As a recent mother of two, I find myself in awe of all of the mothers out there who manage to work full-time while raising kids. I completely understand the necessity, having a four year old and a newborn is already proving to be incredibly difficult financially. However, since this is my second time around I feel much more prepared and plan on saving on the money mistakes I made with our first born.
When preparing for our first born my husband and I were not in the best situation financially, and we were lucky enough to be able to get a cash loan online to help prepare. The online process took about 15 minutes and we received the amount the next day. It was a fairly small loan of $1,000 from ElcLoans (btw, I recommend this website, really fast and quality service), but combined with what family and friends generously gave at my baby shower, it was enough to get the items we needed to create a welcoming environment for our baby girl. The birth of my second born was a lot less stressful since we were much more prepared. Here are a few of my tried and true tips for saving up when welcoming a newborn:
1) The most important and costly aspect of having a baby is childcare. Being a mom who is working full time, daycare is a huge cost for me. I don’t have family nearby, which means that I had to search long and hard for affordable daycare from someone I can trust. A friend of mine recommended her daycare, which is run by her sister, so I got an excellent discount and felt at ease knowing my daughter was well taken care of. If you don’t know of anyone who runs a daycare and don’t have family nearby, make sure you do extensive amounts of research online to find the best reviewed and most affordable option.
This great video has a LOT of tips about saving:
2) Another tip I got in the habit of doing is to check prices online before actually going out and buying the products. Don’t get stuck buying items immediately at a store, only to find them cheaper online or at another store. Stores like Target and Babies R Us offer price matching, meaning that if you find the item for less on Amazon or anywhere else, they’ll match the lower price. Doing a little research can save a lot in the long run.
3) Borrowing items can also be a lifesaver. Babies grow so quickly meaning their needs are constantly evolving. Borrowing from family and friends can save you in the long run. If there’s something you only need for a short phase, like a baby bath, ask around rather than purchasing something you’ll only need for two or three months.
4) If you have a Costco nearby, or a similar store, make sure to get a membership. There are several items you will definitely need in bulk when you have a newborn. I bought diapers, wipes, and formula in bulk from my local Costco, which can save you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year. This also saves you from having to do constant runs to the store for diapers considering the average newborn goes through around 10-12 diapers a day!
5) Another huge expense new parents face is setting up the perfect nursery. I have always been very crafty, so this thrifty tip was an easy one for me. I created a lot of my nursery decorations, including a mobile, framed decorations and baby quilt. I’m an avid sewer, so make sure to use your talents to cut out costs when you can. Furniture is also costly, so buying multi purpose pieces will help you get the most bang for your buck. Try looking for a dresser that doubles as a changing table, or a highchair that can convert into a booster seat. These save much needed space and can be more affordable than purchasing separately.
6) When it comes to entertaining your newborn, you can end up spending a fortune on videos and other stimulants. Your local library can be a lifesaver when it comes to affordable entertainment your newborn and toddlers. They have tons of options including dvd’s, cd’s, books and often host free classes for the community. These events are a great way to meet local parents and learn a little something.
7) As a parent, you probably have a list of baby sites you go to often (My favorite is www.Parents.com). If you have a trusted baby site you visit and purchase from often, chances are they have a rewards program. These can also give you samples with your purchases, which means you can try new items and see if your baby likes them before committing to the purchase. Make sure to take advantage of these so that you’re getting the best deals on your purchases.
8) Another hack is to check out what your health insurance covers. I was surprised to find out that my health insurance covered a breast pump and some other baby items, like diapers, rash cream and thermometers. It is worth looking into to see if there are any hidden gems you’re missing out on.
I was lucky enough to have two girls, so the clothes I used for my first born were easily given to my newborn. This has saved me so much money since newborns grow so quickly and I had to buy so many new outfits for my first child. If this is your first child you can reach out to friends and family who may have some clothes they are trying to get rid of.
9) My last and most important tip is to have an emergency baby-care bag always ready to go! I can’t tell you how many times I have mistakenly left my baby bag at home when out and about with my child. This is the absolute worst because you end up having to buy supplies out at a much higher cost. If you keep a bag in the car for emergencies you can avoid this new mommy pitfall. Just keep a few diapers, wipes, bottles and a binky in there and you’re all set.
These tips have been such a help to me over the last few months and I hope that those of you reading find them useful. If you’re struggling financially remember that there are always short term loans you can get online to help you out, and coupled with these tips you should be ready in no time to welcome your newborn home!
Also, please tell me in comments what your favorite websites are and what you do to save money on baby costs!