Oh, baby! You are about to spend a lot of money on a very little being. The thought of saving for a baby can be quite overwhelming when you think about all the things that they will need over the next 18 years. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to budget and even help you to have a small nest egg ready for when your little one makes their arrival!
Analyze Your Finances
The first step in financially preparing for your sweet baby’s debut is sitting down with your significant other and looking at where your money is currently going and which areas can be restructured to compensate for your upcoming added costs.
Determine Monthly Bills
How much do you make? How about your spouse? This total is your baseline. Next, everyone has regular bills — rent, insurance, electricity, and phone, to name a few. Most of these are at a relatively set price.
Make a list and configure this aspect of your expenditures. The difference in these two numbers is what you have to work with when your baby arrives. However, there are a few other factors that can come into play to help maximize savings and eliminate unwanted overspending.
Remove Current Debt
Some debt is unavoidable. You may be paying off your car, making a mortgage payment, or slowly chipping away at your student loans. However, something that needs to be addressed immediately is hefty credit card bills.
Your goal should be to lower or completely pay off these debts as quickly as possible. Why? You are about to need a lot of stuff and you don’t want to get to a point of no return. Finding ways to cut back on costs and focusing on resolving these charges needs to be your first task.
Eliminate Double Payments
When you got married, did you take the time to consolidate your bills? In other words, are you both signed up under the same car insurance, renters or homeowners policy, and medical coverage? Combining these plans and removing these extra costs can eliminate unnecessary bills AND it can give you a chance to shop around for a better deal! Additionally, if you bundle your policies you can also reduce your overall bill.
Cut Back on Luxuries
We all love a good pedicure and a nice meal out with friends! These are activities that make us feel happy and help us detox from the stresses of life. However, they are not essential. Therefore, if it is not in the budget, cut back on some of these amenities to increase your saving potential.
Hair appointments, teeth whitening, laser hair removal, waxing, tanning, manicures, spa days, and any other self-care sessions can all be done in much more affordable ways, at home. Moreover, girls’ night out can be just as fun at a friend’s house or while at the neighborhood pool! Never cut out things that help maintain your mental health. Instead, adjust the location and cost to better suit your budget.
End Unnecessary Memberships
Let’s be honest, over the next nine months, are you really going to be hitting the gym? Probably not. Cutting subscriptions and memberships is an easy way to save. Whether you are signed up for a premium cable package, a monthly car wash deal, magazine subscriptions, a wine club, or streaming services, figure out what you find truly necessary and what can be removed from your regular charges.
Determine Your Budget to Locate Savings
Once you have cut out needless spending and figured out your monthly payments, you can then finalize what you can afford for baby. Basic regular costs include diapers, wipes, bath products, formula, and clothes. Based on the brands you choose, this can add up quickly so do your research on what fits in your budget.
Also, resist the urge to buy everything. Those cute baby shoes that are $40 are adorable, but that money could also go straight into savings. Look for affordable options. Talk to your friends and family about what they recommend purchasing and what you should avoid.
Moreover, if you intend to enroll your baby in daycare or preschool, call and confirm their weekly rates. Then save, save, save! Until your baby makes their grand entrance put any extra money in the bank.
Contact Your Insurance Company
It is extremely important when budgeting to know what bills will be coming your way once your little bundle of joy arrives. Call your provider and inquire about these topics:
- Are my physicians as well as the place that I intend to give birth in-network?
This will include your obstetrician, anesthesiologist, pediatrician, doula, hospital, and birthing center.
- What is the max out-of-pocket cost that I am responsible for?
- Does my policy cover genetic tests?
- What is the difference in cost when having a vaginal birth versus a cesarean?
- Are childbirth classes and a breast pump covered under my policy?
- If necessary, would an ambulance ride be under my plan?
- How much will my premium change once I add my baby to the insurance plan?
- How can I sign up for short-term disability so that I can receive reduced pay while I am on leave?
In addition, take the time to call the hospital to confirm your payment options. Figure out what is due upfront and the deadline for the remaining payments. Finally, speak with your company. Confirm how long they provide paid leave and how reduced your pay will be for any subsequent weeks that you choose to take. This can help you decide how much you should be saving each month to cover these costs.
