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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

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      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 September 17, 2018

        How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

        How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

        Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

        With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

        So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

        1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

        It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

        You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

        So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

        2. When you want something big, wait

        Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

        It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

        We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

        A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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        So, you get the itch.

        You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

        Here’s where you have to take a step back.

        Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

        Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

        It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

        The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

        3. Live smaller than you can afford

        You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

        You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

        That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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        Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

        Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

        The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

        But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

        4. Practice smart grocery shopping

        Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

        But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

        Create a grocery budget

        Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

        Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

        I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

        Make a list… and never deviate

        Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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        You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

        These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

        Eat before going grocery shopping

        It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

        If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

        After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

        Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

        However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

        This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

        5. Cancel your gym membership

        Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

        The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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        Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

        I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

        Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

        Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

        For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

        Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

        There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

        It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

        I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

        Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

        The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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