There’s no doubt that adding that little bundle of joy to the family will be expensive. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that just within the first year of its life alone, it will cost $12,600 (not including a college savings account), so it’s important to plan ahead and start spending responsibly. Prepare for a baby on a budget with the following tips.
1. Don’t buy too much too soon.
It’s lots of fun buying baby things, that’s for sure. With so many choices, it’s easy to go overboard buying more clothing and accessories than you really need. When decorating the nursery and gathering all the necessities, make a list of the bare essentials and start there.
2. Create a registry for the non-essentials.
Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you have to do without all the fun, cutesy things you want for baby. Let your friends and family know what you want by creating a registry at your favorite store so you still get the non-essential things you desire.
3. Watch for sales and buy in bulk.
Watch for sales and force yourself to wait for the items you want to go on sale. Alternatively, buy things such as diapers, wipes and laundry detergent in bulk when you can.
4. Borrow what you can.
Babies grow out of things so fast, they hardly show any wear and tear. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family members who already have children if they can loan you their unused baby items. Cribs, car seats, clothing and the like can be passed from one family member to the next as needed, saving everyone tons of money.
5. Shop garage sales and consignment stores.
If you’ve never gone garage saling or shopped consignment, you’re missing out, especially when it comes to baby. You’ll often find brand-name items in great shape for a fraction of the original price. You wouldn’t believe the things people donate or sell cheap just to get rid of it, so before heading out to buy retail, check your local paper for garage sales in your area and head to your local Goodwill or St. Vincent de Paul to see what you can find for less.
Preparing for a baby on a budget takes a little bit of creative ingenuity, but the money you’ll save can be used for all sorts of things you’ll need as the child grows – such as food, college and the bevy of things he’s sure to want.
Did you use a baby budget?
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