Babies require a lot, even just for normal, everyday use. All of these things can get very expensive very quickly, and when added to your regular expenses it may seem like you won’t have a penny to spare for the next 18 years. But there are a few ways to ensure that your wallet won’t be completely empty, even when the baby seems to want and need anything and everything.
There are a couple of things to do before the baby arrives to try and save a few dollars. If you have outstanding debts, like credit cards or school loans, try to pay as much of it off as possible. Once the baby is born, you may not have s much money each month to pay those bills, which means the interest could start stacking up pretty quickly.
Wait until the baby shower is over before you and your partner buy a lot. Despite what people may tell you, a baby can have too many blankets and clothes. Most of the time you’ll probably just end up washing and reusing the same stuff, and you don’t want to look in drawers a few months down the road and realize you wasted a bunch of money on stuff they never used. So wait until you know what everyone else got your baby and go from there.
All the major diaper and formula companies have membership programs you can join for free. Once you sign up, they’ll start sending you free samples and coupons for their products. I signed up with all of them before my son was born and have saved a lot of money with their coupons. Ask the baby’s grandparents and godparents to sign up to for even more savings. This is also a great way to find out which brand of diapers you like best without actually having to buy a bunch of different boxes.
Once the baby arrives, there is even more you can do to save money. A lot of national retailers like Walmart and Sam’s, and probably some of your local chains have their own brand of baby products like formula, diapers and wipes, and are usually a lot cheaper than the name brands. Where my boyfriend and I live, Parents Choice formula, the Walmart brand, is about $13 a can cheaper than Enfamil and Similac. Our son eats a can a week, so we’re saving over $50 a month by using a store brand. If you find you don’t want to use an off brand for something, that’s okay. We hated the store brand diapers, but we save enough money using their formula and diapers to more than cover the cost of a pack of name brand diapers.
Another great way to save is to buy used. People are sometimes wary of buying used clothes for their baby, but chances are, the item was barely used. Most people end up getting so many clothes as gifts that the baby is only able to wear stuff once or twice before they grow out of everything. Look at sites like Craigslist.org or visit garage sales or consignment shops for great deals on baby items. Most of these items are like new.
There are also a lot of other ways to save money when you have a baby. These are just the ones that have worked best for my boyfriend and I.