If you’re a first-time parent, you’ve got a lot of amazing experiences to look forward. Your child’s first word, their experience learning how to walk, and so much more is ahead of you. However, you’ve probably got a few things that you’re worrying about too. For instance, kids come with a lot of sleepless nights, feeding struggles, and of course, extra costs too.
When you’re exhausted, giddy, and just trying to do the best thing for your child, it’s easy to lose track of your budget and start overspending. The good news is that there are plenty of ways that you can manage your cash more effectively – even as a new parent.
1. Shop the Clearance
As a new parent, you’ll be tempted to buy as much stuff for your child as possible. Everything from new clothes to toys can be a huge temptation. Although it’s better to avoid spending as often as you can if you’re committed to buying something, make sure that you’re not spending over the odds by always relegating yourself to clearance and off-season sections in stores.
You can even save yourself a fortune by buying things like winter coats in summer. Just make sure that you think carefully about sizing- babies can grow a lot faster than you’d think.
2. Live by the 24-hour Rule
When you’re filled with love for your child, all you want to do is give him or her the best things in life. Unfortunately, that often means living beyond your means. The last thing you want to do is put yourself in debt so that you can buy a cashmere jumper that your kid is only going to wear once and then stain with spaghetti.
Whenever you’re agonizing over buying something, give yourself 24 hours to make a decision. Pin the item to a board somewhere or keep it in your cart to come back to. If you still think you’re making the right decision in buying the item 24 hours later, you can go back to it.
3. Make Your Own Baby Food
Baby food can cost a fortune, but you can always look for ways to reduce the expense by being creative. When your child has just been born, you’ll be able to feed them yourself using breast-feeding with a little luck. As they move onto more solid meals, you can look into stocking up on vegetables and a food processor.
You might be able to grow a lot of the ingredients that you put into your child’s food at home if you have a green thumb. Additionally, making your own food for your baby will ensure that you know what’s going into every meal.
4. Forget the Baby Birthday Blowouts
Let’s face i; a vast baby birthday party is more for you than it is for the kid. The chances are that your child isn’t going to remember the party they had when they were one or two years old. With that in mind, there’s no point spending a fortune on the experience.
Invest in a baby photo shoot instead, so you have some memories or ask your friends and families to come to your house for a DIY party. It’s the thought that counts.
5. Compare Everything
Committing yourself to comparing the cost of every expense can seem exhausting. However, the truth is that you can save a lot of money this way. After all, the chances are that you compared the cost of things like your baby’s pram or car seat before you bought it, so why not take the same approach elsewhere in life?
Even if you’re taking out a loan online to buy big baby items, make sure that you compare options from different lenders to ensure that you aren’t spending more than necessary on things like interest rates and extra fees.
6. Enjoy Experiences for Free
Finally, as your child starts to get older and you’re looking for fun ways to build memories with them, avoid anything too expensive. Local parks and adventures around your local fields can be just as much fun as trips to arcades.
You can also check out local community websites and Facebook groups to see if anyone has any tips about free places to visit. Councils and governments frequently host playdate groups, library events, outdoor concerts, and free museum days. These incredible experiences can make fantastic bonding moments for you and your kids, and you won’t have to spend a fortune on them either!