9 Ways to Cut Your Newborn Baby Expenses

By on May 14, 2013

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If you are expecting of have recently become a new parent congratulations!  Parenthood is one of the most wonderful and exciting times of our lives.  Of course, with all the joy also comes responsibility and part of that includes the costs associated with your new bundle of joy.  Fortunately, with a little foresight and planning, having a baby doesn't have to be as expensive as you may have thought.  Here are 9 tips that will help you cut back on your baby expenses:

Whole sale stores are your friends.

The wholesale clubs like Sam's Club, Costco and BJ's will save you loads of cash when you start buying for your new baby.  Diapers and wipes are undoubtedly the biggest expenses when it comes to newborns, and these warehouse clubs can help you save big on these recurring baby expenses.  You can also find deals on strollers, car seats and even toys from time to time.

Use your network.

Talk to all your family members, friends and coworkers to get advice on ways to save money on the baby expenses.  Chances are that any of them with kids can give you some great pointers.  Even better, many of them may even have baby stuff in their attics and garages that they will offer to give you or at least lend to you.  Baby stuff is nothing more than clutter once the baby grows up, and everyone loves to clear the clutter from their house.  Even better if they can give it to someone they know who will put it to good use.  You can expect to get tons of clothes, bassinets, high chairs, car seats, and maybe even a stroller or furniture.  Understand that some baby items are used for no more than a few weeks and will be almost brand new, especially clothes which a baby can outgrow seemingly overnight in some cases.

Check newspapers, online forums, and Craigslist for bargains.

Because babies outgrow things so quickly, there are always plenty of parents out there looking to clean out all the clutter by getting rid of unneeded baby stuff.  Depending on how motivated the person is to clear out all this baby clutter, you might be able to get items that are brand new for as little as 25% of the original cost.  Once you start looking through classified ads you will wonder why anyone ever buys new.  One caveat is to make sure older cribs or car seats meet all current safety standards and are not missing any parts.  Safety first.

Forego the bottle and breastfeed instead.

Of course this is a very personal choice, but you can save literally hundreds of dollars a month on formula if you choose to breastfeed instead of bottle feeding.  Even in cases where you may need to use a breast pump, the total savings over time are impressive.  And if you're a stay at home mom you may not need to use a pump.  If you do, check with local hospitals to see if they have a rental program for breast pumps.

Begin a dependent care flexible spending account.

These accounts allow you to set money aside from your wages to be used for qualified child care expenses.  The great thing is that any of the money you set aside in one of these accounts is tax free!  With the limit for the dependent care flexible spending account currently at $5,000 a year, depending on your tax bracket, this simple move could save you a couple thousand dollars a year.

Begin using the health care flexible spending account.

These accounts similar to the dependent care flexible spending accounts (contributions are tax free), but they are used for such things as doctor's co-pays, prescription medication, and a host of other medically related expenses (a full list can be found here http://www.aetna.com/members/fsa/eligibleExpenses/healthcareFSA/healthexpenses_A.html).  There is a $2500 limit per person, which still adds up to a boatload of tax savings.

Start a 529 plan for your baby.

It's always good to plan ahead when it comes to education, especially with costs rising so rapidly.  Plus, many states offer tax benefits for money contributed towards a 529 plan.  Even if you can only afford a little bit each month, start a 529 account and get into the habit of contributing regularly.

Create a baby registry.

While some people say they don't like registries and don't want a baby shower, the fact of the matter is that this is as much for others as it is for you.  Nearly everyone loves to celebrate a new birth and contributing gifts and other necessaries is one way of celebrating.  Plus, even if you aren't part of the shower planning, you never know if someone else might be planning a surprise baby shower.  Having a registry helps avoid receiving way too many bibs, onsies and clothes as gifts.  You can even put larger items such as cribs and strollers on a registry because you never know when several family members or friends might want to get together and contribute to a larger item.  Plus, most places with registries make it simple for you to return unneeded items.

Do your research.

Make it a point to check product reviews on Amazon and baby forms before making any large baby related purchase.  There are tons of choices for most products and educating yourself from the experience of others is a great way to learn the pros and cons of any product.  What is right for others may not be right for you and vice versa, but you won't know that if you don't take the time to educate yourself.  You might discover that spending a bit more now will actually save you money in the long run.

So, there you have 9 tips to save on baby expenses.  I'm sure there are loads more and I'd love to hear your experiences and ideas for saving money on baby costs.


 
Steve Walters
Steve Walters
Contributing Writer at ExcelLiving.com
Steve blogs about personal finance at his site Money Infant. After paying off over $40,000 in debt in less than 3 years, he and his wife sold all their stuff and moved across the world to Thailand with their 1 year old in tow. Needless to say it's been an adventure. He is also available for freelance writing assignments and can be contacted here
Steve Walters

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