For most men, having a child brings on some stressors. We worry about the child’s safety, that they are healthy, or that we are going to be a good dad. But probably the #1 worry that dads experience, is how am I going to afford a baby. Now, I’m not licensed to give you financial advice, but there are really two options, either you can make more or money or spend less. Since I can’t help you make more money, I’m going to tell you some of the ways that my wife and I were able to cut back some expenses in order to account for the new addition to our family.
#1 – Buy in Bulk – Unless there is an emergency, you should never be buying a small pack of diapers, single serving of formula, baby food, or anything the child regularly uses. The average baby uses 2500 diapers in the first year. Let’s do the math, that’s 6.849315 diapers per day. Seriously. Save some money and buy the huge packages.
make your own lunch for work
cook dinners at home – Remember you are buying in bulk, so this can be dinnertime foods for your guys as well
make your own coffee – if you are someone who stops by the local place and grabs a cup every morning….make it yourself…that adds up
While eating at home may take a little more time, you also get the bonus of more likely eating healthier as well.
#3 – Make your own baby food – Get a blender, some vegetables and fruit, some ice cube trays, and you are in business. Making your baby’s food can save you up to 50% and you also know exactly what is going in there.
#4 – Get Comfortable With Used Items – For clothes and toys, used is the way to go. Let family, friends, and neighbors be aware that if they or anyone they know wants to part ways with clothes or toys, you would be happy to have them. We were really lucky that many neighbors had children before us. It seemed like each week we had something showing up on our front door step and then we passed it along when we were done with it. Kids go through clothes so fast as they grow and as for toys, they get bored faster than you can imagine.
#5 – Find Free Experiences – I’m sorry but paying $100 for your 4 year old to go to Disneyland is ridiculous. Sure you will get a picture or two with Mickey but I personally think it’s a waste of money. Go to a park, go to the library, check your communities resources. Everything from live music to story time to activities can be found for free. There are websites dedicated to this kind of thing. If your purpose is for them to have fun and create memories, wait until they are old enough to remember that it makes sense to spend money on entertainment.
Along those same lines, I’ve got a bonus tip for you: Don’t have birthday parties until they are 5 or 6 years old – Sure, invite your family over but getting pony rides and bbqing for 200 people is just ridiculous while the kids falling asleep and still going to the bathroom in his pants. Realize the party is for you and not the child. Save your money. I’m going to take this even further….the same goes for the holidays. From 1-5 years old they don’t need anything. Stop thinking you have to spend money to make your 2 year old’s holiday really special. Just stop. Alright, enough…rant over….