If you’re a parent, it will come as no surprise to hear me say that kids are expensive. I vaguely anticipated this when we decided to start a family, but wow, you don’t really realize how much money you spend, on a day-to-day basis, to meet your child’s needs. Not to mention their wants.
Our son is now five months old, so I’m still new to this parenting stuff. However, I have developed a few strategies that are helping keep the ongoing costs down:
1) Buy second-hand, where possible. Used baby stuff is really hardly “used” at all, because they grow out of everything so quickly. Last week, there was huge kids and baby consignment sale in our city. We went into it with a list of a few specific things we were looking for (clothes, a jumperoo, etc.), and were pretty successful. Everything we purchased was “like new,” and less than half the retail price. They host these kinds of sales a couple times a year throughout the country—just Google “kids consignment sale” and your city.
2) Take hand-me-downs. Again, used baby stuff equals not really used at all. We’re lucky in that my sister-in-law has a son a few months older than ours. Every time he outgrows some clothes, she sends a box our way. We love it, and haven’t had to buy many clothes for our boy at all. (She has good taste, too, so that’s an added bonus!)
3) Buy in bulk. We go through diapers, wipes, and other consumable necessities really fast. It benefits us to have a nice backup supply on hand, and buying more at once usually means more savings. I order a lot of these things from Amazon or hit up Costco once a month.
A final is to always consider whether something is a “need” or a “want.” It’s easy to get caught up in buying the latest gear or cutest outfits for a baby. However, I try to remember that he is just a baby, and really has simple needs. He doesn’t need every toy, every special seat or activity mat, or an extensive closet selection. He’s usually pretty happy to chew on a teething ring and stare at the kitchen lights, to be honest. Remembering that helps keep spending under control.
How have you saved money on baby?