The following is a guest post from Emily Graham.
When you’re planning for a new baby, thinking about your expenses is important. On average, new parents spend upwards of $1,000 or more on supplies for their new baby, and that only includes one-time purchases before, during, and after pregnancy. Your costs will only go up as time goes on, so you need to start practicing your budgeting skills throughout pregnancy, and you can start with these simple tips.
Stock Up on Essentials for Baby and New Parents
Whether you’re already pregnant or planning to be soon, you may already have a list of baby supplies for home and on-the-go. That list can be shockingly long, and it should include gear for feedings, sleeping, and of course, changing your baby. You should keep a stockpile of diapers, wipes, and changing essentials in your nursery and diaper bag, but don’t just think about what your baby will need.
While you’re packing that diaper bag, Kindred Bravely suggests including some essentials too. Having little things on-hand, like hand sanitizer, snacks, and extra T-shirts can make your life easier, so you will want to keep an arsenal of these goodies stocked in your home, diaper bag, and even your car. Start shopping for these items early so you can look for the best deals.
Check Insurance Coverage for Pregnancy and Baby Supplies
Current health insurance regulations require your insurance company to cover the costs of a breast pump. This means you should be able to score this pregnancy and postpartum essential for no cost, but there may be terms attached to your specific insurance plan. For example, some insurance providers may require you to purchase your breast pump from a medical supplier to get this discount, which can limit your selections. Still, others will reimburse you for breast pumps purchased from general retailers, like Target and BuyBuyBaby, but you may need to fill out reimbursement forms. This is another reason to start shopping for needed items earlier. Insurance can also help with other pregnancy bills, like birthing classes and prenatal vitamins, so be sure to use those coverages. After all, you’re already paying for those perks!
Look Online for Free Samples and Reward Programs for New Parents
According to FTM, expectant parents can use other resources for baby freebies as well. Many popular retailers, such as Amazon and Walmart will provide parents with a box or bag of free samples, travel-size goodies, and valuable discounts that can make sticking to a tight budget a little easier. Some of these companies and stores require parents to create a registry or account in order to score free stuff, but registries can also help you get the baby shower gifts you really need. As you sign up for these deals online, be sure to check out reward programs too, which can help you score free diapers. You can also use credit cards and rebate rewards to offset this major baby expense.
Begin Looking for Big-Ticket Nursery and Baby Items ASAP
By now, you’ve likely noticed a common thread through these tips: the earlier you shop, the easier it is to stick to your budget. That’s because when you’re looking to cut costs and get the best deals, having that extra time to research deals and compare prices can be priceless. Planning your purchases can help with all those smaller items that tend to add up, such as diapers and wipes, but it can provide major savings for big baby items as well.
The list of higher-priced essentials for your baby includes a car seat, crib mattress, and versatile furniture. According to SheKnows, creating a bedroom that will grow with your little one is also a simple way to trim costs over the next few years, and you can even look for secondhand deals to help reduce baby costs even more.
If you want to be ready for your new baby, you have to start preparing early and you have to find simple ways to save. Sticking to a budget during pregnancy will allow you to adjust your spending before your baby arrives and make it easier to continue those budget-savvy ways well in the future.
About the author: Emily Graham is the creator of Mighty Moms. She believes being a mom is one of the hardest jobs around and wanted to create a support system for moms from all walks of life. On her site, she offers a wide range of info tailored for busy moms — from how to reduce stress to creative ways to spend time together as a family.