Creative Ideas to Save Money
If you're looking for ideas to save money with a baby, you're not alone. Luckily, there are a number of strategies you can use to help minimize the strain on your household budget.
The first step to saving money with a baby is to resist the urge to buy everything in advance. Even something as a simple as a pacifier can end up being a pointless purchase if you buy dozens and your baby decides he or she doesn't want one. Focus on the bare necessities first, then purchase other items on an as-needed basis.
Cut Daycare Cost
When you have a newborn, the largest expense will be daycare. However, there are many ways to save money in this area. You can arrange to work opposite shifts with your spouse, so one person is always home with your baby. If you live near family members, having a relative care for your child can offer both personal and financial benefits. Another great option is to share the cost of daycare with another parent. Bring both kids to one location, then pay a sitter a slightly reduced rate to care for the two children together.
Buy Used Clothing
Babies grow so quickly there is no point in buying brand new outfits for every occasion. You can easily find used clothing in good condition at thrift shops, consignment stores, and garage sales. Organizing a neighborhood clothing swap in which parents trade their children's outgrown clothing for items in the correct size is another option to consider as well.
Go Easy on the Toys
There are many toys for babies that promise to turn your child into the next Einstein. However, the proven educational benefits of these products are quite minimal. The best toys for your baby are simple: books, balls, rattles, or stuffed animals. Skip the overpriced infant electronics and spend some quality time reading, singing, or talking with your baby.
Look for Store Brands
Just as store brands can save you money on purchases for yourself, you can easily save money by purchasing store brand versions of the products your baby needs. Diapers, wipes, formula, and baby food are just some of the many items you can find store brand savings for. You may have to do some experimenting to find items of a suitable quality, but the savings can be well worth your time.
Sign up for Coupons
If you prefer name brand products, sign up for the new parent clubs offered by many manufacturers. This is a simple way to get coupons, free samples, and sale notifications delivered directly to you.
Ask for Practical Gifts
When you have a newborn, especially if he or she is your first child, you'll undoubtedly be receiving a lot of gifts. Gently suggest to the well-wishers that they provide diapers, wipes, books, or a boost to baby's savings account instead of expensive outfits or fancy toys.