10 Tips: How to Raise a Child on a Budget
Money should be the least of your worries when bringing home a new baby. Unfortunately, for most adding a baby into the household budget is one of the biggest stresses of becoming a new parent. But do not fret; raising a child without breaking the bank is entirely possible.
10 Tips: How to Raise a Child on a Budget
1. Get in the Right Mindset—First and foremost, you have to train yourself to not feed into the buying hype that American culture creates. This will be a very real test of will power, especially for new parents! In the age of social media, you are constantly being bombarded with images and their associated propaganda. In order to really keep to your budget you have to discipline yourself to be thrifty.
2. Buy Secondhand—This is the number one way to save money. In my opinion, clothes and toys do not need to be bought new. Websites like eBay and Craigslist make it so easy to find items in great used condition for half the price or less than buying new. Also check out consignment and resale shops in your area. Even if you only find a couple of items each time you go, for how much you save, it is totally worth the trip.
3. Purchase Convertible items—With the higher priced items, buy versions that change with your child; some of those being cribs that convert into toddler beds, high chairs that turn into booster seats, bi/tricycles that adapt to their growth, and car seats that modify to fit changes in age, weight, and safety regulations.
4. Use Discounts—Also don’t buy anything new without using coupons or discounts! I bought all of my big items from Burlington Coat Factory. They are almost always running a 20% off coupon (signing up for emails, coupon with purchase, mail flyers). I also like using diapers.com; I save money by buying in bulk and getting cash back rewards.
5. Consider Breastfeeding—When it comes to feeding babies, breastfeeding can be the cheapest option. When you child gets older, you can also save by making your own baby food at home. Buying pre-made may be convenient, but making your own baby food can save hundreds (Baby Food Costs chart).
6. Be Selective—Buy necessities first, then only make purchases as needs arise. Many baby items are marketed to make you think you need them, when in reality you might be able to do without. Also do not take tags off of items until you actually use them. That way you can return anything you end up not using.
7. Explore Social Assistance—Many government programs (like WIC, food stamps, and CHIP) should not be overlooked simply because you're afraid of how it may be perceived. There is nothing wrong with getting support through these programs if they are used with integrity. You can get assistance with food, medical costs, and daycare, which will help free up money for other necessities. Many church and other charitable programs are available as well.
8. Accept Free Items—Sign up for the free samples and coupons that many companies offer to new parents, the most popular of which being formula. Also, you will get an assortment of newborn basics including diapers, wipes, hats, nasal aspirator, brush, etc. to take care of your baby while at the hospital, so bring it all home—it’s FREE!
9. Find Free Play—You do not have to pay out ridiculous monthly dues to get quality play or learning time. Most neighborhood parks and playgrounds are free, story time and reading programs at your local library are of no cost to you, and nearly all museums have free days at least once a month.
10. Get Free books: Never underestimate the power of books! Here is a fun idea to build your child’s library for free: for baby showers or birthdays ask people to bring an inexpensive, used book in place of a card. Have the giver write a personal message, so it will also double as a memento.
What tips do you have for raising children on a budget?
Hello everyone, I'm Julia and I blog over at The Everyday Momma. I used to label myself as all sorts of things: college graduate, high school teacher, daughter, beach lover, reality TV addict... but now I have only one label and that's MOTHER. One day I plan on being all those things again (and so much more), but for now I will enjoy being the greatest thing a woman can be! I'm fairly new to the blogging world, but I have some awesome content and plan on only getting better with time (liked aged wine!)