Congratulations new parents! The joy of becoming a parent is amazing and adds a new chapter to your life. Becoming new parents is wonderful and it is the best thing ever, but it can soon become scary too. Along with their adorableness, babies can also stress their parents out. Besides sleepless nights and their first runny nose, they add an entirely new list of costs to family budgets. Clothing, nursery items, diapers, bottles – the list can seem endless, especially for first-time parents. Virtually every penny seems to sprout wings. Then one by one, the pennies fly away—to the paediatrician, the drugstore, and any chain selling cute kids' clothes. Surely, expecting parents would know that a baby would bring new financial pressures, but when they see their first postpartum credit-card bill, they totally freak out. If you have a newborn, you're probably panicked too. A baby changes everything – including your bank account balance as bringing up kids is never cheap. But there are smart and simple ways you can save on both day-to-day expenses and big-ticket purchases. Whether you’ve just found out you’re pregnant, or already have a newborn, we have tips to help you save money, budget, cut costs and plan for the future. So before you reach into your wallet for all the latest and greatest baby “essentials,” review these tips for practical money-saving advice:
Needs before wants: As new parents, you would want everything for your baby. You want the cutest and the trendiest stuﬀ; you want our baby to have it all! Sadly, this leads to overspending and hitting your finances hard. Babies don’t require a lot of stylish things and they won’t know about the latest infant fashion out there in the market, which means that when we do spend a lot of money on our baby, we are doing it more for us, not the baby.
Brands and luxury baby items: Be careful not to stock up on too many items of the same brand – like bottles and formula – until you're sure your baby likes them. And, if an "essential" item is available in a dependable, lower-priced brand, consider trying that one out instead. Many parents feel pressured to buy luxury gear, but remember that your baby won’t know the diﬀerence between a no-name swing and the top-of-the-line model.
Ask for hand-me-downs: Babies grow fast! They also share the habit of soiling their cute onesies multiple times a week and growing a few centimetres every month, they need a lot of clothes for each stage of their development – newborn, 1-3 month, 3-6 month, 6-9 month, and so on. Got friends and relatives with toddlers? It is totally fine to get hand-me-downs from those who’re willing to part ways with clothes their kids have outgrown. You just need to ask your friends and family who recently had babies if they have any hand-me-downs they’d lend or gift you.
Don’t buy baby clothes too far in advance: You might think that stocking up on your baby's winter wardrobe in the spring will save you a bit of time and hassle later, after all, being prepared and organised is key as a parent. But, when you buy baby clothes too far in advance you can actually end up wasting cash. You might find that when winter does finally come around, your baby has had a huge growth spurt and doesn't fit into any of the clothes that you thought they would, back in spring when you originally bought them.
Opt for gender-neutral: Even if you know the baby's gender, select neutral colours, like green, yellow and grey, for items such as sleeper jammies and nursery decor. You'll be able to reuse products with any future children, and you'll have an easier time reselling to other families who can love them for many years too.
Make your own baby food: The convenience of prepackaged baby food comes at a cost. Many parents save money by making it at home with a blender or food processor. Another benefit: Because you’re buying the groceries, you know exactly what’s in your child’s food.
Avoid squandering on toys: Parents love to buy toys for their babies, but infants need only a few items in the first year of life. Choose colourful toys that make a little noise, including rattles, rings that attach to the stroller and car seat, safe chewable toys (babies learn through all their senses, including taste and touch). Babies don’t necessarily remember that they played with a green rattle last week and a red one this week. These preferences develop around the toddler years, so don’t worry about providing a lot of variety in that first year.
Being a new parent is a wonderful experience, but it does come with a lot more financial strain. So, make sure that you follow these simple tips for saving money, and you’ll be in better financial health!