Trying to Save Money With a New Baby? 6 Tips
Whether your little bundle of joy is still baking in the oven or they’ve just made their entrance to this world, you know the long list of “baby necessities” you must buy when you’re a new parent.
Unfortunately, this can take its toll on your bank account.
To ease the financial burden, we’ve provided a list of money-saving tips for new dads and moms. Use these tips to ensure your little one (and you!) have a pleasant experience during babyhood … without going into major debt.
- Ask around with friends and family who are done having kids
Most people with kids in elementary school or older have old baby stuff lying around that they’ll never use again. If you know any friends, family members, or coworkers who are also parents, ask them if they have any old items or equipment that you could buy from them. Chances are, they won’t even charge you, but it’s always good to offer.
- Cruise Craigslist and eBay
Craigslist and eBay are great places to check out used baby equipment online. Craigslist tends to be better for large items that you can go pick up, while eBay is better for small items because you won’t have to pay too much for shipping.
- Go to garage sales in your neighborhood
Often, even better than buying used items online is buying them in person at garage and yard sales. Prices for old baby stuff tend to be extremely cheap, and you can actually take a look at everything in-person to make sure it’s clean and in good working order.
Good things to buy at garage and yard sales include cribs, highchairs, baby bouncers, clothes, toddler tables and chairs, and much more. Just be sure to drive around with some cash on-hand, so if you see a sale, you can stop right away and get what you want.
- Buy in bulk when possible
There’s no way around it: when it comes to certain baby items, you’re just going to need a lot of them. The list includes diapers, baby wipes, plain onesies, diaper pail bags, baby food, and a few other things.
Fortunately, most of these items will last a long time. So, if you want to purchase them in bulk, you might actually save some money. Big box stores often offer coupons for things like diapers and wipes as well. The more you buy, the better the coupons will get. Take advantage of these savings deals when you see them.
- Don’t unpackage items until you use them (and save those receipts!)
There are tons of baby items that you may feel like you need, but at the same time, you’re not really sure.
If you’re still on the fence about buying something, go ahead and purchase it, but just don’t unbox it yet until you actually feel like you need it. Also, save your receipts. This way, if you don’t end up using an item, you can simply return it (as long as it’s within the return window) and get your money back.
- Cash in savings (if not now, when?)
Whether you like it or not, you’re going to need extra funds when you have a baby. They just require a lot of items and equipment, not to mention time away from work for many dads and moms.
For this reason, now is as good a time as any to cash in your savings if you have some. Maybe it’s that shiny 5 oz silver bar you’ve had in the bottom of your closet for a while, the piggy bank on your mantle, a box of collectible baseball cards in your basement, or something else valuable that you’ve been holding onto. In the end, if anything’s worth cashing in for, your baby is.
As a final tip, whenever you encounter a new item that you feel like you should buy because some article or website or friend told you that you should … first, weigh the pros and cons.
Keep in mind that selling toys, gadgets, safety accessories, and other baby gear to new parents is a super lucrative business. Companies know that dads and moms are desperate for equipment that will make those first few days of parenthood easier.
They also take advantage of the fact that we all feel automatically vulnerable when you’re charged with the care of a newborn (or an infant or toddler for that matter). That’s why you’ll see a lot of scare tactics in baby gear advertising: “If you don’t have an XYZ product, your baby could fall/choke/hurt themselves.”
Certain items and equipment are definitely necessary for safe and proper baby-rearing — that goes without saying. But don’t let crafty advertising trick you into thinking you need absolutely everything available at buybuy BABY and then some. After all, in the end, your time, energy, and attention will go the longest way in ensuring that your baby is safe, happy, and healthy.