You’re parents of a toddler or a kindergartner and you finally decide that it’s time to add a new family member. The one thing that’s discouraging you, however, is the cost associated with having another baby.
If you really want to raise another child, how can you cut back on the expenses? What can you do to save for another baby before it actually arrives, and how can you save even more money while raising the child? That is exactly what we will learn more about in the following sections.
A Preview of the Costs for Another Baby
Before counting down the many ways by which you can save money for another baby, let us first check on the real costs associated with it. As most first-time parents know, raising kids is a big deal financially. Starting from the pre-natal check-ups to the actual delivery of the baby, up to the time that the kid turns one to eighteen years old – there are expenses that parents need to shoulder.
Here are a few quick figures to give you an idea about how much child-rearing actually costs:
- Depending on their child care needs and spending habits, parents will most likely shell out $7,000 to $15,000 annually between the baby’s birth date up to his or her second birthday.
- According to the Department of Agriculture, parents of babies born in 2012 spent anywhere from $217,000 to $500,000 to raise them up to the age of 18. The figure does not include college costs.
- The cost of raising a child during the first year depends on the family income, whether the mother is breastfeeding or not, the comprehensiveness of medical insurance, and the overall cost of living.
Most first-time parents are guilty of overspending on clothes and items for the baby even before it arrives. Those cute pairs of shoes that you bought on sale will easily be outgrown and if there are almost a dozen pairs, you will find no use for them once the baby grows.
The good news is that first time parents can learn from their financial mistakes when they were raising their eldest child. For the succeeding kids, they can manage their finances better. Instead of stocking up on baby clothes which can easily be outgrown, they can spend the money on other important things for the baby.
Many Ways to Save for Another Baby
So what are the ways for you to save money for welcoming a new member of the family? Take a look at the following list:
The minute that parents decide to have another baby, that is the time that they should start saving up for adding a new family member. You have nine months to wait for the arrival of the baby. If you will save an extra $5,000 for this nine-month period, for example, you need to free up $555 from your monthly household budget.
Depending on your overall expenses and the income coming into the house, can you spare this much or would the budget be tight? If it’s the latter, you would have to think of ways to come up with the money. You don’t want to start your baby’s first month in the world deep in debt because your expenses will just be starting once it’s born – so it does pay to save up early.
If both parents are working, you may want to sell one car and simply carpool. The mom, dad or both can pick up a second job for a few months to start saving up for the baby. If you have a spare room in the house, you can rent it out. You can also hold a garage sale, clean up the clutter from your home and make some extra cash in the process. You can surely come up with other creative ways to raise money while waiting for your bundle of joy to arrive.
When you receive money as a gift for your baby, save it
During baby showers and similar celebrations, generous relatives and friends may opt to give money as a gift for the baby. Instead of spending the money on diapers or other baby necessities, set the funds aside on a savings account. Let this account grow so that you can use the money for the future expenses of raising your child.
Learn how to say no to add-on hospital costs
One of the biggest expenses when expecting another baby has to do with the delivery of your child. During the mom’s pre-natal check-ups, don’t hesitate to ask the OB-Gyne for discounts and product samples. For the delivery of the baby, skip the private room if there is an extra charge. A two-person room in a hospital would cost a lot less – and with nurses popping up every hour or so, you would not have that much privacy, anyway.
You can also opt to not turn the TV on to eliminate extra charges. Use the time to bond with your newborn instead. Before you leave the hospital, ask the nurse if you can keep the baby-care items stored in your cabinet. Most hospitals provide swaddling cloths, diapers, alcohol swabs, disposable bottle nipples, thermometers and even nasal aspirators. These items would cost you a significant amount of money if bought outside.
Nurse your baby
If you want to save at least $1,500 during your child’s first year, nursing the baby is definitely an excellent option.
More than just saving that much money, breastfeeding has a lot of benefits for both the mom and the child. If you plan to go back to work soon after the baby is born, you can borrow a breast pump instead of buying one.
An electric breast pump can cost anywhere from $200 to $800 depending on the brand and features – but it’s only the plastic attachment that moms should not share. Once you have the main breast pump equipment, you can purchase the starter kit including the plastic attachment for less than $50.
If you are using formula, ask for samples
Some moms who cannot produce sufficient breast milk for their babies rely on formula. Others mix up breast milk with formula. To save money on formula, hold on to those free formula samples, coupons and discount vouchers. Visit the official website of formula milk manufacturers and sign up for their newsletters. You can ask for free product samples or get discount coupons when buying their products from drugstores.
You can also save money on formula by buying generic. Generic formula milk has the same ingredients, quality and nutrition standards as the big-name brands. If your pediatrician recommends a special formula blend, check with your health insurance provider if they can provide financial coverage for it.
Be conscious about the cost and lifespan of baby clothes
First-time parents usually go overboard in buying clothes and other items for the baby. If you’re expecting your second child, recycle the clothes and baby items that you used during your first pregnancy for your next baby.
If you don’t have old baby clothes anymore, ask relatives and friends if they can give or lend you the baby clothes that they’re not using anymore. Also, do not purchase baby clothes too far in advance.
Remember that babies have sudden spurts of growth. That winter coat which you will buy for your baby in September may not fit anymore come December, so don’t rush into buying seasonal clothes. You can also save money by buying clothes with unisex styles and colors.
Instead of buying pairs and pairs of shoes, invest in soft booties instead. Again, don’t buy too many pairs because they can easily be outgrown. If you need costumes or baby clothes for special occasions, visit your local consignment shops instead of buying the items brand new.
Look for baby furniture and accessories which have multiple functions
Another thing that first time parents frequently splurge on is baby furniture. These are necessities, but you don’t have to pay any more than necessary.
To save money, you can choose furniture and accessories with multiple functions. For instance, a crib that can be converted into a toddler bed is a good investment. You can also look for changing tables that double as dressers, or high chairs which can also be used as booster seats when feeding the baby.
Know which baby accessories to save and splurge on
Crib pillows may be cute but they’re practically useless – since you need to remove them when the baby is in the crib so as not to be a health hazard. Diapers should be bought from wholesale clubs, since it can save you at least $200 per year.
An ear thermometer is not recommended – digital oral or rectal models are what doctors recommend. There are many other baby accessories and items that you can save money on, and only one or two items are worth a splurge.
Save money on pediatric care
Finally, you can save money on pediatric care by asking the doctor for free product samples. Before setting up an appointment, call your pediatrician – the condition of your baby might not even be worth a visit to the clinic, although it always pays to ask just to be on the safe side. Always do your research and compare prices before buying any baby care product.
For families, no experience is more exciting than welcoming a new baby. When planning to do so, these tips are what you can follow in order to save for another member of the family.