Some people would argue that you can’t have a baby on a budget. However, there are plenty of ways to support the addition to your family without going into debt.
For example, you can buy gently used baby clothes, shoes, furniture, and other necessities, register with stores to receive free samples and gifts, potty train your child sooner to save on the cost of diapers and wipes, make baby food, ask a friend to host an inexpensive baby shower to help you get necessities for your baby and learn to live on a budget.
How Do You Have a Baby on a Budget?
Growing your family does not have to cause you to stress about supporting a baby on a budget that is less than ideal. However, it does take some planning and effort though.
1. Get Organized
As a parent, you must be more responsible and organized with your time, life decisions, finances, and belongings. Organizing your home is always a good idea before your baby is born, and it will help you cut back on unnecessary spending.
When you know what you have, you can plan accordingly and avoid rebuying items you already have.
2. Create a Budget
Creating a budget is essential to living within one. You will also need to calculate the cost of childcare, taking time off work, and buying essential items like clothing, bottles, formula, furniture, diapers, wipes, etc.
3. Consider Buying Items Secondhand
Many people do not want to buy secondhand things for their babies. However, babies typically use strollers, jumpers, swings, and clothes for a short time. So, you can always find gently used baby necessities secondhand for much less than you can buy them new.
4. Register to Receive Free Gifts
Many stores like Target and Walmart give expecting mothers free samples, gift cards, and gifts when they register. Formula companies, online registries, like Amazon Baby Registry and BuyBuy Baby, and diaper companies send samples when you register or request them.
5. Ask a Friend to Host a Baby Shower for You
A friend or family member usually hosts a baby shower for an expectant mother or parents. At the baby shower, each person brings a gift for the new baby from the registry created by the mother and father-to-be.
If no one has offered to throw a baby shower for you, ask someone in your family or a close friend. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant event or have expensive food or decorations. There are plenty of budget-friendly baby shower food ideas, and you can get inexpensive baby shower-themed decorations at your local dollar store or online.
6. Make Baby Food in Bulk at Home
If done correctly, making homemade baby food can save money and be more nutritious for your growing child. To save the most money, you need to buy ingredients in bulk. You then need to make the baby food and store it in freezer storage containers.
Yo large cube BPA-free silicone ice trays with lids and freeze the food in cubes. You can store the food in the trays or take the cubes out and store them in Ziploc bags. By purchasing organic fruits and vegetables from your local Costco in larger quantities, you can make dozens of meals at the same time.
A hot/cold blender or Baby Bullet is a good investment if you plan to make baby food.
7. Potty Train Your Baby
The medical community is in conflict over whether or not parents should start potty training earlier. However, there are numerous benefits to teaching your child as young as three to six months old to use the toilet instead of costly disposable diapers.
All you have to do is hold them over a baby potty as soon as they wake up and make a ‘shhh’ sound. They should start going to the restroom shortly after. Starting to train earlier does not mean you may not need to buy diapers for a while.
However, when you start sooner, it is easier to transition your child from diapers to the potty. Parents using this method have completely transitioned their children out of diapers in as little as a year to a year and a half.
8. Sell Toys, Clothes, Shoes, Furniture, etc. Your Child Outgrows
Babies rapidly outgrow clothes, shoes, toys, books, and many other things. So, there is often a lot of life left in them when your child is done using them. Selling your child’s used belongings can help you pay for other things they need as they grow.
9. Find a Job with Excellent Parental Leave Benefits
Working for a company that gives you 180 days of paid parental leave and other benefits can be a game changer when you have a new baby. Many parents want to spend more time with their babies, but they must return to work or face reductions in income.
So, if you are thinking about having a baby, check with your current employer to see what they offer. Check out jobs from companies that offer excellent health insurance, time off for parents, flexible schedules, and extended paid maternity leave.
10. Only Buy What You Need
Getting wrapped up in buying things for your son or daughter can be easy, especially if you are expecting your first child. However, at the rate of speed babies grow and develop, many parents buy things their child never even gets to use.
You can save a lot of money by only buying what you need and will use.
11. Buy Necessities in Bulk When They are On Sale
As a new mom or dad, you will go through things like formula, diapers, medications, wipes, baby wash, dye, scent-free laundry detergent, and lotion frequently. So, it is best to buy those things in bulk when they are on sale.
Target often runs sales on diapers and gives gift cards if you spend more than $40 to $80.You can’t spend the gift cards on the same transaction, but they are very useful to put up if you need to buy something for your baby and between paychecks.
12. Cutback on Extravagant Spending
Most parents have to make sacrifices for their children. Spending on luxuries is often one of them. Instead of shopping at your favorite brand’s stores, you might need to shop online during sales and at discount stores like Marshall’s, Ross, and TJ Maxx.
It is also a good idea to limit spending on gourmet coffee, cancel subscriptions you are not using, and go out for lunch instead of dinner when prices are lower.
13. Pay Down Debt and Reduce Spending
Paying down your debt and relying less on credit is a good way to increase your cash flow. When you finance lower amounts over shorter periods, you pay less interest, which puts more money in your pocket.
Final Advice on How to Have a Baby on a Budget
As an expectant parent, it is natural to worry about how to have a baby on a budget, no matter if you make the minimum wage a six-figure income. However, millions of people have done it before you.
Your goal should be financial stability so you can fully enjoy being a parent. That requires planning, budgeting, saving rainy days, and reducing unnecessary spending and waste.
For other helpful financial advice, read the guide on how to live on a small budget and the others on our site.