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Baby on the Way? 9 Practical Ways to Save Money

Baby on the Way? 9 Practical Ways to Save Money

If this is your first baby, you’re probably so confused that you’re not really sure what’s going on half the time. And this is completely understandable – the amount of excitement can cloud your judgement significantly and there’s no shame in that.

However, you need to come to your senses before the baby is born, especially if you’re on a budget. This is your family’s future we’re talking about and you need to be smart about it before you run out of money.

I know that a huge factor here is cuteness overload – baby stuff is irresistible and people who can stay indifferent to it have one really icy heart. The thing is that you should learn a skill or two from those night walkers because they can really teach you how to make a difference in your baby’s life and have your child want for nothing. Well, nothing they can’t live without anyway.

1. Avoid Brands

This is one old trick, but somehow, people tend to forget it. I know that most of you trust brands because they have a huge audience and they have been proving their quality for a long time – I don’t want to argue about that. However, I believe and I think that you might agree with me, that there’s no good reason to get a baby bottle that costs $500 when you can get a perfectly good one for about twenty bucks.

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This rule should be applied for all baby items. If you do your research properly and make sure that things you get are made out of materials that are durable and that will not in any way damage your baby’s health, you’ll be able to equip yourself properly without spending a fortune.

2. Stick to Necessities

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    Not all baby things in a baby store should be on your list of necessities – many of them are simply made-up. I never quite understood why having a changing table made it to this list – you can change your baby’s diaper anywhere. Besides, if you don’t have much space in your home, this will only take room – it doesn’t seem that practical now, right?

    It’s the very same thing with baby shoes – the fact is that your child will grow out of them within a month, and like other baby things, baby shoes can be unreasonably expensive, so this isn’t a thing you should waste your money on.

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    3. Coupon Up

    CLIPPING COUPONS
      CLIPPING COUPONS

      New parents who aren’t financially stable need to compensate that lack of money with hours of additional research. It’s quite simple, really – you can get everything you need significantly cheaper if you search for it long enough.

      Obviously, my advice here is to start collecting coupons, not only when the baby comes, but also during your pregnancy. It doesn’t involve any hard work and, considering the fact that you should spend a lot of your time in a comfy bed as a pregnant woman, you can use that time for online browsing and discovering new sources of coupons.

      4. Second Hand Items

      Baby clothes and other necessities don’t really have time to get worn out, because they grow out of them very quickly, which is why you shouldn’t have any doubts when it comes to getting used items for your child.

      There’s another thing you should have in mind and that can come in handy – exchange. By joining in a parents club of some sorts, you’ll be surrounded by people who share your experience and your list of necessities, and exchanging advice along with items is a highly profitable two way street.

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      5. Bulk & Double Bulk

      The first year will be all about diapers and you can’t really have enough of them, so when it comes to things like that, you should bulk up. First of all, getting things in bulk will earn you a certain discount by itself, but if you combine that with a valid coupon, you should end up with a great deal.

      6. Breastfeeding Instead of Formula

      I know that this is your decision, but you should look at this situation budget-wise. Breast milk is healthy for your baby and it’s recommended that you feed your baby naturally as long as your body allows it. The other piece of this equation is that formula billing will affect your costs at the end of the month, so my suggestion is to revise your decision here.

      7. Family Babysitters

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        Once the first month of not sleeping is done, it’s healthy for you and your partner to spend some time out of the house, a couple of hours per week at least. This will help you gain some perspective, relax for a bit and enjoy doing nothing.

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        Instead of trying to find a babysitter you’re capable to trust with your baby and paying for their time, you should have your loved ones take care of your child – I’m sure that they will be thrilled to spend quality time with your cute newborn.

        8. Start with DIYs

        Parents learn how to practice magic in time, and they develop these extraordinary skills and learn how to make something out of nothing. You should start with your school of wizardry before the baby even arrives, as far as I’m concerned, and start by conducting DIY projects.

        This will most definitely pay off in the long term and perhaps this reveals a hidden talent of yours in the future. If that happens, you can even make money off it, but first thing’s first – try knitting or crafting your baby’s first toys and see where you go from there.

        This is just your base. You’ll be able to find many smart shortcuts by yourself in time – it will only take a while until you get inside the parents world, and everything will be a lot clearer when you finally arrive. I can only further advise you not to panic and don’t make any rash decisions. You’ll be just fine.

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        Ivan Dimitrijevic

        SEO Consultant

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        Published on November 8, 2018

        How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements?

        How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements?

        After a few months of hard work and dozens of phone calls later, you finally land a job opportunity.

        But then, you’re asked about your salary requirements and your mind goes blank. So, you offer a lower salary believing this will increase your odds at getting hired.

        Unfortunately, this is the wrong approach.

        Your salary requirements can make or break your odds at getting hired. But only if you’re not prepared.

        Ask for a salary too high with no room for negotiation and your potential employer will not be able to afford you. Aim too low and employers will perceive as you offering low value. The trick is to aim as high as possible while keeping both parties feel happy.

        Of course, you can’t command a high price without bringing value.

        The good news is that learning how to be a high-value employee is possible. You have to work on the right tasks to grow in the right areas. Here are a few tactics to negotiate your salary requirements with confidence.

        1. Hack time to accomplish more than most

        Do you want to get paid well for your hard work? Of course you do. I hate to break it to you, but so do most people.

        With so much competition, this won’t be an easy task to achieve. That’s why you need to become a pro at time management.

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        Do you know how much free time you have? Not the free time during your lunch break or after you’ve finished working at your day job. Rather, the free time when you’re looking at your phone or watching your favorite TV show.

