My husband and I are expecting our first child this fall. Like any other first-time parents, we absolutely want the best—and only the best—for our children.
However—at what cost?
We’re quickly finding out that having children is expensive. While we were definitely expecting expenses, we still were completely in shock at how much stuff children need. Even in our attempt to be minimalist, we continue to find things that would be good to have for a baby.
We’re still trying to figure everything out, but so far we’ve only spent about $40 on the new addition to our family, so I’m hoping we can keep our frugal streak up. Here’s how we’re saving money on a baby.
Go Gender Neutral
We’re buying for our first child, but plan to reuse items for the rest of our children as well. For this reason, we decided not to find out the sex of the baby and keep the gender a surprise. This helps restrict us from buying items specifically for a boy or a girl.
This also helps reduce the amount of baby clothes we’ll get at our baby shower, and will instead encourage others to get actual items we need.
From our friends’ experience, people tend to want to shower you with clothes, and you end up with tons of really adorable baby clothes that only fit for a short period of time, when you could have actual essential items, like burp clothes, instead.
Buy What’s Necessary
We’re being minimalist in our items. For our baby registry, we’ve really narrowed it down to only items that we need and are doing without items that would be “nice to have,” such as a baby swing.
While we hear great things about baby swings, a lot of people have mixed reviews with some children completely shunning the swing. We’re waiting on purchasing big ticket items that the baby may or may not like until we’re in the thick of things and decide we really do need it.
We’re also not buying any items until after our baby shower. As tempting as it is to buy when we come across a good deal, we’d rather wait and see what we’ll need to purchase.
Splurge on Essentials, Save on Non-Essentials
We consider essentials to be items that protect the baby and will serve as long-lasting purposes, like a car seat and a stroller. We don’t want to sacrifice safety for cost.
However, on non-essential items, we’ve been scouring VarageSale, Craigslist, and Facebook groups to find out what the cost would be for these items used. For the most part, you can get quality used items like a bouncer, clothes, toys, books, diapering supplies, etc, for more than 75% off retail. That’s a bargain!
Start a College Fund Now
Saving money on children includes planning for the future. While I’m hoping there will be some sort of solution to the college debt that is burdening recent graduates, I can’t expect the government to bail us out. We’re saving now in order to save in the future.
Putting even just $100 a month into a college savings plan will help create a little nest egg for our children. We have no intent on paying for all of our child’s college tuition, but at least being able to contribute should help with some of the burden.
Having a child costs money, but it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. By sticking to this minimalist mantra, we hope to keep our child expenses low.