Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

img1

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

      Advertising

      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

      img3

        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.

        Advertising

        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.

        More by this author

        Ivan Dimitrijevic

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

        50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas And How To Achieve Each Of Them 5 Exercises To Improve Intimacy and Create a Better Relationship 8 Fun and Unique Birthday Party Ideas for People in Their 20s 50 Cleaning Hacks for Your Home That Will Make Your Life Easier 40 Amazing Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

        Trending in Budget Activity

        1 6 Easy Ways to Treat Yourself 2 7 Websites to Sell Used Stuff Profitably 3 Seven Tips to Save Money While Renovating Your Home 4 4 Ways to Make Every Penny Stretch in 2017 5 Getting Out of Debt in 4 Simple Steps

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on January 2, 2019

        How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

        How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

        Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

        Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

        Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

        This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

        Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

        What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

        Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

        When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

        Advertising

        How It Leads to Financial Improvement

        It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

        Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

        Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

        It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

        Types of Personal Finance Software

        When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

        Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

        For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

        Advertising

        Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

        When to Use Personal Finance Software

        So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

        Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

        1. You Have Multiple Accounts

        There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

        If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

        Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

        2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

        Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

        Advertising

        There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

        With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

        3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

        Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

        Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

        Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

        4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

        Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

        You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

        Advertising

        How to Get Started

        From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

        Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

        It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

        When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

        Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

        Final Thoughts

        Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

        In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

        Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

        Read Next