Having a baby comes with a lot of expenses.
Just buying baby gear and other basics can cost an average of $2,700 during the baby’s first year.
Once your little one is older, there will be extracurricular activities to pay for—and then there’s college tuition when they turn 18!
As a new parent, it can be easy to spiral into panic mode over the mounting costs.
But there is no need to panic; when preparing to welcome your newborn into your family, just follow these easy-to-implement tips to help you save money for your family’s future.
4 ways to prep for a baby on a budget
Shop second hand
When you’re pregnant, shopping for baby clothes is a joy.
You can envision what your bundle of love will look like in all the cute onesies you find.
And the sight of tiny baby shoes might make your heart melt. However, try not to be tempted to buy everything new!
Kids grow so quickly, and chances are your friends and family have hand-me-downs from their own children that are like new.
Clothes aren’t the only thing you can get second hand.
Toys (if they’re in good condition), books, games, and basic furniture can also be safely reused.
Steer clear of old cribs and car seats, however, as they may not be up to current security standards.
Parents.com lists some more items you can buy used without worry.
Don’t splurge on maternity clothes
Of course, you want to look cute while sporting your baby bump—but there’s no need to spend big bucks to do so.
Many budget-friendly retailers now stock lovely maternity wear, or you can just upsize at Target, Old Navy, or other non-maternity stores.
You can also rent maternity clothes, which not only helps you to save, but you’ll be helping the environment out as well.
Rest assured you’ll receive clean, like-new clothing every time.
Another way to save on maternity clothes is to sign up for subscription boxes, which ship out new trendy clothes to you every month or quarter.
This is one of the ways to prep for a baby on a budget.
Make the most of your baby celebrations
When planning your baby shower, think practically.
Your registry shouldn’t just include cute items like stuffed animals but also practical products.
Take a look registry ideas for inspiration.
They cover everything you could possibly think of including pacifiers, bottle warmers, bibs, breastfeeding accessories, teethers, and more.
Another popular celebration of a baby-to-be these days is the gender reveal.
Extravagant events that reveal whether a boy or girl is due have become viral sensations.
Resist the urge to splurge on this moment and get creative instead.
Kindred Bravely suggests ways to save by buying statement t-shirts, crafting a “volcano,” or creating a sweet social media photo op with your pet.
This moment doesn’t need to cost a lot of money to be meaningful.
Start collecting coupons now
Once your baby arrives, you’ll have your hands full with feeding and changing diapers.
Get a head start on coupon collecting now.
Many baby product manufacturers provide free samples and deals on high-demand products like diapers and formula.
Pampers offers printable coupons on their website, for example.
You can also take advantage of apps when pinching pennies.
Check flyers with Flipp, look for discounts with RetailMeNot, and get cashback with Checkout 51.
Stick to the above tips on ways to prep for a baby on a budget during pregnancy and start your family life off on a positive financial foot.
Research has shown that when parents get stressed about money, the entire family is impacted.
Make smart choices about how you spend before your baby is even born, and you’ll already be paving the path to a stable financial future and a happy family.