Having a baby, or adding a member to the family, is an exciting moment par to none. But it also comes with a lot of added financial stress. New parents spend $10,000 to $12,000 more on average during their child’s first year of life. Even if you have hand-me-downs or loving friends and family gifting clothes and toys, the expense of a new child is undeniable. You can still find ways to live well on a budget it’s just a matter of tweaking your habits to suit your new family dynamic. If you’ve recently expanded your family, here are six ways to cut down on spending without compromising your financial freedom.
Sign Up for Wholesale Store Memberships
Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s are made for families. While some items aren’t better bought in bulk, these stores are perfect choices for larger purchases, like electronics, and household essentials. Toilet paper, soap, body wash, and baby formula can all be bought in bulk at a discount rate if you have a membership. Even better, many of these stores now also offer doorstep delivery. Most wholesale stores offer free trial shopping days for non-members, so you can head inside and score great deals without paying the annual fee.
Meal planning helps you avoid aimlessly spending at the grocery store. With inflation rate at an all-time high right now, families have to be more conscious about their food budgets. Meal planning for new parents might seem like just another chore, but it can actually be a fun activity. Plan one evening a week to sit down, look up recipes, and write out a grocery list together. This simple activity can actually be a good way for parents to get some quality time together after the baby or children go to sleep.
Turn Old T-shirts into Wash Rags
Save money and reduce waste by swapping from paper towels to homemade wash rags. Use more absorbent fabrics, like cotton, to wipe up everyday spills. Because they’re already old, there’s no harm in using them for cleaning duty until they are ready to be recycled.
Consider Refinancing Your Student Loans
Refinancing student loans is a great way for new parents to save more money each month. Rather than struggle to cut corners to make payments, lower your monthly dues, so you can stay current, pay down your debt, and save more money for the family budget each month.
Make Date Nights Happen at Home
New parents need alone time together but going out is expensive. Rather than forgo an evening alone, let grandparents or friends babysit for a few hours while you have the house to yourselves. You can still get dressed up, or keep it casual if you’re more comfortable. Make a meal together, watch a movie, or play a game as a couple. This allows you to save money and make use of what you already have, without spending a fortune on a babysitter and dinner out.
Carpool When You Can
Save on gas and lower your carbon footprint by sharing one vehicle whenever possible. If you can drop off your partner at work before heading to your own job, you can reduce your fuel costs and consumption.