items in bulk. This is a simple budgeting tip that new parents should adopt. For example, since you will be using a lot of diapers, there is no reason why you should not buy them in bulk quantities. In addition, you’ll be saving time and money since you won’t have to replenish these items as often.
6. Consider making your own baby food. Doing this can also be healthier for your baby. All you have to do is invest in a small food processor and you can be sure that your baby has a regular supply of fresh food made with fruits and vegetables.
7. Share products with your baby. You don’t need to buy products that are marketed as being for babies, such as detergents and body washes. Many of these items that are made for adults are actually also suitable for infants, as long as you make sure that they are free of ingredients that could irritate your little one as well as being gentle.
8. Look for online flash sales. Shopping online can help you save money and you can enjoy even bigger savings if you encounter online flash sales. In addition, you can also look for coupons for products that you commonly use that you can redeem online, or print out and take to a physical store.
9. Ask about tax deductions. In addition to the $4,000 deduction you can claim for each dependent child, there may be other tax exemptions that you can qualify for, such as the Child and Dependent Care Credit if you pay someone to take care of your child.
The best way to ensure that the costs of having a baby will not be ruinous to your finances is to prepare in advance. Before you give birth, estimate how much you will spend on baby costs so that you can plan in advance how you will deal with them.