Babies are expensive right? Are you wondering how you can afford to have a baby? Maybe you are looking for ways to save money once your baby is born. I know I have heard a million times over how expensive kids are. And to be honest, it drives me nuts!
When people say that to me, I want to ask them:
How much did they spent on the purse they are holding? Or how much did they spend on their morning coffees in the past week?
My point is, things in life are as expensive or inexpensive as you make them. Babies don’t come out of the womb with their hands open asking for money or demanding you buy them the most expensive crib.
All that being said, I understand where people would get the idea from of how expensive babies are. Diapers cost money. Baby clothing costs money and they grow a mile a minute. Wipes, formula, bottles, daycare, bibs… it all costs money!
So, in a world where things cost money, how on earth could I disagree that babies aren’t all that expensive?!
Because, there are a ton of ways you can be saving money even with a baby! Let me give you some ideas.
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Babies are simple. Okay, well maybe it does not feel that way sometimes when you can’t figure out why they won’t stop crying. But their basic needs are simple.
Food. Nurture. Security. Sleep.
Babies obviously need food, water and sleep like every living thing on the planet.
They need nurture from their caregivers. Human beings are emotionally driven. We are social beings that require human interaction to thrive. The love and support you give your babies is the framework for their development.
This goes back to an old psychologists’ debate of nature vs. nurture. The question is what influences the person we become?
This is what traits you are born with. Essentially, your internal wiring.
There are concrete traits such as eye or hair color, that can be determined based on probability from the parents traits. But the human mind and behavior is so much more complicated than that.
There is no gene you can pin point and say “this is the ADHD gene” or “here is why your child acts out in aggression”. People argue that the behaviors people have are traits they are born with. Due to the complexity of the human mind, it is hard to say for certain either way.
The environment in which we are raised and the care we are given from those around us.
This is the opposite end of the debate spectrum. Those on this side of the argument believe that people develop their behaviors and traits from their environment. It is learned behavior.
For example, little Johnny sees his dad trying to fix something. His dad gets frustrated when it doesn’t work, he yells at the object and throws it down. Later on, little Johnny is playing with his toy and it breaks. Johnny then throws the toy in a raging fit because he learned that reaction from his dad.
Now, does this mean that little Johnny was born to be an aggressively acting-out boy? Or has he developed that behavior after learning it from his dad?
Somewhere in the middle.
The most reasonable answer to nature vs. nurture lies somewhere in the middle of that spectrum.
There are too many possible factors to be able to say with 100% certainty why people are the way they are. The reason why little Johnny gets angry at his toy when it doesn’t work could be partially due to his traits when he was born, but could also be due to the behavior he saw from his dad.
So what does all of that have to do with saving money?
Our kids will model our behaviors. The extent in which they will do what we do is the uncertain part. But it is important to know that what we do, how we act, the things we say will impact our children.
If our kids are raised without knowing the cost of things, they will not know any better once they are on their own. Teach your kids that things cost money. It is important for them to understand value. If we shower our kids in toys, electronics, and other shiny new things time after time- the value of all of their possessions dwindles.
Kids don’t need a ton of stuff.
Now, I just like the next person want my child to have everything in the world and then some, but what good will that do for them? If we are just handing them toy after toy and buying them every thing they want and don’t really need, what lesson are we instilling in them?
To save money with your children, realize that it is not about the quantity of material items they have.
The best thing you can do for your kids is to let them use their imaginations. Of course, you can buy them toys, I’m not suggesting you deprive them. But give them simple things too.
Let your kids have to create things. Build things. Imagine things.
You don’t need to buy your children the newest toy on the market. They really don’t need to have the most expensive, hard to find, must-have item of the year.
Get back to your babies basic needs.
For healthy development, children need your love (nurture), home (security), nourishment (food/water), sleep (lots of it we hope!). I know how hard it can be to slow down when life is so busy, but put more value in time you spend with your kids and less value in material things.
Not only will your children thank you, but your bank account will too.
Changes in Daily Life
There are many ways you can start saving more money in your everyday life. In addition to what I mentioned above, here are some practical ways and small changes you can make to stop spending and start saving more money.
Stop buying coffee out every day
Let’s say the average cup of coffee at a coffee shop is $3.00. Now, that is just an average- and is probably much less than you are actually spending on your Triple Venti Caramel Macchiato (which is more like $7).
Take that $3 and multiply it by how many days in the week you get it, let’s say 5 days. That is $15 a week you are spending- just on your morning coffee!
Not impressed by that number? Okay, multiply that $15 a week by 52 weeks in the year. That’s $780!
That could be two car payments. Or a mortgage payment on a small house. That is $780 less that you have to put toward something greater or save in an emergency fund.
Start brewing your coffee at home
I know it may seems scary or time consuming to use an old fashioned coffee pot, but I promise you it’s not!
Coffee pots are simple to use, and there are ones you can even program to brew at certain times. You can have the coffee ready for you when you come downstairs in the morning. Buying a bag of ground coffee is a fraction of the cost of buying your coffee at the shops.
Buy diapers and wipes in bulk from wholesale stores.
Going to stores such as Costco and BJ’s will save you in the long run. While they require a membership to shop there, Costco for example, offers cashback when you use their Costco credit card. The membership basically pays for itself and then some!
If you don’t live near a wholesale market, then Amazon Prime is your next best option for buying diapers, wipes, and everything else you could possibly need for baby.
Amazon has deals where you can subscribe and save. So when you purchase an item such as wipes on repeat, you will automatically get them sent to you, say every 3 weeks (or whatever frequency you choose) at a discounted price!
The total cost of formula feeding will vary slightly depending on baby’s consumption, but the average cost of formula feeding in the first year will amount to well over $1000.
If you can, breastfeeding is the way to go! It takes a lot of work, and requires constant dedication, but in the long run pays off huge!
If you want to learn how you can best prepare yourself for breastfeeding before your baby arrives read my article here.
Experts recommend exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life. Then you can start introducing solids foods.
Beginning with rice cereal and slowly introducing one pureed food at a time.
But you don’t need to spend tons of money on jarred baby foods. Save money by using the fresh foods you eat! You can puree your own fruits and vegetables very quickly and easily in a blender or food processor.
And if you are worried about wasting- don’t be! Just simply make a small amount each time.
Jarred baby foods are great- don’t get me wrong! I used them too. But you pay for the convenience.
To learn more about introducing your baby to solid foods, view this article.
Other ways to save money
Did you know their are apps you can use to get money back on things you buy?
This is an app where you can get cash back on items purchased simply by scanning your receipt. It also gives you tons of deals through items bought online.
Sign up today through my link, and you will get a $10 bonus! Just for signing up!
Another shopping app that gives you points when you shop. Your points add up to dollars back!
Walmart started doing this amazing thing where you can make an order online and schedule a time to pick it up at the store. They bring your groceries right to your car, and best of all it’s completely free.
Time = money, right?
Having a baby doesn’t need to be super expensive.
There are many ways you can save money with a baby. Be smart with your money and watch what you spend it on. I bet if you think about it, there are things you probably can cut back on and save yourself a ton.
I hope you found something helpful here! Got more tips? Let me know in the comments below!