Money Saving Tips for New Parents

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New Parents

Everyone knows that having a baby is an expensive endeavor, but a lot of people probably don’t realize quite how expensive. According to the Department of Agriculture, the average cost for a middle-income family in the United States is $11,000 in the first year!   And, on top of that, saving for things like the cost of school is very important – and not just college; good preschools can cost thousands more every year!

Of course, you want the very best for your little bundle of joy, meaning that every single thing seems like it’s the most important purchase ever. How do you know where to go all out and where (and how) to cut costs?

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Breastfeed.

Formula is expensive, and in some cases hasn’t even been shown to be as effective as traditional breastfeeding. Which, by the way, is essentially free beyond the initial cost of buying (or renting) a breast pump. Of course, mom will still have to carve out time in her day for breastfeeding or pumping, but the benefits far outweigh the literal and figurative costs.

 

Utilize your village.

It’s common in today’s world for both parents to work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to hire a fulltime nanny for your little one or send them to daycare. Before going down that route, talk to your employer about what kind of options they can give you to do your job from home or even to do it part-time for a while. Friends and relatives will also be invaluable during this time, and you should take advantage of any offer you get from people who want to give you a night – or even an afternoon – off. And if grandparents from either side are available to help out in a longer term way, this may be a good time to suck it up and agree.

 

Make your shower a thunderstorm.

Getting gifts at a baby shower is traditional, so don’t be picky when it comes to inviting guests. Even if you get mostly smaller gifts like diapers, you’ll be thankful at the money this will save. For those people you don’t feel comfortable inviting because you’re not that close, or for relatives and friends that live too far away, send an announcement about the baby. Make sure it’s just an announcement and not a call for gifts; you’ll be surprised by how many people still send gifts of money your way. And hopefully this is obvious, but be sure to register so that people know what to get if they do want to buy something – and so you know where to take it back if it ends up not being what you want.

 

Forego disposables…at least a little.

Disposable diapers are popular because they’re so easy to use and (let’s face it) because diapers can get pretty gross, but for frugal parents, having at least a few cloth diapers around is a smart and cost-saving strategy. Cost-saving because obviously it’s a lot cheaper to clean cloth diapers than to buy new disposable ones. Smart because even if you decide to use disposables, you’re going to be glad you have something as a backup when you run out of new diapers at 3am.

 

Hand-me-downs.

If you know other parents who are just slightly less new than you, they can be a great source of hand-me-downs for your youngster. You’ll get things cheaper, and they’ll make a little bit back on their investment. Just make sure you do your research on buying used baby gear. Experts warn against buying used for certain items, such as mattresses, due to safety concerns. You want to make sure you know how the items have been cared for and stored once they were not in use.

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Coupons and freebies.

For those willing to put in the time and effort, manufacturers offer lots of discounts, coupons, and even free items for new parents, hoping to build brand loyalty. But who can be loyal to a brand until you’ve tried them all, right? If you seek out all of the sales and free items out there, you can shave a lot from that first-year cost.

If a new home is in your new baby’s future, record low home sales prices mean it is a good time to buy.  Get the latest mortgage rates and start planning your family’s future.