Managing the budget of your growing household, for example, can be stressful. Babies obviously have different needs compared to adults, and as babies get older their needs will also change. This means that the amount and type of food, clothing, and other household items you often purchase will vary as the years go by.
Although preparing for this life event can be daunting, you can overcome its challenges with the right mindset. If you’re worried about juggling your weekly expenses, here are six budgeting tips you can use as a new parent to help you get your expenses right back on track:
Take Advantage of Clearance Sales
Buying items during a clearance sale is a great way to save up on cash. When stores hold this type of promotion, it usually means that they’re trying to get rid of certain leftover products to make space for new inventory. Most of the items under clearance are either going out of season, unpopular purchases, or have been over-purchased by the store. The great thing about buying on clearance is that the products are priced lower than traditional sales and their prices won’t go back up.
Clearance sales are the best opportunities to shop for a wide variety of baby and children’s clothes at affordable prices. Children outgrow their clothes quickly, so it’s better to buy something cheap but high-quality instead of spending a lot of money on items that will be used only for a few months.
Consider Buying Preloved Baby Items
Buying baby items like prams, cribs, toys, and mobiles brand new can get expensive, so purchasing pre-loved items is a great money-saving move. After all, second-hand items are often in good condition and work like new. They’re also easy to buy since there are a lot of websites dedicated to selling pre-owned baby items or hosting online auctions.
However, you need to make sure that you won’t get scammed. There have been a lot of cases where new parents receive damaged baby goods or are sent nothing at all. That’s why it’s always a good idea to get in touch with the seller and ask for more background information about the item beforehand. You can also read reviews about the seller if their past customers have had a good or bad experience doing business with them.
When you announce to your friends and family that you’re about to become parents, chances are that they’ll send you some hand-me-downs to help you cut down on costs. Hand-me-downs are definitely great gifts for new parents not only because they’re free but also because they’re eco-friendly.
However, not all hand-me-downs are kept in good condition, so you have to check the quality of the items first before receiving them.
Be Smart When Buying Baby Products
Due to excitement, new parents tend to go overboard when buying things for their child. Unfortunately, overbuying baby items, especially when they’re not really essential, is the fastest way you’ll destroy your budget. The newest toys, monitoring systems, and baby gear are attractive to the eye, but are quite unnecessary. They might not even suit the needs of your baby or match your parenting style. Instead of spending your money on these items, it’s better to invest in practical things like a good baby bag, diapers, washcloths, and baby formula (if you don’t plan on breastfeeding).
Use an App to Help Keep an Eye on Your Expenses
You become busier when you’re a new parent. Aside from taking care of your baby, you also have to tend to your job, daily chores, and errands. Creating a routine with a hectic schedule can be tough, so it’s good to use a few smartphone apps to help you stay on track.
If you don’t have enough time to write down and check your weekly expenses, downloading an expense management app can help you structure your finances better. Meanwhile, budgeting apps can help you track your medical bills, utilities, and other purchases into the app with ease. Plus, many of these apps are free to download; just look for those that are highly rated to ensure a hassle-free experience.
Set Some Money Aside in Advance
Even before your baby arrives, it’s smart to start setting some money aside every month. Creating an emergency fund for your family early will give you peace of mind in times of financial difficulty. The emergency fund can also help cover the costs of medical bills and other expenses. You can also start saving up for your baby’s future, so they can feel prepared and secure when they start going to school.
Making sure that you’re financially stable is just one of the many challenges you’ll face as a new parent. With these tips, hopefully you can get a good start on planning your growing family’s budget. When you’re able to stay within your means, you can rest assured that your family’s needs are met and still have enough to help cover miscellaneous expenses.