Every parent wants the best for their kids. But “best” doesn’t have to mean most expensive.
But I need all the things.
Kids do need a lot. One study found that the avg baby costs parents more than $13,000...in the first year. Luckily, there are a few ways you can spend less.
Make a registry...even if you aren’t having a shower. Most retailers offer perks (think: coupons, free shipping, and cash-back deals) to help you get everything from your list. Meaning you can save anywhere from 5% to 20% on that elephant onesie you were going to buy anyway.
Get samples. Your doc can hook you up with formula, skin cream, and other baby goods. Ask nicely, then stock up.
Find double-duty gear. Cribs that turn into toddler beds, high chairs that convert into booster seats, and car seat-strollers combos can help you cut down your to-buy list.
Set up recurring shipments. Retailers like Amazon and Target give discounts on subscriptions to baby items. Like meal services, but for baby food, diapers, wipes, etc.
Great. What about childcare?
That’s a big one. Nonprofit Child Care Aware says Americans spend nearly 11% of their household income on childcare. Up to 37% if they’re doing it solo. Here are some tips to make it more affordable:
See if your job offers a dependent care FSA. You can stock this flexible spending account with up to $5,000 of pre-tax money to help cover daycare and nanny bills.
Look into nanny shares. If you have friends or neighbors with kids, look for a nanny that will watch both, and let you split the bill. Going Dutch could save you over $9,600 a year.
Talk to your boss. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 60% of companies allow telecommuting. 54% offer some sort of flexibility on hours. And 31% can make compressed workweeks work. Taking advantage of these policies can limit your childcare needs.
Put it on your card. If your childcare provider lets you pay by credit card, you can earn points, miles, and cash back on that spending. Basically free money...as long as you pay the bill in full and on time.
Related: theSkimm on Parental Leave
A bundle of joy can cost you a bundle of cash. Especially in the beginning. Soften the financial blow by spending smarter, and cutting small corners without making big sacrifices. So bringing home baby doesn’t bring down your bank account.
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