Per research, a first-time parent can spend about $12,000 on a baby’s first year of life. By a child’s 2nd year, you are looking at approximately $12,500 per year.
Let’s face it; having a baby isn’t cheap. If you’re a first-time mom or dad, here’s how you can start saving up for baby.
Get Your Finances in Order
Get those credit cards paid off and start cutting back on expenses. The less money you have going out a month, the more you can save. Some expenses to cut back on include:
- Car payments
- TV bills
- Cell phone bills
- Credit card payments
Make a Budget
When the baby comes along, there will be extra expenses including ones you won’t even think about. Make a budget and stick to it. When the baby arrives, you must budget for things like daycare costs, diapers, wipes, formula (however, breastfeeding is another way to save), and continuously buying clothes for an ever-growing child.
Click on the image below to download a simple budget tracker so you can keep tabs on everything baby needs his first year.
Borrow Maternity Clothes
If you spend all your savings buying clothes before baby gets here, that is less you will have later. If you can borrow maternity clothes do it. Otherwise, shop at thrift stores and consignment shops. Places like Clothes Mentor, Goodwill, Facebook garage sale sites, and other thrift stores have gently used maternity clothes for a fraction of the price. And when you are looking to buy, buy maternity clothes that make the most difference.
Buy After Your Shower
You are so excited to be having a baby, and everything in the store looks so cute and cuddly, but it is important to hold off buying stuff for the baby until after your baby shower. You will get tons of clothes, toys, and baby gear so you’re better off waiting to make major purchases until you know what you actually need!
Throw a Diaper Party
Along with a baby shower, you can throw a diaper party. The entrance into the party is 1 box of diapers size 2-5! Throw a party for your friends and family with a bonfire, snacks, and BYOB. Ask them to bring a package of diapers to get into the party. Diapers can get expensive and the more you get, the less you should have to buy later.
Buy Convertible Baby Items
This is a big one. If you are stuck buying strollers, car seats, and cribs, you want to be sure to get all the convertible options. This saves you money later. As baby gets bigger, you can easily convert your stroller, car seat, or crib rather than going out and buying a new item. Below are some of my FAVORITE convertible baby products:
- Convertible Baby Car Seat – This brand is a trusted one many moms love. Plus, it’s currently on SALE and can be used from infant to toddler with a few adjustments! Just read the manual to make sure you maximum comfort for baby — many parents don’t realize you can adjust the angle (in addition to the height!) so baby can sleep well!
- Convertible Stroller – This light-weight and versatile stroller, can hold baby from 5 to 50 lbs with 6 positions for easy traveling.
- Convertible Crib – An affordable transition crib that works for babies of all ages to growing toddler. I owned the “chestnut” colored one that served me well for each of my kids!
Get Creative and Crafty
Instead of buying things like blankets, sheets, burp rags, and even clothing, see if you can make them. If you are a crafty person, you can save a ton of money making your own baby gear. Check out Pinterest and YouTube for ideas on decorating the baby room, playroom and making your own baby toys for little to no cost to you.
Skip the Bassinet
Babies grow incredibly fast, and before you know it they are rolling over. You can’t use a bassinet once your baby starts rolling over. Though it seems like a necessity, a crib works just as well, and a convertible crib is even better as your baby grows from infant to toddler. So, skip the bassinet if you need an easy way to cut costs.
Babies are expensive – this we know! And while there will never be a perfect time to have a baby, if make cuts where you can, have a baby shower and plan carefully, you can save up even before baby gets here to give them everything they really need.