How To Prepare For A Baby On A Budget
Congratulations! You’re going to be a parent—so many emotions and feelings come with finding out a baby is on the way. Excitement about the little human that is about to become part of your family; some nerves over the unknowns; and maybe even worry about how you’re going to pay for it all. It’s no secret, babies require a lot and can be expensive.
To help ease those worries, we’re sharing tips on preparing for the arrival of your new baby on a budget. It’s totally feasible and can absolutely be done. Here’s how.
Make a list and divide it into ‘needs’ and ‘wants’
There are countless baby products, gadgets, and tools out there, and as a new parent, it can be overwhelming to sift through pages upon pages of them online (or walk through aisle after aisle in store). Before you get overwhelmed, get organized and make a list of the baby products and supplies you think you’ll need. Ask friends and family what their ‘must haves’ were or are. You can even read this article on what to skip and what to buy.
From there, organize your list into needs—those things you absolutely cannot raise a baby without, and wants—the things that would sure be nice, but aren’t quite a necessity. By creating this tiered list, you can allocate your baby budget to cover the ‘needs’ and then with any money left over, venture into your ‘wants’ list.
Tip: Those ‘wants’ may be good to tell grandparents or your friends—they’d make great shower gifts!
Create a registry
Friends, co-workers and family members love to shower the parents-to-be, and you can help guide the gift-giving by creating registries both in-store and online. Some popular stores to have baby registries at include Target, Buy Buy Baby, Babies ‘R’ Us and Amazon. You can create a registry at more than one store, too.
Be sure to let the host or hostess of your shower know where you’re registered so they can include that information on the invitations.
Tip: Include your partner’s name on the registry so that his or her family can also find the registry if they search by either parent’s name.
Another tip: Check with the store where you register to see what deals it offers those who create a registry. Some will give you a 10-percent-off coupon after your due date that you can use toward purchasing any items remaining on your registry. Others may give you a “welcome” kit when you register that includes samples, like wipes or diapers.
Hit up yard sales and online Facebook groups
Buying baby products second-hand will save you a lot of money, especially if you start your search early so that you have time to wait for what you’re looking for to pop up. Devote a few hours on Saturday mornings to hitting up yard sales, and try to be there first thing so you have the best selection to choose from.
Location-specific Facebook yard sale groups are very popular and a great way to score a deal on like-new baby products. Search on Facebook for terms like your city + yard sale (e.g., Salt Lake City Yard Sale) and request to join. Some of these virtual yard sale groups are focused just on baby or kids’ products, and that will be noted in the group name or description. Once you’re a member of the group, use the group ‘search’ function (the magnifying glass at the top right of the page if viewing Facebook from your computer—the search function isn’t as good on the mobile/app version) for an items, like a bouncer or crib, and any results will pop up. Keep an eye on the group, too, to see what new items are posted.
Tip: When purchasing used and second-hand items, always be sure to check for any recalls or warnings on the product. Test the item to make sure it is in safe, working condition.
Contact your insurance company about a breast pump
Before you sell out some of your own cash for a breast pump, check with your insurance company to see what it provides. Under the Affordable Care Act (sometimes referred to as “ObamaCare”), your health insurance company must cover the cost of the breast pump. You can read more about breastfeeding benefits under the Affordable Care Act here.
Take advantage of samples and coupons
If you birth your baby at a hospital, most will send you home with some diapers, wipes, pacifiers and other baby items when you checkout. When I had my first child, I took home nearly 150 diapers and countless packages of wipes.
Many brands of baby formula have programs, like the Enfamil Family Beginnings program, where it’s free to sign up and you will receive a kit with up $250 worth of samples and supplies. Check out other formula brands, such as Similac and Gerber, to take advantage of their samples and programs.
Tip: Buy Buy Baby, which is a sister store to Bed Bath and Beyond, regularly sends out coupons for $5 off a purchase of $15 or 20 percent off one item. Sign up for these coupons and use them toward your purchases. Some restrictions do apply to the items you can purchase as well as a limit on number of coupons allowed per transaction, so always read the fine print before heading to the checkout line. One of the best things is Buy Buy Baby accepts Bed Bath and Beyond coupons, so sign up for both stores’ coupon programs and get double the coupons.
Congratulations again on the new addition!
Do you have any suggestions on how to save with a new baby?
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