While having a baby can one of the most joyous experiences of your life, it can also be expensive. You may be surprised at how much money you’ll end up spending during every stage of development. You’ll need to factor in childcare, medical care, clothing, food, diapers, toys, furniture, incidentals and other costs. These expenses can easily add up, and you may be earning less than usual if you take maternity leave to care for your newborn.
Luckily, there are several ways you can make babyhood easier on your budget:
- Budget before the baby is born. Get into the habit of creating a budget so you can see where your money goes. This can help you find ways to reduce spending. You can use the budget calculator available at Money Help Center to help you see how you spend. Be sure to learn how to calculate take home salary so you understand how much money you really have.
- Start saving early. Set aside savings of at least three to six months of your household income for emergencies. In addition to this savings account, try to save up as much as possible before baby arrives. This way, you’ll have a nest egg for the expenses and may need to worry less about getting back to work right away.
- If possible, consider nursing. Not only is this good for your baby, it is a less expensive option than buying formula. For those reasons it is a great option for saving money if it is possible in your situation.
- Look to consignment shops for changing tables, cribs and other necessities. Just be sure to check online to make sure these items still meet current guidelines for safety. Don’t overlook friends and family, either. If they’ve already expanded their families, they may be happy to hand over their gently-used baby items.
- Buy diapers in bulk. Diapers are an ongoing expense, and you can often reduce the cost by buying in bulk, as well as the cheapest but effective brands.
- Sign up for online bargains. There are plenty of websites for parents that offer great coupons. You’ll also want to register online for your favorite baby brands, whether it’s diapers or toys. That way, you can learn about promotions, some of which may not be advertised anywhere but through mailing lists.
- In the months leading up to delivery, consider working a part-time job. You may not be able to work because of medical issues, or you may not be able to perform your regular work because it’s too physically demanding. However, if you’re still able to do some work, consider some part-time situation or even work at home which can bring in a little extra income.
- Sell off what you no longer need. Your lifestyle is likely changing, and you need to make room in your home and your budget for a baby. During this time, consider selling off what you no longer need to bring in some extra money.
If you’re growing your family, congratulations! Money Help Center has a few calculators to help you see how much you’re spending. We can also help you figure out when you need to start saving for your little one’s education. Our unbiased calculators aren’t affiliated with third parties, so you’ll get the financial data you need to get your money in order.