Did you know that it costs more than $260,000 to raise a child from birth to the age of 18? And that number is only for the basics: education, food, housing, and clothes. Having a child is not for the faint of heart or the empty-pocketed.
However, there must be a way to cut corners on baby costs. How to save money with a baby can’t be such an impossible task, but what can you do?
Whether you have a baby or plan on having a baby and are asking yourself these questions, you’re in the right place. In this article, you’ll explore the many different methods and tips of saving money when it comes to having and raising a child. Through these tips, you’ll also discover that having a baby doesn’t have to be a financial black hole.
Without further ado, let’s jump right into it.
How to Save Money With a Baby
Many new parents may find themselves delighted with their newborn baby. However, they may find themselves less delighted once they take a look at how their bank account is draining.
Soon after the birth of a child, parents will find themselves buying baby clothes, baby toys, baby food, diapers, formula, strollers, and more. This is not to mention the baby’s room: cute mobiles, cribs, paraphernalia, and so on.
After this spending spree, many parents may find themselves so financially overwhelmed that it can seem impossible to keep a healthy bank account and raise a child at the same time. However, this is not the case if you know the tricks of the trade.
There are many ways to save money while raising a newborn, and that doesn’t mean you need to deprive your child of high life quality either. The first cost-cutting secrets begin before your little one is even born: at the hospital.
Cutting Costs at the Hospital
While you’re at the hospital, don’t forget to ask for free samples. While it may sound strange, maternity wards often have a large supply of samples from various manufacturers. These samples can include everything from baby lotion to coupons for baby supplies.
It is important to remember to ask for these free samples, however. This is because the medical staff is often too busy to remember to hand them out.
Another one of the many ways to save money on baby items can include taking some of the hospital’s toiletries if you ask for permission first. These toiletries can include some very useful items for newborn babies such as diapers, bottle nipples, and cloths for swaddling. By getting these items beforehand, you’ll be saving a considerable amount of money once you leave the hospital.
Take Advantage of Available Financial Aid
Having a baby at the hospital can actually be a great idea if you’re worried about your finances. It is very easy to apply for financial aid from the Canadian government if you’re anxious that you might not have enough money to raise your child. Also, there are several financial benefits for new parents.
In order to help raise your child, you could receive an extra few thousand dollars from the government per year per child you have. The exact amount is determined by the age of your child and your family income.
After the birth of your baby, you may still be eligible for certain benefits. For example, employment insurance or EI will be able to provide benefits to those who are no longer working because they became pregnant, just had a baby, or have just adopted a baby. Clearly, there are many ways to save money when having a baby.
But what about once you leave the hospital? What else can you do to cut costs once you and your baby are out in the real world?
Saving Money with Breastfeeding
Budgeting with a baby can start as soon as possible and be surprisingly easy if you opt to breastfeed. If you only feed your child store-bought formula, you could end up spending thousands of dollars in the first year or two of raising your child. In addition, breastfeeding is much healthier for your child than even the best store-bought formula.
However, some women may find that they have difficulty producing enough milk to sate their hungry baby. Buying a cheap breast pump is the solution. Be wary, however, since some breast pumps can cost up to several hundred dollars.
A money trap to avoid is nursing clothes. As a new mother, you may be unsure how long you want to breastfeed. You may also be unable to breastfeed as much as you wanted.
Whether you breastfeed for only a week or for a year, nursing clothes are more or less a marketing scheme for new mothers. This is not to mention that you will likely be spending a lot of time at home trying to get the hang of caring for your newborn. Because of this, no one will be able to admire your new nursing getup anyway.
By ditching the nursing clothes and opting for ordinary shirts, you can save hundreds of dollars. Talking about clothes, we can now move on to the question of baby clothes.
Saving on Baby Clothes
Saving money with a baby doesn’t have to be complicated, especially if you avoid a few major mistakes that new parents make. One common mistake is buying clothes for your baby much too far ahead of schedule.
For example, don’t buy your child an entire wardrobe of winter clothes when winter is still several months away. This is because children grow like weeds and will outgrow any clothes bought in advance before they ever have the chance to wear them. Instead, when buying baby clothes, make sure they’ll be worn as soon as possible.
Another trick for baby clothes is buying completely white clothes. This is because baby clothes tend to get very dirty very fast. When these clothes do get dirty and stained, there’s nothing easier or cheaper than bleaching them.
Also, don’t ignore the baby consignment stores. Many baby clothes found at consignment stores either have never been worn or have been worn only a few times. More than that, clothes at consignment stores tend to be much cheaper than stores marketing new baby clothes.
Keep in mind that your baby won’t be able to wear those cute onesies or little T-shirts for much more than a month or two anyway. What’s the use in spending a fortune on baby clothes if they’ll only be of use for such a short period of time?
For the same reason, try to avoid shoes for babies. Babies have a hard time learning to walk in shoes and they won’t be doing a lot of walking at first anyway. If you’re worried about your child’s feet getting cold, opt for some simple socks instead.
Avoid the Accessories
The plan of how to save money with a newborn can be easily destroyed when it comes to baby accessories. These accessories can include large, bulky items like high-chairs, changing tables, strollers, baby walkers, toddler beds, cribs, and more. All these can easily add up to thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs.
A trick to saving money in this area is looking for accessories that have more than one function. For example, a chair that can turn into a high-chair is a better choice than buying both items individually.
As a new parent, you may find that your family and friends have been gifting you a hoard of baby clothes, toys, and accessories. Most of the time, you won’t be able to use everything. This does not mean you should let these items rot in a closet somewhere.
Instead, returning the items to their respective stores can be a great idea. Not only are you not wasting perfectly good baby items, but you can also get money back.
Another trick is keeping yourself in check when buying certain accessories for your child. These usually include the little things such as baby bottles and baby diapers. Many parents tend to go for the most expensive brands because they think they’ll be better for their child.
However, more often than not, expensive bottles and diapers are not all too different from the cheaper alternatives. In fact, your baby may even prefer the cheaper alternatives anyway.
Try to also not buy too much of any one thing. The only exception to this is diapers. Diapers can be expensive when buying them in small boxes. Instead, opt for buying diapers in bulk as this can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
Cutting Costs With a Newborn Baby
How to save money with a baby doesn’t have to be an impossible task. You now know all about the different money-saving tricks you can try as a new parent. These tricks include everything from asking for hospital toiletries to buying baby clothes at consignment stores.
As long as you keep these tips in mind, you’re sure to save significantly while raising your child. For more money-saving tips and solutions, contact us here.