Becoming a new parent is one of the most exciting things a person can do, but it’s also one of the most expensive. A recent report stated that the cost of raising a child in 2022 is projected to be around $272,049 through the age of 17.
If you want to start saving money, here are seven tips to get back on track with your budget as a new mom.
- Turn To Breastfeeding
According to the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s recommended to breastfeed your child for the first six months of life, if not longer.
Baby formula can become expensive over time. Breastfeeding is a cost-effective way to nourish a child while creating a bonding experience between the mother and her newborn. It also provides an incredible number of health benefits to both you and your baby—in addition to all the money saved on formula.
If you find yourself having trouble with breastfeeding, talk to a lactation consultant who can help you navigate your breastfeeding journey.
- Get Debt In Check Before The Baby Arrives
When having a child, one helpful tip is to take a look at your current debt.
Before you know it, you’re looking at purchasing a bigger vehicle for a growing family or searching for the best daycares in your neighborhood. Instead of adding more to your existing debt, try to find ways to pay it down before the baby arrives.
The lower you can get your debt, the better off you’ll be.
- Be Aware Of Your Hospital Stay
It’s no surprise that giving birth at a hospital can be quite costly. Data from Fair Health states that the average stay at a hospital for new moms can be anywhere from $5,000 to $11,000.
Private rooms can easily add an extra $500 per day, and utilizing some of their extra amenities can slowly add up. If you need a C-section, you can expect the price to increase to $7,500 to $14,500, in hopes that your insurance covers some, if not all, of the costs.
Most hospitals do offer free baby supplies, such as diapers and wipes. Don’t be afraid to stock up on some of these extra supplies while you’re there. They’ll come in handy so you don’t have to immediately dip into your personal supply.
- Think Strategically When Buying Newborn Clothes
When you find out you’re expecting, it’s tempting to start buying all of the adorable newborn onesies you can find. But by eight to ten weeks, your baby will have already grown out of their newborn clothes.
Instead of ending up with a surplus of unneeded items, buy some of the baby clothes in larger sizes. That way, your newborn will have something to wear as they grow. Plus, you’ll spend less money in the long run.
- Throw a Baby Shower
It might be a good idea to have a baby shower. This is your opportunity to invite friends and family to help you with some of the larger purchases. Strollers, car seats, and cribs are just the start.
A fun way to get your guests to help out in smaller and less expensive ways is to have a raffle in exchange for diapers. Every box of diapers they bring is another entry to win a special prize.
It might not seem like much, but we can guarantee you’ll be grateful when you wake up in the middle of the night to change your baby and haven’t yet run out of diapers.
- Don’t Be Afraid To Accept Hand-Me-Downs
You may have friends, siblings, or other family members who have had children before you. If they’re willing to provide you with clothing or expensive items their children have outgrown, don’t be too prideful to accept.
It’s a great way to save money and they’ll be happier than you know to be able to help your newborn in some way.
- Connect With Mothers to Trade Babysitting
There will come a day when you will need a break. But hiring a babysitter might be a bit out of your budget, costing over a hundred dollars just to have a date night. This is a great opportunity to connect with other mothers to swap babysitting duties.
Eventually, they’re going to need your help, too. This way you can both save money while giving both of your children an opportunity to build a friendship with someone from birth.
Saving money as a first-time mom isn’t all about consolidating your debt or learning about new tax breaks. It’s also about connecting with family, friends, and other mothers in your community to share in the experience of raising a child.
Exchange babysitting with other moms, consider the benefits of breastfeeding, don’t be afraid to accept hand-me-downs, and when in doubt, ask for help if you’re struggling. There will always be someone who wants to be there for you when times get tough.