The thought of becoming a parent can be overwhelming at first. The idea of bringing a whole new person into the world is daunting in itself. When you begin to consider the financial responsibilities involved with having a child it is easy to become discouraged. Having and raising a child need not be as expensive as you might think. There are a few simple things that will help you save money as a parent. Below are some easy tips to get you started.
- Don’t go crazy on nursery decorating or furniture. If you can, borrow a crib or buy one from a friend who is done with theirs. Pick furniture a child can use throughout his childhood rather than getting babyish items.
- Breastfeed for as long as you can. Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby and it is also the cheapest. If you must return to work while your baby is still nursing, try to borrow a breast pump from someone who has done with breastfeeding and use it at work.
- Use cloth diapers. Purchasing the clothes diapers is a one-time expense and these diapers can be re-used if you have a second child. You will do a bit more laundry, but washing diapers is not as complicated (or gross) as you might think.
- Organize a group of moms with children of all ages and hold a clothing/book/toy swap once or twice a year. As your baby outgrows his clothes, you can put them into the swap and exchange them for the next size or two. This is a great way to bring new toys and books into your house as well.
- Use baking soda and vinegar for cleaning – stop buying expensive cleaning products for every room. It is healthier for you and your baby to clean without unknown chemicals and smells. It is also far less expensive.
- Rethink small expenses. Do you really need a Starbucks every morning? Can you make your own baby food instead of buying expensive little jars? Can you cut back on the number of meals you buy away from home?
- As your baby grows and begins learning to walk and talk, remember that small children do not need or want fancy toys, books or games. You can teach them at home using simple, everyday objects. Take advantage of parks and other free areas of entertainment around the neighbourhood. Children learn everyday just by being out in the world and exploring.
- Look hard at your income and expenses. Make sure it really is cheaper for you to go back to work than it is to stay home with your child. Take all costs into account: transportation, child care/preschool, clothing, eating out more often, etc. Many are surprised to see that going back to work is not as profitable as they originally thought.
- Keep a notebook (or computer record) and track every single expense. At first, it might feel time-consuming, but it gets easier with time. Soon, you will be able to spot where you are going off budget and where you might be able to save more money.
- Look out for online couponing portals to get good discounts. Flipit Singapore is an online couponing portal that collects discount codes and variety of special deals from online shops in Singapore and globally. They provide coupon codes for free, which users can then go on to use them during check-out on a variety of different web shops. For instance, they currently have a 15% discount coupon for Zalora.
Throughout your child’s life, always remember that what children want and need more than anything is your love and attention. Once you see how easy and painless it is to save money on small, everyday things, you will begin to see even more ways to stretch your money.