While the cost changes depending on location and household income, some studies indicate families spend anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 in the first year of their child’s life.1 If the stork is set to bring your own bundle of joy, you may be in the process of preparing your budget for the change. Below we’ve compiled some tips for new parents like you that will help you cut back on spending and find creative ways to save!
5 new parent budgeting tips to prepare for baby’s arrival
1. Create a registry
Your loved ones are there to support you and many of them may want to gift you with some of the items you need to keep a baby comfortable, safe, and happy. Put together an online registry so it’s available to send out upon request or to the guest list of your shower if you have one. Depending on how big your network is you may be able to cross off a good portion of your shopping list.
2. Tighten your “purse strings”
New expenses for baby will likely require you to reevaluate your budget and cut back on spending. Start by reviewing your spending habits with a tool like Money Management. You’ll get a sense of where your money is going. As a result, you can better strategize where to redirect funds to cover the costs associated with your little one’s arrival.
3. Score deals on diapers
Babies go through an average of 2,200 diapers in their first year.2 As they’re something you’ll have to purchase often, it’s wise to find deals. Some ideas to consider include:
- Buying in bulk. Some new parents become members at wholesale clubs like Costco or Sam’s Club so they can buy diapers in bulk at a slightly lower price per diaper.
- Couponing. Traditional couponing can help you save dollars and cents on products like diapers, wipes, and other necessities. Download the app of your favorite local retailers to clip electronic coupons for your next shopping trip.
- Turning diapers into rewards. Some brands, like Pampers and Huggies, have diaper rewards programs through their website. While the steps to scan and redeem points differ between the two programs, you can use your points to earn rewards like coupons, gift cards, and even free diapers!
4. Rack up rewards
Why not earn on the purchases you were going to make anyway? A rewards credit card allows you to do just that. Swipe for diapers, bottles, or a big purchase like a crib. Cash back is often applied as a statement credit to your account while points can be redeemed for things like gift cards, merchandise, cash back, and much more! Look for a card with unlimited cash back3 or one with 3x the points4 at U.S. supermarkets and wholesale clubs.
5. Take a practical approach to clothes
There’s no question that newborn clothes are adorable. But babies grow rapidly in their first year of life and will quickly outgrow infant-sized onesies. For this reason, it’s best not to invest in a large wardrobe of itty-bitty outfits. Babies may outgrow them quickly and barely get a chance to wear them!
It’s also important to remember that messes will happen. Spit up, food stains, and stinky diapers come with the territory. While it’s great to have nice, new baby clothes on hand, there are many places to purchase gently used children’s clothing at steep discounts. Messes may be less of a worry if your little one is wearing something less expensive from a thrift store or consignment shop! Just be sure to wash everything before it’s worn.
Sometimes your budget isn’t the only place you need to make room for baby. Use selling platforms like Facebook Marketplace or apps like Let Go to earn some extra cash off things you don’t need. Whether that means selling an old desk or home décor, decluttering now will give you a fresh start to usher in this new chapter.
You can also sell things like clothing, shoes, or equipment as your baby outgrows or loses interest in them. There are many other new parents looking for gently used items for their kiddos, too!
7. Learn for free
There’s an unlimited supply of information about newborns and childhood development available online. Before shelling out $100 for a class, consider checking to see if there’s a YouTube video that covers the same topic.
There are also local resources available to help new parents. For example, the Cincinnati Fire Department offers car seat installation checks at no cost.
General Electric Credit Union is committed to helping new parents succeed financially. From competitive rates on credit cards to free perks like Money Management, we provide the tools and resources you need to keep your budget on track. Discover the best credit card for you and submit an online application in minutes!