Becoming a parent for the first time is both exhilarating and frightening at the same time. In most cases, many first-time parents are so carried away with the thought of welcoming their newborn that they put all their focus on finding the baby’s name, setting up a nursery, getting the clinic attendance right and shopping for the kid’s clothes. Most parents hardly think or plan about their finances when having their first child, even though it is imperative.
Here are five money hacks that you might find particularly helpful as a first-time parent:
1. Plan Ahead
Having a baby on the way is a huge milestone in your life. You will notice huge differences in your family’s budget when your new bundle of joy arrives and therefore you'll need to be well prepared. Sit down with your partner and discuss the state of your finances and how you plan on taking care of the child. What type of care will your finances afford for the child? Do you know the various expenses you will face? Will you need to hire a nanny for the kid?
Brainstorm as many questions as possible and lay out a financial plan to guide you through. It doesn’t need to be something complex; just make it practical.
2. Shop Smart for Clothes
You have probably heard before that babies tend to outgrow clothes very fast, and it’s true! What your child will wear in the first month will most probably be obsolete by the third month. Therefore, buy their clothes at intervals and only on a need-basis. By purchasing too many clothes at a particular stage, you are just throwing your money down the drain.
Also, take advantage of baby clothes such as Onesies with snap extenders that can extend length-wise as your baby grows to serve them longer. Thrift stores, consignment sales, and garage sales are also places great places to shop at that will save you huge bucks on kid’s clothing. Many moms find brand new or used-but top quality clothes here at very low prices.
3. Scavenge for Your Kid’s Gear on Local Classifieds
Some baby items such as strollers, car seats, and baby swings can be incredibly expensive to buy brand new at the store. To avoid hurting your pocket or buying expensive gear that will only be used for a few months before becoming obsolete, find those highly-priced items in your local classifieds. You may get a stroller worth $600 for only $200 from a family whose kid has outgrown it and are looking to dispose it off. This will save you hundreds of dollars without sacrificing on quality.
4. Consider Doing a Social Media Shout-Out
You can never underestimate the power of social media. Do a shout-out on social media asking friends and relatives if they have kid items, gear, or toys that they would like to get rid off or loan to you for some time. There are many moms willing to help others, particularly first timers, with items that they no longer use. One of my friends gave away a booster seat, stroller, crib bedding, six bags of clothing and toys to her two friends with younger kids.
5. Be Practical With the Nursery
First-time parents often get it wrong money-wise with the nursery because of the obvious excitement. A $900 crib, a $1,300 glider, a $1,000 wall painting. Consider all the things in the nursery that will have to go in a year or two and see if it’s possible to do away with them or adjust them accordingly. Think of how a two to seven-year-old will use the room over time and the changes that will need to be made as well as their costs. For example, a convertible crib can turn to a toddler and then big kid bed over time.
Raising a child for the first time can drain your pockets, but with the right planning and parenting tactics, you can be able to strike a balance between money saving and quality care for your kid.
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