One of the most universally accepted ideas when it comes to having kids is that they are expensive. You may not feel the full weight of how much your new bundle of joy costs just yet, but over time you will come to see that, even though they are worth every penny, having children can be a strain on your wallet. Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report stating that the average middle class family will spend $240,340 raising a child. And that’s just 1 child! It’s safe to say that being able to save money wherever you can will only benefit you in the long run. Check out our list of 10 ways you can save money, starting from the first year of your child’s life!
1. Cramped Quarters? Don’t Move Just Yet.
Of the entire amount attributed to raising a child, 30% of it is dedicated to housing. That’s roughly over $76,000! While it’s tempting to move to a large apartment or home in preparation for a new baby, you may want to think twice about doing it so soon. There will be tons of unexpected costs during your child’s first year, and if you are straining your budget with higher housing costs already, it will add even more stress to your life. Babies are small and don’t really need a lot of stuff (it’s all that baby STUFF that takes up all the room!). They will be sleeping in your room for the first few months, and in many families for much longer. You can still go through nesting without having an entire nursery to decorate. It will save you on rent and mortgage, in addition to not purchasing another room’s worth of furniture!
2. Use Double Duty Items
As mentioned above, baby paraphernalia takes up 10 times more space than your little baby. Instead of buying a single item that serves just one purpose, consider those that are double duty. For example, Graco makes an entire line of “duo” products, such as their Duo-Diner. It’s a high chair that comes apart and serves as a booster seat. They also make a swing that unhooks and can just be a bouncy seat. Don’t waste money on a bassinet, instead use a pack n’play that you will undoubtedly need for stays at grandma’s house, or just buy a smaller sized crib that will work in the nursery once your baby is sleeping on their own. These are awesome items that will save you space and best of all, money.
3. Borrow, Borrow, Borrow
Being a first time mom, I wanted everything to be brand new and clean. I didn’t want to borrow anyone else’s used stuff and needed to experience picking out each item myself. But if I knew then what I know now, I would have saved myself a ton of money and a bunch of room on my registry list. So many items have a short time of use, such as a baby swing. Some kids don’t even end up liking them! Borrow items like these that you can give back when you’re done. You won’t just save money, but space in your attic!