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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

        Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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        Published on May 7, 2019

        How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

        How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

        When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

        Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

        Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

        You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

        Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

        1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

        Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

        But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

        • Will you spend more time with your family?
        • What does retirement mean to you?
        • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

        Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

        Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

        2. Figure out When to Invest

        “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

        It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

        The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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        A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

        Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

        3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

        Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

        Why?

        Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

        Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

        Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

        Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

        4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

        Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

        If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

        You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

        1. Vanguard
        2. TD Ameritrade
        3. Charles Schwab

        5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

        Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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        Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

        That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

        Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

        A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

        6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

        The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

        Robo Advisors

        Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

        Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

        Bonds

        Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

        Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

        Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

        1. Treasury bonds
        2. Government bonds
        3. Corporate bonds
        4. Foreign bonds
        5. Mortgage-backed bonds
        6. Municipal bonds

        Mutual Funds

        Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

        One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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        Real Estate

        Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

        Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

        This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

        But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

        Savings Accounts

        Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

        7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

        Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

        So how can you master delayed gratification?

        By building your discipline.

        Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

        Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

        8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

        I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

        It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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        More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

        But, how can you invest yourself?

        Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

        Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

        But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

        Retire Happy with Excess Money

        The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

        It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

        I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

        Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

        One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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        Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

        Reference

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