How to Budget for a New Baby

Babies are expensive. Those little angels sure do require a lot of things and taking care of their needs rakes up your cost of living drastically from buying the essentials like diapers to baby clothes to buying needed accessories like Burping Cloths and blankets it adds up quickly. If you don’t plan properly, you could find yourself at a dangerous spot of not having enough money. Parent have always found intelligent ways to save money or reduce costs to childcare is not so expensive.

Hospital Stay

When you just give birth at the hospital, in addition to your bills that you budgeted for maybe with a rough estimate, it can go way higher than expected if you’re not careful. Keep these tips in mind.

Say no to add-ons

Pass up a private room if there’s a charge. Fees can vary wildly, from about $30 a day all the way up to a $500 daily charge. By opting for a two-person room for example you can save up to thousands of dollars especially if you have to stay for several days in case of od a C-section or some other complication.

Don’t turn on the TV. Some hospitals also charge patients about $8 to $10 a day for television privileges. But you’re there to rest anyways. So spend the time bonding with your baby and sleeping when you can.

Ask for coupons and samples

Manufacturers often lavish maternity wards with freebies, but the hospital staff is sometimes too busy to remember to dole them out. You can get tubes of lotion and diaper ointment, coupons for stuff like baby wash and baby portraits, plus a surprisingly chic black diaper bag to hold it all. Be sure to ask for samples and freebies.

Take the toiletries

You can often keep some goodies from your hospital stay—namely the baby-care items stored in the cabinet beneath your little one’s rolling bassinet (ask permission first). Look inside, and you’ll probably find diapers, burping cloths, alcohol swabs, a nasal aspirator, disposable nipples for bottles, a thermometer, and more. Leave them behind and you’ll just have to shell out $30 to $40 later at the drugstore.

Smart Ways to Save

Look for Furniture and Accessories that do Double Duty

Look for tables that can double as a changing pad table and a dresser. Many cribs can be transformed into toddler beds later on too. Luckily, you’re going to receive a lot of gifts and some may not be useful to you or may be unwanted. Be sure to return these gifts promptly for a refund or do exchanges too and get the things you really need for the baby. Merchants often put time limits on returns and exchanges; you don’t want to miss your chance. Incidentally, this is a great task to delegate to a relative, the dad or the nanny. Don’t buy crib pillows. They’re cute but useless, and you’ve got to remove them whenever your child is in the crib since they can be a SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) hazard doctor’s do not recommend them.I know they look cute and heavenly but you don’t need them especially if you are trying to save.

Set up a photo website

You can post your baby pics online for free at some sites. Friends and relatives can then print out their own copies (for a fee). When it comes to diapers, think big. Lugging home one of those 228-count cartons from the wholesale club is worth it—you’ll save about $170 a year. Try Costco.Test-drive a stroller before you buy it. You maybe find that you don’t like it or it’s hard to stir.

Turn to your local library for classes and games

Libraries offer free music classes for kids and even storytime classes etc. The library also has wooden puzzles and other toys we can play with while we’re there. Paid classes can add up pretty quickly. Keep a baby-care bag in your car. Make sure it contains three diapers, a tube of ointment, a travel pack of wipes, an extra outfit, and if your child eats solid foods, a small snack (which is bound to happen eventually) you won’t end up having to buy one.

Saving For your Kid’s College

The sooner you start thinking about this, the better so you can make wise decisions. New parents are often in a rush to save for their child’s education, and that’s commendable. But this shouldn’t come at the cost of your current and future financial security. After all, you can borrow money for college, but not for retirement.

Once you have a small amount of emergency cash to cover unexpected expenses — say $500 — your financial priorities should be as follows:

Retirement savings

Make sure you’re saving enough for retirement. You should ideally set aside 15% of your income but save at least enough to qualify for the maximum employer match on your 401(k), if your workplace offers one.

Make your debt payments

Pay off debt that is hurting you. Balances on payday loans, credit cards, and title loans, for example, cost you daily and prevent you from focusing on other financial priorities.

Contributions to an emergency fund

Build your emergency fund from that $500 seed, aiming for enough to replace several months of income.

Once you’re making progress on these items, you can think about college savings strategies. That being said, if your relatives are itching to help fund junior’s university years and you can afford to put aside an extra $15-$25 per month, set up a 529 plan. You can deposit the minimum required for now, and generous family members can also contribute.

Hope this helps.