Having a baby can be pretty scary. What’s even more scary is thinking about how much a new baby is going to cost.
The average American family spends over $12,000 on child related expenses before the baby’s first birthday.
According to the Department of Agriculture, a child costs on average $233,000 by the time they are 17.
That doesn’t include the cost if they go to college or decide to live with you until they are 34 years old.
I’m not a financial planner or certified to give financial advice, but I can tell you some thing that helped our family when we had our first child and some things financially I wish I would have done better.
#1 – Save money before the baby is born – This was one of the things I wish I had done better. While I did get rid of the expensive bachelor toys, I didn’t consciously put money aside for our first child.
This is a good idea to reduce some of the financial stress and burden that can happen once the baby arrives.
#2 – Nurse instead of formula – While you may not have much say in this one, nursing is pretty much free.
It does cost time for mom but formula is expensive. And those little ones down that stuff like crazy.
#3 – Make your own baby food – This was something my wife was really good with.
Use a blender and puree all kinds of foods that your baby can eat. In addition to being healthy, this can save you a lot of money.
You can make tons of food in ice cube trays, freeze it, and then use them as needed.
#4 – Get hand me down clothes and toys – Before i had a child, I recalled thinking I wouldn’t want my child wearing used clothes or playing with some other kid’s toys.
Boy did that change once the child was born and you see how fast they go through clothes. Toys either get wasted because of boredom or there is simply too many.
Let family, friends, and neighbors know you welcome any clothes or toys they may be done with.
#5 – Buy used – If you don’t get a lot of hand me downs, consider buying used clothes or toys at consignment stores, craigslist, or a handful of apps that now make it really easy to buy/sell things.
Maybe there are some special things that you decide are worth buying new, but realistically there is so much money wasted in the early years.
#6 – Go to your local library – Reading with your child is really important.
But why spend tons of money on new books all the time. Your local library is an awesome place to get free books. Use it as a resource.
#7 – Eat at home – We can talk about the health benefits of eating at home, but for this podcast we are talking about saving money.
Whether you eat out for lunch during the workday or your family goes out to dinner, consider eating at home.
While this may be difficult for some people, you will save a lot of money by making your own meals.
#8 – Buy in bulk – Whether you are making your own food at home, or you are purchasing things for the baby, bulk is the way to go.
Don’t buy the small pack of diapers or the single pack of anything. Learn to buy in bulk and save a lot.
#9 – and finally a bonus tip to tell your friends and family – Contribute to the child’s savings account instead of giving them presents
While grandma may feel the need to buy her grandson his 11th stuffed animal, recommend that friends and family can put money is the child’s savings account instead.
There is a tendency to have too much stuff. The truth is that children don’t need 5 of the same action figures in different sizes or every princess dress ever created. We can begin to practice minimalism early on.
The savings account is a much better investment for the child.
Well, that’s all we have for today. We would love to hear from you.
What are some ways you have found to save money as a new parent?