There are a lot of new things to learn and experience when you become a parent for the first time. Many of those things you will have to learn on your own without much guidance, but there are a few things that you can prepare for to make your life as a new parent a little easier.
Money is one of the most common issues that new parents struggle with. Having a baby can be expensive; many parents spend around $14,000 in the first year. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to cut back on these costs and make being a new parent a little less financially stressful. Here are some ideas to help you save money with your new baby.
Cut back on the things you will not use as much anymore
As you probably already know, your everyday lifestyle changes a lot when you have a new baby. That means that there are probably a lot of things that you are still paying for that you no longer use or need. Work with your providers to get lower prices on things like DIRECT TV, magazine subscriptions, wine club memberships or anything else that you are no longer using on a regular basis. You can enjoy big monthly savings by reducing the number of channels you get or by canceling your golf club membership that you no longer use.
Of course we all want the best for our children. Many parents think this means that they have to buy brand new, top of the line everything for their baby (these are the parents that spend over $14,000 in the first year on their baby). In reality, there are a lot of things that you get buy used that will work great for your baby.
Use old clothes from relatives and friends. Go to rummage sales to find new gear or look on online forums for good used items. Many times, you and your child will not know the difference between the used items and similar new items and you will have much more money because of it.
Avoid paying interest on anything
A great tip to save money and avoid debt no matter your situation is to avoid paying interest on anything. Many stores will offer you financing options on big ticket items like cribs and car seats, but these options also have high interest rates that will cause you to spend more on the item than you should.
Instead, try to save up for expensive items and avoid buying them until you need it or you have the money. Also, even though it is very tempting, avoid keeping a balance on your credit card. Paying extra interest will only make you lose the money you could be using for your child and bury you in credit card debt, so avoid it whenever possible and pay off credit card balances as the end of each cycle.
Make your own baby food
This is of course a little more time consuming than buying packaged baby food at the store, but you and your baby will be a lot better off in many ways if you make your own baby food instead. You will save a lot of money and you will be able to give your baby healthier, preservative and chemical free options.