With everyone’s budget tightening up, pregnancy and baby may be a bit scary for future prospects. You need to learn to stretch your dollars, even before baby arrives. Here are some great money saving ideas without compromising your style.
- Borrow items.
While it’s always great to have something new, consider what you can borrow. This can be anything from maternity clothes, baby clothes, big ticket baby items (like a stroller or high chair) or other things you may need or want for your baby. The good news is that there are many people who are more than happy to help you out because these items are used for such a short period of time.
- Buy Second Hand
If you can’t find someone to lend you something or you want something you don’t have to return, you can always consider second hand purchases. This can be from second hand stores, yard sales or even places like eBay or Craig’s List. If you do have items that you no longer need you can also sell them to earn extra money.
- Register for Baby
If you use your baby registry wisely, you can be given items of which you are truly in need. This means you will need discipline when you register. Cut frivolous baby things out. Don’t go wild with the scan gun. Trust me, I know it’s easy to do, but go with a list of must have baby items.
- Cloth Diaper
If you are so inclined, using cloth diapers can really save you quite a bundle. It’s also arguably better for the environment. You will need to make a choice between how much savings you are willing to get versus how much laundry you’re willing to do. Some online cloth diaper stores have baby shower registries. There are also options like a diaper service. You might even ask if they have gift certificates available and register for that for your shower. There are also hybrid diapers that are semi-disposable and semi-cloth, like G-Diapers. Check out Before You Buy Diapers and Which Cloth Diapers Should I Buy?
Breastfeeding can save you money in many ways. There are the direct cost savings involved with not having to purchase formula. But there are also indirect savings like fewer doctor visits and co-pays, plus fewer missed days at work from having to care for a sick infant. I do want to remind you that breastfeeding is not free. You will need to budget for some nursing clothes, and possibly a breast pump and lactation support should you need it. Even with those added in, you’ve still saved money.
- Pick your practitioner wisely.
When it comes time to picking a practitioner, sometimes money does matter. Check with the business office at the practices you’re considering and find out what your exact out of pocket expenses will be for both the practitioner and the place of birth you choose. You will want to ask about hidden costs like medications, newborn nursery stays, etc. Will your insurance cover midwives, birth centers, epidural anesthesia, cesareans, intensive car for newborns or home visits? These are good questions to ask before you sign up for the insurance program and hopefully before you are pregnant. If you are paying cash for your care, always ask if there is a cash discount.