Congratulations, you’re going to have a baby!

You have nine months to prepare. Unfortunately, a baby comes with a hefty price tag. Are you financially prepared for a baby?

In nine months, you’ll have the joy of meeting and raising your new baby. While you think about what they’ll be like as they grow or the impact they’ll have on the world in the future, you can easily forget that your baby comes with a price tag.

According to the Department of Agriculture, it is estimated that a child born in 2016 will cost their parents as much as £180,000 by their 18th birthday. That’s a large sum. Luckily you can begin saving money now, by cutting costs throughout your pregnancy and after birth by following these nine tips.

1. Compare Hospital Costs

One of your largest expenses when having a baby will be the cost of delivery. Not only should you take a look at the cost of the hospital or birthing center, you should also look at the expenses that will, and will not, be covered by your insurance.

The expenses that are covered and how much each procedure will cost out-of-pocket vary greatly, even for facilities in the same city. Find out the difference in prices between several facilities to determine which one will save you the most money.

2. Say Yes to a Baby Shower

A baby shower is one event many women look forward to. A shower is one of the benefits of expecting a baby. People want to buy gifts for your baby, so let them!

The shower can be thrown by family members, friends, co-workers, or neighbors. Have a list of the things you want and need, so you can avoid people purchasing duplicate products.

3. Set Aside Money to Cover Your Maternity/Paternity Leave

This may not fit into the “save money for your newborn” category, but it’s important if you want to stay financially prepared after the baby is born. You need to have enough money to cover your day-to-day expenses when mom or dad takes time off after the baby is born.

Figure out the amount of money you need and start saving that amount during your pregnancy. Then, you won’t have to worry about how you’ll pay your bills or rush to get back to work earlier than you planned.

4. Shop for Secondhand Clothes

Many new parents don’t know how quickly a child can grow out of their clothes. You can save lots of money by buying gently used clothes. You can find these clothing items at consignment shops and yard sales.

You can also ask your family members and friends if they have any baby clothes. If you plan on having more children, you can pack up the clothes, after your baby grows out of them, and use them for your next child.

5. Get Free Samples

As your due date draws closer, you’ll want to visit a pediatrician to get over any questions you may have about newborns. Use this opportunity to ask the pediatrician for samples or apply for free baby samples on free stuff sites.

Many pediatricians receive samples of diapers, formula, and other baby supplies that they can hand out to patients. While this may not be a lot of items, these free products can help save you some money in the first few weeks.

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6. Share Your Maternity Clothes

If you have a family member or friend who is or has recently been pregnant, you have a great opportunity to save some money. If you’re the same size, you can share maternity clothes.

There’s no need to go out and buy a new maternity wardrobe. Just share your clothes with friends. That will help each of you save money for your other needs.

7. Use Coupons

Companies such as Earth’s Best and Gerber, offer coupons to pregnant women. You may have to sign up on their website to receive them, however, these coupons will come in handy after you’ve had your baby.

The specific product coupons may vary and so will the amount you’ll save. If you don’t want to coupon-hunt, you can still save some money on baby items by buying generic products.

8. Remember You Don’t “Need” to Buy Everything

A new parent wants their baby to have everything, which is understandable. However, you can save money if you can stop yourself from giving in to that desire. For example, do you need to buy a high chair right now?

Until your baby is ready to sit in a chair safely, there is no need for a high chair. However, a high chair, which can be costly, is still one of the items many new parents purchase before the baby is born.

When your baby is ready for a high chair, you can still reduce your cost by strapping a booster seat to a dining room chair. Remember this is not a safe choice for some time after your child’s birth, however, it’s a great option that can save money and space, when the time comes.

9. Stock Your Freezer with Meals

After giving birth the last thing you want to do when you get home with your little one is cook dinner. This leads many new parents to order in food.

You can avoid this cost by pre-making and freezing meals during the last few weeks of your pregnancy. Once you get home from the hospital, all you need to do is pull your meals out of the freezer and warm it up.

Having a baby is costly, but worth it. However, with some planning and creativity, you can save money and start a lifestyle that can help you stretch your budget to meet your new family’s needs.

Categories: BabyParenting

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