Having a baby is a joyous occasion, but it is also costly. When you add up the medical expenses, maternity clothes, baby products, diapers, formula, and all the daily supplies you’re going to need, you are spending thousands of dollars before you even realize what happened. During your pregnancy, you are solely focused on what your baby is going to need and taking care of yourself, but once the baby is born, you need to get on a budget that will work for you while still providing everything your baby needs.
Here are a couple of simple tricks to reset your post-baby budget.
Save money where you can.
There are many ways to save money on your newborn baby expenses, but sometimes, you have to get creative or embrace a little more work. For example, you can save hundreds of dollars every month by breastfeeding instead of formula feeding. You can also save hundreds every month by choosing cloth diapers instead of disposable ones. Cloth diapers are a rather significant initial investment, but there are little to no ongoing costs once you have everything you need.
You can save money buying your baby clothes secondhand. In most cases, little ones grow out of their clothes very quickly, and if you are buying everything new, you are likely to be paying for clothes that your baby doesn’t actually wear. For example, baby winter clothes are worn for a concise period of time, so you don’t need to stock up on winter clothes. If you find a few good sleeper onesies, you’ll be able to use them for most of the winter. For safety reasons, you can’t have them in heavy winter coats in their car seat anyway. The best approach is to dress your baby in several thin layers of clothes throughout the winter months.
Borrow money if you need to.
When there are larger expenses you cannot find at a low cost, you may need to borrow money to get everything you need for your baby. Big-ticket baby items include the crib, car seat, stroller, and high chair. There are many different types of loans you may qualify for, and you may hear a lot about hard money loan vs mortgage. While most people are likely talking about these in regard to buying a house, these types of loans can be used for non-house purchases. A first mortgage loan is intended for buying a house, but you can get a second mortgage or equity loan for other expenses. With these types of loans, you are essentially using your house as collateral for the loan. A hard money loan has a higher interest rate but is sometimes easier to get depending on your credit score and other personal factors.
Share with other mothers.
Babies grow so quickly, so perhaps the best approach to saving money and getting on a post-baby budget is sharing with other mothers. Snowsuits, jackets, booties, mittens, strollers, car seats, wearable blankets, sleep sacks, insulators, and hoodies are all items you can get from other mothers as their babies grow out of them. Then, when your baby grows out of them, you can return them or pass them on to another mother. Join a mom’s group or a local social media group of mothers who share needed items. Sometimes, if you can’t get what you need for free through these types of groups, you can get it at a very minimal cost.
You shouldn’t be distracted by financial concerns when your baby is born. If you save money where you can and plan accordingly, you can enjoy that time with your baby while still maintaining a budget that works for your whole family.