No new parent can deny that having kids effects their monthly budget so much so that being able to upkeep a balanced, comfortable financial state often becomes a challenge, especially in these times of spiraling costs of living. Here are some often overlooked areas where money can be saved. After all, for the frugal young parent, every little bit helps!
1. Figure out your budget.
If you do not have an idea of how much money should go where, it’s safe to say that you do not have control over your money and where it goes. Having a budget is the number one tip for all parents. Knowing what is coming in and going out each month can be a real eye opener. You never want to spend more than what you make. In fact, spending less so you can save more for times in need is the smartest thing any young parent can do.
2. Shop for clothes during sales.
It makes perfect sense to choose to shop during a sale or in places where a special sale is taking places. Purchasing essentials like clothing when there are sales, like the ones held nationwide during festive seasons or year-end, can be a huge cost saver. Take into consideration how much your baby will grow when choosing the size of your baby’s clothing. Many parents have found that buying bigger clothes for their kids during super-cheap sales can not only save them a bundle of cash but also saves them the hassle of having to shop for children’s clothing when their kids outgrow their present ones.
3. Consider hand-me-downs.
Don’t turn down clothes from family and friends, especially quality ones, just because they have been worn. Your child will outgrew anything you will buy really quickly, so second-hand clothes are actually a super saver, considering how expensive baby clothing are these days.
4. Make a grocery list.
Never head to the grocery store without one. A list, that is. In line with this, it would be a good idea to plan the week’s meals ahead, so you know exactly what you need to get. Having a grocery list complete with a few not-so- compulsory but nice to have items like favorite snacks will help curb compulsive buying and over spending. Look out for essential items on sale and do try not to be too rigid about brand names. Sometimes, cheaper, more affordable brands offer the exact same quality in a product. Try samples of cheaper products whenever possible – They may surprise you.
5. Shop for fresh produce at the wet market.
A winning way to save on your food billis to shop at the wet market where you’re sure to get seasonal produce at the best prices available. The environment at wet markets may not be as desirable as an air-conditioned supermarket, but the fact remains that for the small price of ‘comfort’, you will be saving a whole lot more by buying your meat, fruit and vegetables at the wet market, where your purchases will also have the added benefit of freshness, which is always a better, healthier choice.
6. Stop using disposable items.
Save and go green in one go. Investing in re-useable cloth diapers will save you a bundle on the long run. Plus, cloth diapers are free of super absorbent but harmful chemical which disposable diapers are usually made of. Another example of going green is eliminating the use of bottles water. Instead, invest in a home water filter system. While the initial investment might cost a bit, the long term savings will more than make up for it.
7. Purchase convertible baby furniture.
Seek out baby furniture and other necessities that have multiple uses. For instance, buy a playpen with an optional bassinet or a crib that converts to a toddler bed. It won’t be long before it’s time to move your baby to a big-kid bed, and you’ll be happy you don’t have to spend even more cash.
8. Cook your own meals.
Fresh and healthy homecooked meals are the most budget friendly. Avoid eating out as much as possible. Pack your lunch for work. If you must have coffee or tea every single day, save a bundle on the long run by investing on a fl ask where you can prepare and bring your favorite beverage and keep it hot for several hours. On the same note, make your own baby food and save even more instead of buying off the shelves. Making your own baby food will also ensure you are giving the very best to your baby, not to mention a wider variety of food too.
9. Ease up on luxury baby items.
Its really tempting to keep up with the times when it comes to lavish and expensive baby gears, but remember that your baby won’t know the difference between a no-name carrier or a cheaper stroller or a simple but practical diaper bag compared to bank-breaking, top-of-the-line models.
10. Put more thought into toys before buying.
It really is not necessary to buy every toy you think you child may fancy, especially if your child is still a baby. Toys, cost money and it is difficult to break the habit of needing many toys to play with if a child is used to having lots and lots of toys from a young age.
For expectant parents:
Plan your babybudget now!
The best thing you can do for your family is to be well prepared in your finances. When baby arrives, you will probably be forking out money like never before for various unavoidable expenses. Here are a few areas to look into.
- Healthcare: You will be visiting your pediatrician for check-ups numerous times in the first few months. In fact, whatever you anticipate spending on healthcare, set aside extra, regardless of whether you have insurance or not. Your baby’s health is unpredictable and its not something you want to gamble with. Also, do keep in mind that some medical procedures may not be optional.
- Childcare: Daycare is not cheap so do be sure to budget appropriately for this hefty expense. If you’re not planning to return to work after having your baby, you will, instead, need to factor in any loss of income.
- Daily baby needs: Estimate and prepare for the costs of everyday items like diapers, wipes, formula (if baby is not breast feeding) and other essential everyday needs of your baby.
- New mum’s needs: Don’t forget to budget for breastfeeding equipment, nursing bras, confinement care essentials, a diaper bag, etc.
- Traveling and mobility needs: Car seats should not be taken lightly. Treat them as compulsory for the safety of you baby and do allocate for it in your budget. Sooner or later, the need will arise for a stroller and a baby carrier too, so you might as well fit these into your budget now.