Becoming a parent is one of the most rewarding and exciting times in your life. There’s no way to be completely prepared when you bring your new baby home. You’ve done all that you can by setting up the nursery, loading up on diapers, and maybe even have a stock of supplies from your baby shower. You keep repeating the mantra “don’t worry, you’ve got this” in your head.
With all the excitement of the new baby come additional costs that can be stressful. Raising a child is no joke on your wallet. It’s expensive. We want to share a few ways you can spend mindfully and save after the baby comes home.
Child care is one of the biggest costs that come along with having a baby. If you are fortunate enough to be able to stay at home and care for your child, then you have this covered. If you will be returning to work, then you definitely have thought about child care. There are different options out there when it comes to child care. Some opt for stay-at-home care, while others prefer a group child care setting. Group child care is typically less expensive and you can find home daycare options or daycare centers. Do you parents live close? Some new parents choose to split child care between daycare and having their own parents care for the baby.
You may not think that having your groceries delivered to your door could save you money, but in the long run it can. First of all, think of the time it can save you just not having to go to the store. The big saver here is the fact that when you shop online for your groceries, you are more likely to stick to your list. It’s so easy to reach for the Oreos (that aren’t on your list) when you are physically at the store.
Save on Activities
Many parents like to join groups to learn about parenting and obstacles to overcome, but, let’s be honest, sometimes it just comes down to being social. Yes, those classes are helpful, but you go to meet other parents and learn from their experiences. So, why not save money by putting your own group together or find a free group online. There are so many meet-ups these days and with Facebook and Meetup.com, it’s easy to find groups that are free and meet your needs.
Choose New and Used
This might be easier when you are on your second or third child. With your first child you tend to want everything to be shiny, new and the best on the market. Well, this is where you can potentially save a lot of money. Kids grow so fast and all those cute clothes you bought may be worn once or not even at all. Do you have friends or family members that have used clothes, toys, or other baby essentials that you can borrow, buy or trade? Again, with the Facebook groups available, it can be easy to find other parents just like you willing to do the same thing. Being mindful about what you can buy new or used can be a tremendous help on the bank account.
Save for Education
Get a head start by saving before your baby is even born. College isn’t getting any less expensive. Investing in a 529 savings plan is a great place to start. These are great because you can start them with a small amount of money, and each state offers a 529 savings plan, although the features and benefits may differ from state to state. The perk is that there are tax benefits involved. It’s never too early to start saving for college!
Some of these suggestions are personal, so it’s really up to you and your lifestyle. We all know that baby food, diapers and formula pack an expensive punch, but there are a few ways to save money by being a little more resourceful. Breastfeeding, making your own baby food, and using cloth diapers can all help to cut costs. Some parents even make their own baby toys in order to save money and have special keepsakes in the future.
Once you have children, you need life insurance. What would happen to your family financially if you died? Buying life insurance ensures they are financially protected if something happens to you. Term insurance is a great option. You can buy a 20 or 30-year term policy that will cover you until retirement. Running a quote only takes 30 seconds and we have an easy to use needs analysis tool to help determine the coverage you need.
This may seem like a no brainer, but many parents don’t take the time to sit down and track their expenses and put together a real budget. Setting yourself up with a budget will help you become more successful when it comes to saving and spending. Mint is a popular and user friendly site to help you get started.
Parenthood brings it challenges, but the joys of having children far outweigh the stress. You have a lot on your plate, so let these tips help to alleviate some of your stress so you can enjoy being a new parent. Do you have any more money-saving suggestions? Help your fellow parents out by adding them to the comments section below!
Photo credit to: Chris Price