If you’re a new parent, you not only have tons of sleepless nights, but financial worries as well. You may worry about how you to save extra money to meet the additional requirements of a new-born, which can be rather costly. Add hospital and grocery bills and it seems like an uphill task. Fear not, though. Many new parents unnecessarily drain their family budgets without realizing it. Here are some lifestyle changes that will help new parents save more money monthly.
Go for basic
Many new parents leave the hospital after a delivery with less money in their wallets than they planned for. That’s because hospitals tend to encourage their patients to pay for add-ons they don’t need. Private room, TV, Wi-Fi, nurses popping in every minute, and many other seemingly needed services cost good money. Instead of splurging on these hospital add-ons, think about ways you could save. Choose a cheaper ward and skip the TV and Internet.
Adopt healthy food habits
Coffee and energy drinks to stay alert, chips and instant noodles for a quick snack and dinner… these are all bad eating habits that cost you a fortune. Have plain water with lemon instead of coffee and energy drinks whenever you lack energy. Munch on vegetable sticks for a quick snack. Make an omelet or a veggie soup for dinner. If you or your partner smokes, quit it. Cigarettes are expensive and bad for your health.
Take advantage of rewards programs
Since you’re going to buy the same products, such as diapers, baby wipes, formulas and baby food, taking advantage of rewards programs can save you significant money. Look for stores and supermarkets that offer a rewards program. Compare the prices and decide if it can help you save.
Moreover, try buying online. Popular shopping websites often offer some good deals and discounts. If you’ve never paid attention to shopping rewards, now is the perfect time to start. Many credit cards offer a cash back program that returns a part of your money to your bonus account. Make sure you pay off the full balance each month, though.
Use coupons and ask for samples
New moms are always on the lookout for coupons. Coupons may not help to save a lot, but $2 saved today can turn into $60 saved in a month and up to $700 in a year. With coupons, you can get a baby lotion or a pack of diapers for a reduced price.
Stay updated about free samples as well. Ask your pediatrician for free samples. They may give you anything from eczema cream to baby formula. Some manufacturers also suggest free samples of baby stuff and food, so why not ask for them? The same goes for cosmetics, clothes, and food for you and your spouse. Free samples are typically of the highest quality to attract buyers. So keep a look out for them.
Review your child care expenses
If you are planning to get back to work a month after a delivery and there’s no one to take care of your baby, babysitting may be your biggest monthly expense. Hiring a babysitter is tricky and costly. Even a workday nanny may cost you almost as much as you earn.
Trim the expenses by hiring a student or find a few other new parents looking for a babysitter. Splitting child care cost will boost your family budget. But group babysitting typically involves home swaps, so do keep that in mind.
Buy used clothing
Infants grow very fast. When you buy a lot of new things for your baby, be ready to throw away half of them. The major complaint of new parents is that their children outgrow their clothes without wearing them at all. Since new baby clothes cost as high as adult ones, why not purchase used but good ones? It doesn’t matter whether your baby’s romper is brand new or old, your infant will more likely outgrow it within a month. But it does matter for a healthy family budget.
Adopt healthy habits
New parents are likely to get sick more often than experienced ones. Sleepless nights, skipping meals, working hard, stress, anxiety, and financial problems wreak havoc on their bodies. Thus, they end up spending more money on medical bills and prescriptions.
Developing healthy habits are among the most important lifestyle changes that will save you significant amount of money over time. Cook healthy meals, take naps whenever your baby falls asleep, ask your parents to help with the chores, and try shifting nights with your spouse. Health is wealth.
Carry a baby-care bag wherever you go
Prevent unexpected expenses when you walk, shop, or travel with your child by carrying a baby-care bag with you. It has to contain at least 4 diapers (depending on where you go), wipes, a tube of ointment, an extra outfit, baby-friendly snacks (if your child already eats solid food), and drink. Make sure you pack a snack for yourself as well. Street food isn’t only unhealthy, but costly too.
Make baby food at home
Instead of spending tons on bottles of mashed fruits, vegetables and meat, make it yourself. What’s more, homemade baby food doesn’t contain preservatives and additives. Plus, they turn out to be a lot cheaper than store-bought versions, not to mention that they are super easy to make. Look for recipes online but check if your baby has any food allergies to alter the ingredient lists.
With a few lifestyle changes, new parents can retain hundreds of dollars in their pockets. Raising a baby isn’t as expensive as you may think. It’s all about making savvy lifestyle choices. The last advice we can give you is stick to your budget and enjoy your new-found parenthood! Your babies will grow up faster than you think!