Baby Budget Tips And Guidelines
Parents are often delighted at the news that they will soon be expecting a new little bundle in their family. It is also normal for parents to feel a little apprehensive at the cost of bringing a new baby into the world. While babies are a joy, they are also very expensive. For parents who are on a tight budget, it is important to begin creating a baby budget as soon as possible so that they can handle all the costs of the new baby without too much sticker shock. The following guidelines and tips will help you to create a budget and save money for your new baby.
Begin With The Baby's Birth And Medical Costs
Start saving for the cost of the baby’s birth and any additional extra medical costs that may arise once you have confirmed that you are pregnant. Even if you have health insurance, you may be surprised with the copayments that are your obligation. Talk with your health provider and doctor about the expected costs so that you will not be surprised. If you need to, create a payment plan with your doctor or hospital so that you will be able to pay of medical bills quickly. Medical bills can gather interest over time, and the quicker you pay off these bills the less your overall debt will be.
Breastfeed Instead Of Bottle Feeding
Breastfeeding is better for your baby’s health for a number of reasons, and breastfeeding will also save you a lot of money. Baby foods and supplements can cost a small fortune, so if you are able to breastfeed it is best that you do so for your baby’s health and your budget.
Keep Things In Perspective When Buying Baby Items
Babies really do not need a lot of stuff. They do need food, shelter, and a whole lot of love, and as long as these basic needs are met they are just fine. Attractive baby items such as designer baby clothes and shoes, jewelry, trendy diaper bags, and other baby accessories are advertised to appeal to parents, but they are not needed for the baby. Babies are happy as long as their basic needs are met, they do care if their clothes are fashionable, or if they are wearing cool looking shoes. Keep this in mind when you are purchasing items for your baby. Stick to your budget and what your baby needs, not what you want for you baby.
Look For Secondhand And Baby Sale Items
Check around at secondhand shops, garage sales, newspaper classified ads, and websites for baby items that are on sale. Some of these items may be brand new, and some may just be a little used. If you are buying used items, always look at the items first or make sure that there is a return policy before you pay money. Look in papers, magazines, and sales inserts for any special sales that include baby items; clip coupons and try to make a list of things you will need ahead of time so that you will have plenty of time to look for the best deal. As soon as your baby grows out of something, or no longer needs an item, sell it immediately.
Explore Your Baby Daycare Options
Daycare is one of the biggest parts of a baby budget for working moms. You want the best daycare possible for your baby, but you also need affordable daycare. Start searching around for daycare before the baby is even born. Look into all the options. For example, if one place is less expensive but farther away will you really save money? Does the extra time and transportation cost make up for the savings? Are there places that lock you into a pricey contract or charge you penalty fees?
Sometimes baby daycares created by mothers work as a co-op daycare. Each mom, or a few moms, take a day off from work on a different day to watch the children of the other mothers. If this may be an option for you, it could save you a lot of money; plus you will know the mothers that are taking care of your baby.
Baby Health Insurance
Even though your budget may all ready be stretched to its limits, it is a good idea to get health insurance on your new baby. If any health problems arise, the insurance will help you to cover the medical costs and price of medications. Studies show that parents who do not have medical insurance for their babies pay much more in doctor’s fees, consultations, emergency room visits, and medications than they would with monthly insurance payments.
Save Money With A Personal Budget
If you are on a strict budget, a new baby means less luxury items for yourself. You may have to cut down on clothe purchases and items around the home that are not necessities. Cook at home instead of eating out, and always comparison shop before you buy.
Prepare For Worst Case Scenarios
Your baby deserves the best from you, but you need to make arrangements if something were to happen to you or your partner in order to take care of the baby properly. Before the baby is born, take out life insurance if possible, create a will, and make sure that your wishes for the baby’s care are known.
Use Common Sense, Good Judgment, And Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
When you are expecting a new baby, it is not the time to make big financial decisions. That new car that you were eyeing, or that brand new plasma TV set, may have to wait a few more years. Play it safe, and keep some money in the bank for anything extra that your baby may need.
New parents, especially single parents, often need a lot of help from friends and family in order to get through the first couple months with a new baby. If you are in a tight financial position, and you need help, talk to your family and friends; you may be surprised at the level of support that is there to lend assistance to you and your new baby.