        Data from 2017 shows that Americans spend roughly 3 hours watching TV. This is time poorly spent if you’re not happy with your current lifestyle. Instead, focus on working on your goals whenever you have free time.

        For example, if your commute to/from work is 1 hour, listen to an educational Podcast. If your lunch break is 30 minutes, read for 10 to 15 minutes. And if you have a busy life with only 30–60 minutes to spare after work, use this time to work on your personal goals.

        Create a morning routine that will set you up for success every day. Start waking up 1 to 2 hours earlier to have more time to work on your most important tasks. Use tools like ATracker to break down which activities you’re spending the most time in.

        It won’t be easy to analyze your entire day, so set boundaries. For example, if you have 4 hours of free time each day, spend at least 2 of these hours working on important tasks.

        2. Set your own boundaries

        Having a successful career isn’t always about the money. According to Gallup, about 70% of employees aren’t satisfied with their current jobs.[1]

        Earning more money isn’t a bad thing, but choosing a higher salary over the traits that are the most important to you is. For example, if you enjoy spending time with your family, reject job offers requiring a lot of travel.

        Here are some important traits to consider:

        • Work and life balance – The last thing you’d want is a job that forces you to work 60+ hours each week. Unless this is the type of environment you’d want. Understand how your potential employer emphasizes work/life balance.
        • Self-development opportunities – Having the option to grow within your company is important. Once you learn how to do your tasks well, you’ll start becoming less engaged. Choose a company that encourages employee growth.
        • Company culture – The stereotypical cubicle job where one feels miserable doesn’t have to be your fate. Not all companies are equal in culture. Take, for example, Google, who invests heavily in keeping their employees happy.[2]

        These are some of the most important traits to look for in a company, but there are others. Make it your mission to rank which traits are important to you. This way you’ll stop applying to the wrong companies and stay focused on what matters to you more.

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        3. Continuously invest in yourself

        Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. Cliche I know, but true nonetheless.

        You’ll grow as a person and gain confidence with the value you’ll be able to bring to others. Investing in yourself doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, you can read books to expand your knowledge in different fields.

        Don’t get stuck into the habit of reading without a purpose. Instead, choose books that will help you expand in a field you’re looking to grow. At the same time, don’t limit yourself to reading books in one subject–create a healthy balance.

        Podcasts are also a great medium to learn new subjects from experts in different fields. The best part is they’re free and you can consume them on your commute to/from work.

        Paid education makes sense if you have little to no debt. If you decide to go back to school, be sure to apply for scholarships and grants to have the least amount of debt. Regardless of which route you take to make it a habit to grow every day.

        It won’t be easy, but this will work to your advantage. Most people won’t spend most of their free time investing in themselves. This will allow you to grow faster than most, and stand out from your competition.

        4. Document the value you bring

        Resumes are a common way companies filter employees through the hiring process. Here’s the big secret: It’s not the only way you can showcase your skills.

        To request for a higher salary than most, you have to do what most are unwilling to do. Since you’re already investing in yourself, make it a habit to showcase your skills online.

        A great way to do this is to create your own website. Pick your first and last name as your domain name. If this domain is already taken, get creative and choose one that makes sense.

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        Here are some ideas:

        • joesmith.com
        • joeasmith.com
        • joesmithprojects.com

        Nowadays, building a website is easy. Once you have your website setup, begin producing content. For example, if you a developer you can post the applications you’re building.

        During your interviews, you’ll have an online reference to showcase your accomplishments. You can use your accomplishments to justify your salary requirements. Since most people don’t do this, you’ll have a higher chance of employers accepting your offer

        5. Hide your salary requirements

        Avoid giving you salary requirements early in the interview process.

        But if you get asked early, deflect this question in a non-defensive manner. Explain to the employer that you’d like to understand your role better first. They’ll most likely agree with you; but if they don’t, give them a range.

        The truth is great employers are more concerned about your skills and the value you bring to the company. They understand that a great employee is an investment, able to earn them more than their salary.

        Remember that a job interview isn’t only for the employer, it’s also for you. If the employer is more interested in your salary requirements, this may not be a good sign. Use this question to gauge if the company you’re interviewing is worth working for.

        6. Do just enough research

        Research average salary compensation in your industry, then wing it.

        Use tools like Glassdoor to research the average salary compensation for your industry. Then leverage LinkedIn’s company data that’s provided with its Pro membership. You can view a company’s employee growth and the total number of job openings.

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        Use this information to make informed decisions when deciding on your salary requirements. But don’t limit yourself to the average salary range. Companies will usually pay you more for the value you have.

        Big companies will often pay more than smaller ones.[3] Whatever your desired salary amount is, always ask for a higher amount. Employers will often reject your initial offer. In fact, offer a salary range that’ll give you and your employer enough room to negotiate.

        7. Get compensated by your value

        Asking for the salary you deserve is an art. On one end, you have to constantly invest in yourself to offer massive value. But this isn’t enough. You also have to become a great negotiator.

        Imagine requesting a high salary and because you bring a lot of value, employers are willing to pay you this. Wouldn’t this be amazing?

        Most settle for average because they’re not confident with what they have to offer. Most don’t invest in themselves because they’re not dedicated enough. But not you.

        You know you deserve to get paid well, and you’re willing to put in the work. Yet, you won’t sacrifice your most important values over a higher salary.

        The bottom line

        You’ve got what it takes to succeed in your career. Invest in yourself, learn how to negotiate, and do research. The next time you’re asked about your salary requirements, you won’t fumble.

        You’ll showcase your skills with confidence and get the salary you deserve. What’s holding you back now?

        Featured photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Navigator via unsplash.com

        Reference

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