Spread Out Your Purchases for More Saving Potential
Another great way to start saving is to spread out your costs. For each month of pregnancy, go out and buy a jumbo box of diapers and wipes. Make sure to buy a variety of sizes so that you can have periods throughout the first year where you can get a break from the big diaper price tag.
When registering for clothes, ask for an array of sizes. Your baby will go through twelve different sizes of clothing in their first few years of life so you don’t want everything in newborn age. The key to saving once your little one is born is to have a stockpile of supplies ready for the first year so that the added bills don’t become too unbearable.
Register and Have a Baby Shower
There is something about dogs and babies. It is likely their cuteness! People will spend BIG bucks to shower these precious little beings with the most extravagant, adorable, and unnecessary things, so why not benefit from it!
Register for everything you need and then get your friends or family to host a baby shower for you! Furthermore, another fun option to stock the baby’s changing table is to throw a diaper party! This recent trend is tailored more towards dads. You throw a barbecue and the attendees bring you the supplies that you will need most!
Improve Your Saving Possibilities through Rewards Programs
If you plan to formula feed, companies like Similac and Enfamil offer money-back and coupons for registering for their rewards programs. Amazon will give you a free box of baby goodies as well as a percentage off of diapers for a certain period of time if you register on their site. Moreover, Huggies and Pampers have loyalty programs that will get you more diapers and even gift cards!
This is also an amazing way for you to find out which products work best for your baby. Gerber, The Honest Company, Seventh Generation, Walmart, and many other companies all offer freebies so sign up now! Additionally, many doctor offices will provide you with samples. You just have to ask!
Finally, buy in bulk! Stores like Costco, Sams, and Amazon allow you to buy more for less. Investigate which store has the most products that you will need and sign up for a membership.
Look For in Store Savings
Coupons and sales can make a big difference in your spending and saving. Therefore, when looking for big-ticket items, wait to purchase them when a holiday is approaching and one of those lovely 20% off coupons has arrived in the mail.
Remember that as the year comes to a close, designers will be working on new styles for the upcoming year. That means that those older models are about to see a big drop in their price tag! Timing out purchases can mean saving you big bucks and can also help you budget along the way.
Borrow, Borrow Borrow!
Babies grow out of things so quickly! That means it can sometimes feel like you aren’t getting enough bang for your buck. Moreover, it means a LOT of clutter around the house. Many parents rationalize it by saying that down the line they plan to have another baby, but what works with one child, may not work with another.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Take advantage of having that tribe of people! Lean on them, borrow from them and then reciprocate down the line! We teach our kids that sharing is caring. Follow your own advice!
Finally, don’t buy maternity clothes until everything else is too small and borrow before you buy! Don’t spend a fortune on items that you will wear for under a year. Instead, purchase a few staple items that you can mix and match and that will take you through the whole nine months.
What Not to Borrow
However, there are certain items that should never be repurposed and always be purchased new. The car seat is number one on the list. Did you know that car seats actually expire? This normally occurs as little as six years following the manufacture date. Additionally, you never know if the seat has been damaged in a car accident or just from general use.
Increase Your Savings With a Side Gig
Sometimes no matter how much you budget and save, it still isn’t enough. This is when a side job comes in. This a much more attainable goal than compared to years past with remote work now being the norm. Consider taking on virtual writing, editing, or social media management roles.
If you are a teacher, take on tutoring jobs in your off-hours. Creative and crafty types can sell their products online or at local events. If you don’t mind being in-store and on your feet, take on a seasonal job as a gift wrapper or work at a baby supply store for extra money AND savings on items you need!
Final Thoughts — Saving for Baby
Saving for baby can sometimes seem impossible. Take a breath and know that this is not the case! Start utilizing these top ten tips to optimize your savings! If they aren’t enough, take the time to make room for baby and clear out some of the items that you no longer use or need.
Garage sales, online sales, and consignment shops are excellent methods of purging and obtaining a little added cash along the way. Furthermore, these tactics can be employed throughout your baby’s life as well! As they outgrow items, clear out the old and make room for the new!
Finally and most importantly, keep in mind that as long as your baby is safe, loved, fed, and clean, nothing else matters. Whether you buy a Pottery Barn crib or one from Walmart, your little one will never know the difference, nor will they care. If there are items that you really want, consider asking for them for Christmas or your birthday, but know that your presence is the prime thing that your child will ever want or need in life.