Budgeting with a Baby

Budgeting with a BabyFor such adorable small people, babies can run up quite a tab. Between safety essentials like car seats and cribs, medical expenses, diapers, clothes and toys, babies are both priceless and expensive at the same time. That’s why we’re sharing smart tips for budgeting with a baby.

Check out these “budgeting with a baby” ideas to keep some extra dough in your wallet:

Register for Necessities Only

Yes, it is so tempting to click or point that price wand at every precious outfit in the baby superstore but it’s not the wisest financial choice. Instead register for important items that you’ll surely need like diapers, wipes, towels, sheets, and a baby bathtub. Think ahead to what you’ll definitely need in the future, such as a highchair or car seats for the next stage. While some friends and family may not stick to the list, many will help you fill out the “must have” list without needing to pay for these items yourself.

Breastfeed and Make Baby Food

Breastfeeding is one of the best ways of budgeting with a baby. It’s free and natural, and extremely healthy for your baby too. If you’ll need a breast pump, check with your insurance company as many plans include free pumps for new moms. When it comes time to start solid foods, make your own rather than buying pre-made food. It is fresher, more nutritious and will save you mu-la. Remember: when you make healthier choices for your baby, you may save on medical bills over the course of your baby’s entire childhood.

Borrow or Buy Secondhand

Secondhand kids shops, yard sales and pop-up consignment sales are amazing ways to save money on baby clothes, toys and gear. Other than a few items you should buy new for safety purposes like car seats and cribs, these stores can save you big bucks. Alternatively, ask a friend who has a child older than yours if you can borrow items. Your baby will grow out of clothes and progress through the developmental stage of toys quickly so borrowing rather than buying makes a lot of sense.

Budget Wisely

When creating your baby budget, think through a variety of items and possibilities. Unless you use cloth diapers and wipes, you’ll need to purchase these items regularly, which can add up quickly. Buy them in bulk, buy generic brands, clip coupons and use savings apps to get the best deals on these essentials. Also consider medical costs that won’t be covered by your insurance. Often there is a portion of your hospital stay that you’ll have to pay out of pocket as well as co-pays for the many pediatrician visits within the first year. If you are paying for childcare, remember to budget for all 52 weeks of the year and use your flexible spending account if you’re able.

Find Free Activities

Offering your baby a variety of experiences does not have to be costly. Libraries, community centers and parks often offer free activities that are open to the public. Take advantage of them whenever possible. Or simply scheduling playdates and visiting someone else’s home can be a fun new experience for your little one.

Invest in the Future

Having gobs of toys isn’t necessary for babies. Especially when your little one is so young a few sensory-driven toys are all she’ll need to keep her mind stimulated. Ask friends and family members who want to give your baby holiday or birthday gifts to make a donation to her college fund instead. She won’t know the difference now and she’ll certainly appreciate it in the future.

Take Advantage of Tax Breaks

Tax-free weekends and tax deductions can save you a bundle of money. Wait to buy items when you can avoid sales tax and do your research on tax deductions that can save you up to 35% on childcare costs.

Sources: Parents, WebMD and Mint