New Baby Means New Budget: 4 Ideas to Help You Stay Afloat Financially

New Baby Means New Budget: 4 Ideas to Help You Stay Afloat Financially

Having a new child comes with new financial responsibilities. You’ll be more prepared to support your baby along with yourself and the rest of the family by planning ahead. Here are four ways to stay afloat financially after welcoming a new bundle of joy.

Don’t Buy Everything at Once

You might be tempted to go out and buy everything in sight for your baby just before he or she is born. Doing so, however, will likely put unnecessary strain on your budget. It’s best to buy only the most important essentials and then purchase other items as your child needs them. In addition to some baby clothes, you’ll want to have a car seat ready to take your child home from the hospital. Just refrain from buying too many baby clothes since your child might outgrow them quickly. During the first few months of life, a cradle or bassinet can be used for your baby to sleep in so that you won’t have to invest in a crib right away.

Enroll in a 529 Plan

Setting money aside for your baby’s future college education will be less financially strenuous for you in the long run. You can choose to have automatic withdrawals taken from your salary and put into a 529 plan. The money you contribute won’t be taxed when you’re finally ready to withdraw it to pay for your child’s education. According to Savingforcollege.com, your state may offer you additional tax breaks for enrolling in a 529 plan. Any cash gifts that you receive when your baby is born can be deposited into this account to get a head start. If your child chooses to go to college in another state, you can still apply these funds to pay for tuition. You can enroll in a plan by consulting with a financial advisor or directly through a 529 plan manager.

Look for Freebies

Finding free items for your baby may be surprisingly easy and can save you a lot of money. Asking friends, family members and coworkers for any baby clothes that they no longer need can help your budget. Searching online is another great way to find free clothes and other baby items. Your child’s pediatrician might be willing to give you some free samples of food, medicine and other products. You can also try writing to some companies to ask for free samples or coupons. Even if you plan to breastfeed your baby, it’s smart to keep free formula samples and coupons just in case you need them. Your neighborhood library also likely has some baby-friendly books, games and videos that can be borrowed rather than purchased.

Consider Financing Options

Getting a loan or charging things on a credit card might be your best option if money is tight. Going into debt should only be an option in emergency situations, and you should come up with a way to repay the money quickly. You can apply for installment loans from a lender and repay the money easily while receiving rewards along the way. There are also certain credit cards that give you cashback offers on certain purchases. Your bank might give you a loan with reasonable terms that will make it easier for you to pay for certain necessities. Regardless of which financing option that you choose, it’s important that you carefully review all interest and repayment terms.

Saving money while taking care of a baby is possible by budgeting correctly. Some of the most effective ways to cut costs don’t require a lot of additional time, energy or skills. You’ll be doing good for yourself and your baby when you save money.

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.