Secrets to Having a Baby on a Frugal Budget
Children are truly a blessing from God, but it can be frustrating and overwhelming if you feel you aren’t able to provide for the baby the way you would like. The good news is you won’t have to take out a student loan just yet. There are so many amazing baby products out today and it’s so easy to get sucked down the trap thinking you need to buy everything on the Pinterest must-have baby list. There are plenty of safe affordable items and child assistance programs that won’t break the bank. You’ll be able to rest better knowing you can have a baby on a frugal budget.
How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Child?
According to the USDA, 2015’s “The Cost of Raising a Child” report shows that the average family will spend roughly $12,980 on baby’s first year; that’s nearly $1,081 per month. The average working middle income married families who are expecting a child are likely to spend $233,610 over the next 17 years (not including college). The largest portion of this income will go to housing at 29%, food is next at 18%, and childcare and education is 16% of income. Some other expenses you will need to consider are transportation, healthcare, and clothing. Please keep in mind that expenses will vary according to where you live. For more information on planning for a baby financially over the next 17 years, click the button below to access Huntington Bank- Cost of Raising a Child Calculator.
How Much Should You Budget Monthly for Baby Basics?
Heads Up, the smallest person in the house will cost the most! Baby expenses can add up very quickly during baby’s first year. Sticking to a monthly strategy for basic baby needs is very crucial to surviving your frugal budget. The one-time baby expenses are for things like the baby’s crib, stroller, car seats, high-chair, swing, changing tables, pack and play and/ or breast pump, if you decide to go that route. However, you still would need to consider the monthly routine expenses. Monthly recurring expenses include things like disposable diapers (or cloth diaper services), wipes, formula, clothing, breast milk bags, soaps, lotion, baby laundry detergent, and solid foods once the baby turns 4 months. Although low-income families make do with what they have, the average family will spend about $200-300 per month on recurring baby expenses.
Ways You Can Save Money While Raising a Baby on a Frugal Budget
- Breast Feeding– One of the most highly recommend ways to save money with a new baby is to breastfeed. Not only is it cost-efficient, but it is also the best way to feed your baby during the first year. It cost roughly $70-$80 a month for baby formula, and it can be even more expensive if your child needs special milk; like non-dairy, sensitive, and hypoallergenic. You can save a ton of money with breastfeeding, but it is, however, a lot of hard work!
- Make your own baby food– Baby food is roughly a dollar a jar, and if you have kids like mine who can eat 2 jars at a time it can get very costly feeding them solids two to three times a day. Although it is very convenient, it can add up quickly. Foods like squash, sweet potatoes, apples, peas, and bananas can be purchased at your local grocery store and prepared for the baby at home. Also, food prepared at home can be stored in the refrigerator for the whole week!
- Ask your doctor for samples– I have saved so much money by simply asking my child’s pediatrician for samples. I have received soaps, detergent, formula, Aquaphor, diaper rash creams, etc. It is a great way to save money on a frugal budget.
- Sign up for coupons– Take time to visit baby online stores and sign up for monthly newsletters to receive exclusive coupons. Coupons will save you lots of money if you understand how couponing works.
- Create a Baby Registry for Free Stuff– Go to your local Target and create a baby registry, Even if you are not having a baby shower and no one is going to buy the 500 dollar crib, you will receive a bag of free samples and goodies just for creating a registry at their store.
- Use your Network of Family and Friends– My children are the recipients of hand me downs. Once my friend’s children have grown out of their clothes and are longer playing with their toys they have passed down some great expensive and inexpensive items to me. It is a great way to save lots of money on a frugal budget!
- Scout Local Consignment Shops– Thrifting is always a great strategy for saving money on a frugal budget. I don’t necessarily purchase baby clothes for my children that have been used outside of my circle of friends due to our children’s eczema. However, I have found lots of unused clothing at thrift shops with store tags still on them.
- Make your wipes– Depending on the wipes you use because of preference or skin sensitivity, making your own wipes can cut the yearly cost down by $200 in the first 2 years.
- Stop at Local Yard Sales– Again I don’t buy clothes from outside resources unless they have never been worn due to my children’s eczema, but this is a great way to save money. However, I have found strollers, highchairs, and fun books for pennies. People are always decluttering and getting rid of things they no longer use.
- Become a Stay at Home Parent– The cost of child care for infants is almost the same price of a 30 year mortgage. Not to mention if you have more than one child its nearly impossible to afford child care and living expenses. Consider becoming a stay at home parent. There are so many ways to make money from home that you can watch your child while saving a ton and make some extra cash! Before becoming a stay at home parent create an emergency fund for unseen circumstances.
Baby On The Way, and No Money?
If you are a mother or father who has a baby on the way but doesn’t have any money, you can find local government assistance programs to help you cover the cost of a baby. Here is a small list of programs you can check out for assistance.
WIC- Women, Infants, and Children is a government supplement program that will help you with nutritional food, health care referrals, and breastfeeding.
Food Banks– Many local food banks partner with other local charities to assist parents will formula and even diapers.
Social Services– Social Services can assist with housing, food supplements, job searching and so much more.
Affordable Housing– Search the web for affordable housing developments near you. You can save hundreds of dollars applying for housing according to your income level. There may also be other housing requirements.
Having a baby doesn’t have to break the bank, even if you
are having a baby unexpectantly there Is no need to panic. There are 9 months
to plan before the baby arrives. You can have a baby on a frugal budget.
I hope you find this post to be a blessing!