Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Saving Money

After the birth, how much does it really cost to have a baby?

There's an old adage that says "all you need is a boob and a drawer" while today's society demands much, much more.

Do you really need the bouncer, the bumbo, the boppy AND the swing?
the teethers, the play mats and maybe a sling?

The truth is, parenting isn't expensive, things are.
But there are things you'll need as your child grows.

Check out this Baby Cost Calculator from babycenter to see how much your baby's first year of life may cost. 

One really great way that I've found to save money is to pick and choose, for example...

saving money, baby gear
"A Natural Approach to Baby's First Year"

Other great ways to save:

Simple mattress sheets $15....

A booster $20................

A play yard with mattress $60...

Bring an extra outfit along........
Instead of a.............

Instead of a..............

Instead of a...............

 Instead of the..............

Ditch the.................
Crib set $40 +

Highchair $35 +

Crib $160 +

Bib $6

Baby shoes $14 per pair

I just saved you at least $155 right there. That's enough to buy a stroller, depending on the style you pick.
Do you really need the high-tech stroller? Or will an umbrella stroller suffice?
Maybe you run- those jogging strollers are amazing but a splurge. Take note when shopping for baby gear and decide "do I need this?" or "do I want this?"

For the gear you just can't live without, try a second-hand store. Or perhaps you can rotate baby items with a few friends; baby's are in and out of clothes and bassinets faster than you can blink, so most of these items are gently used.  Buy gender neutral so that you can use things like bouncers or swings for future children. Get creative-- your lil one will be.  They'll love pots, pans, boxes, water bottles, laundry baskets and a whole bunch of stuff you already own!

Advertisers in America know their stuff.  They know how to target you to buy certain things for you child.  This one will make her read. This one will make him a karate master. This one is for the cool kids.

Not to endorse credit card spending in any way but simply to share the simple joys of childhood.

I for one cannot deny the amount of money I would save if I chose to cloth diaper (not to mention it's far better for the environment) but I just don't want to sacrifice the convenience of disposables.

Breastfeeding is clearly more cost effective than formula; not to mention it's ready-made! and it's a great fix-all. highly nutritive and perfectly made for your baby.

No more mush!  Ditch the baby foods in favor of baby led weaning. You won't regret it!
Or you can make your own baby food.
You can make a lot of things on your own to save money - laundry detergent and baby wipes, for starters.
Do the math!  Doing a budget, actually following the budget, can save you a bundle.
More math - How much are you really making by going back to work?  How can you make the best of this?
Consider a home care over a group setting day care.  All those mommy meet-ups and tot play groups you thought were for social calls and baby stimulation -- think again!  For working moms, this is your chance to network.  Ask around, you may find a mom who offers child care out of her home; some of these moms even get certified.  Or how about another mommy friend who also works - what's her schedule like?  Trade-offs can be very helpful!

Another tedious but note-worthy option is couponing.  If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

This is an expensive but rewarding part of the Journey of Life, how do you save money?

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Jennifer Valencia | Labor & Postpartum Doula | 928.300.1337


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