Becoming a new parent is exciting, nerve-wracking, and expensive. The average cost of raising a child in the United States is $245,340. But we’re not about average here. We’re about extraordinary. And cashing in on extraordinary savings can happen before your bundle of joy even arrives.
Here are five ways you can get parenthood started out on the right foot; at least financially:
1. Accept Hand-Me-Downs
New moms want tend to want to have the best of everything for their children. It’s an understandable pursuit, but can end up being an expensive one. The temptation to get everything new and brand name is one that can end up costing you more money than you’d care to think about.
So accept hand-me-downs. Especially when you have or are expecting a young baby. Infants grow into toddlers so quickly that many people that donate their gear and clothes to your cause will give you stuff that’s never been worn. Some of it may even have price tags still attached.
2. Repurpose Craigslist Furniture
Have you noticed how much free stuff there is on Craigslist? If not, go check it out. Depending on your area, you should be able to get enough furniture to furnish baby’s room without spending a cent. We recommend picking up some sand paper and paint, and having the non-pregnant parent-to-be refinish the furniture to make it your own. This way you don’t have to worry about everything you “buy” matching; you can make it match yourself.
While this strategy works well for things like dressers, bookshelves, and sometimes even rocking chairs, we advise against it for cribs. Those should meet the most recent safety standards.
3. Use That Health Insurance
Health insurance can be a hidden gold mine. Depending on your plan, you may be able to get the cost of a breast pump 100% covered. Most plans will at least pay for a rental if your new arrival has feeding troubles.
Another great reason to look at health insurance is that it can cover extremely expensive hypoallergenic formula. If your child needs this, insurance could be the difference between going broke and staying afloat. In fact, 14 states have legislation that requires the coverage, even if insurers would rather not pay up.
4. Don’t Buy All of the Things!
Again, as a new mother, you’re going to want to get everything you could ever possibly need. Remember that you’re being marketed to. Remember that the human race survived just fine before all of those plastic, light up toys. Get the necessities: clothes, diapers, and a crib. For everything else, it’s good to be prepared. But don’t stress out if you don’t have every last item on your “have to buy” list before baby arrives. You may find that you don’t really need it. Skipping an unnecessary purchase entirely trumps buying something you need, no matter how big the sale.
5. Shop Sales, Rewards, and Promo Codes
For all of those things that you do find you need, and need new, shop sales. Apply promo codes when shopping online to compound your savings. You may even want to consider doing your shopping for all things new exclusively at one store. Many stores that offer baby registries, such as Babies R Us, also offer store rewards. You get these not only every time you shop, but every time someone buys something off of your registry. That way, when you get to the end of your shopping list, you may just have enough points to get those last few items for free.
If you’re looking for great sales on new stuff, don’t forget to check out Jolly Chic. They have cute wardrobe items for mom and baby, and today is the last day to use our exclusive code for 15% off $35+! Enter code JOLLY14 at check-out to take advantage.