If you’ve recently learned that you’re expecting, congratulations! It’s surely an exciting time. However, you may also feel a bit overwhelmed. Making a baby budget can help keep stress to a minimum.
In this post, the baby experts at Mustela will tell you everything you need to know about budgeting for your little bundle of joy.
How To Budget For Your Baby
1) Take A Close Look At Your Current Finances
The first step in making your baby budget is to take a careful look at the complete state of your finances. Account for your and your partner’s income, any contributions to 401K plans or other retirement accounts, your taxes, and any changes in income that will occur once your baby arrives.
Next, look at all of your expenditures on a month-to-month basis. This includes everything from your rent or mortgage and utilities to car payments, insurance bills, and spending on food and entertainment. Don’t forget payments on student loans, credit cards, or any other debts that you must repay.
This process can be a hassle, but it’s crucial! It will be a huge help in establishing your baby budget.
2) Start Putting Money Aside
After you’ve developed a clear picture of your current financial situation, it will be easier to see where you can cut back on expenses. This will help you be able to start putting some money aside for your little one.
Even if it’s just 50 or 100 dollars a month, begin saving some money now to prepare for your baby. After all, having a child isn’t cheap!
In January 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture published a report that estimated the cost of raising a child from birth to eighteen years of age is $233,610. That’s over $1,000 per month and more than $12,000 per year.
3) Decide What To Include In Your Baby Budget
The third step in the baby budgeting process is to decide which items are essential and which aren’t. This is where Mustela’s list of baby essentials will come in handy. It will help you determine which baby items necessary to care for your little one and which things you can live without.
4) Make Your Baby Budget
The fourth and final step is to create the budget itself. This will help you get a realistic idea of how much money you and your partner will be spending in preparation for your little one.
It will also help you see how much you can expect to spend on a month-to-month basis once your baby has arrived. Include food, clothing, diapers, formula, childcare, and any other expenses that you can think of.
12 Easy Ways To Save Money In Your Baby Budget
If you’re looking for ways to save money in your baby budget, then you’re in luck! Follow these 12 simple tips to keep some extra cash in your pocket.
1) Buy Items In Bulk
Often, buying items in bulk means you will be paying a lower price per unit.
For example, a pack of 30 diapers may cost around $10, which means each diaper is 30 cents. However, a pack of 200 diapers may cost around $40, meaning that the diapers are only about 20 cents each. That’s a discount of 33 percent!
Mustela offers a variety of safe, baby-friendly skin care products in bulk sizes and packs of two. These options offer huge savings. Try the Mustela Cleansing Gel 2-Pack, Hydra Bebe Body Lotion 2-Pack, and the 500-milliliter bottle of Mustela Gentle Shampoo.
2) Ask For Hand-Me-Downs
Hand-me-downs are a wonderful way to stay on a tight baby budget! Many times, the items you receive will be in like-new condition. Ask any friends and family members who already have kids if they have any baby items to spare.
3) Shop Yard Sales And Flea Markets
Yard sales, flea markets, and thrift stores are all excellent places to shop for big-ticket baby items. Things like your baby’s crib, stroller, and changing table are all perfect items to pick up second-hand.
Shopping this way will save you big bucks while also allowing you to get the items you need in great condition. No need to buy everything brand-new if you don’t have to!
4) Consider Cloth Diapers
Cloth diapers are reusable and, therefore, an easy way to pinch pennies in your baby budget. And cloth diapers are not only cheaper, but they’re also better for the environment. As an added bonus, cloth diapers are easier than disposable diapers on babies’ sensitive skin.
While some parents choose to clean cloth diapers themselves, other parents elect to hire a service to collect the dirty cloth diapers and return the clean ones a few days later. The former option is obviously less costly, but the latter may be appealing for the sake of convenience.
Whatever route you choose to take, just make sure that you’re changing diapers and cleaning your baby’s bottom the right way. Stock up on Mustela’s Diaper Wipes Bundle to get soft, safe wipes while saving some serious funds.
5) Consider Breastfeeding
Not all women choose to (or are able to) breastfeed their babies, and that is OK!
However, it’s important to note that some research has shown a number of health benefits to breastfeeding, such as providing probiotic bacteria to your baby’s tummy and decreasing the risk of some illnesses. Moreover, breastfeeding may actually reduce the risk of cancer in mothers.
On top of all that, breastfeeding is free! The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding your baby exclusively until your child is at least 6 months old. Just make sure you’re following these breastfeeding tips and keeping a healthy breastfeeding diet.
So if you’re able to, it would certainly be beneficial to consider breastfeeding as a way to stay on top of your baby budget. But if you’re having trouble breastfeeding, don’t worry, there are plenty of other ways to save money.
6) Make Your Own Baby Food
You don’t have to be an expert chef to make your own baby food. In fact, at least in the beginning of introducing solid foods to your baby’s diet, their food will be little more than boiled and mashed up veggies or pureed fruits.
Making your own baby food is easier than you think and will help you stay on track with your baby budget.
7) DIY Design Your Baby’s Nursery
Get crafty and design your baby’s nursery on your own! It will be more personalized and help save money. Take a look at these 20 unique nursery ideas to get some inspiration.
8) Take Advantage Of Tax Breaks
Depending on where you live, having a child may mean big tax breaks. This may come from tax breaks on hospital bills, insurance co-pays, childcare costs, or even just the fact that you’ve decided to bring a baby into the world.
Spend some time looking into which tax breaks you and your partner might be eligible for.
9) Research Your Health Insurance Plan
While you’re researching tax breaks, remember to do some research on your health insurance plan. Most healthcare plans are rather generous toward childbirth, so do your research to see if your plan covers the extras, like Lamaze or special pregnancy fitness classes.
10) Pick Your Baby Shower Registry Items Carefully
When you have your baby shower, your friends and families will probably pitch in and give some nice gifts to help you prepare for your baby. Choose your registry carefully and pick the items that you need the most.
11) Collect Coupons
Collecting coupons may seem like a bit of a hassle but, over time, the savings will add up. Stay on your baby budget by clipping coupons for everything from groceries and diapers to baby clothing and baby skin care products, like Mustela’s gentle and natural creams and lotions.
12) Plan Ahead For Childcare
One of the biggest expenses of raising a child is childcare. Every couple’s situation is different, but if you’ll both be working full-time a few months after your baby has arrived, it’s best to start thinking about childcare now.
Sometimes, family members may be able to help out with childcare. If not, you can start doing a little research to find affordable childcare options that will provide your baby with extra special care.
Preparing for the arrival of your little bundle of joy can be challenging. Making a baby budget will help you to feel more prepared and confident. Follow the 12 tips above and you’ll be saving plenty of money to get ready for your baby.
Who knows — maybe you’ll even have enough leftover to go on a babymoon trip!