How To Save Money For Kids: Top Tips For Parents-To-Be

Being a parent is expensive. It’s not just the cost of diapers and formula, either. There are the clothes, car seats, strollers, cribs and everything else you’ll need for your baby’s first couple of years. Factor in doctor visits and prenatal care, and it can be enough to put anyone in a financial crunch!

Thankfully there are some things that you can do to avoid overspending on your baby—while saving money for their future!

1. Plan out a budget

It’s a lot harder to overspend when you have a budget in place. Trying to figure out how you’re going to pay for everything the moment your baby is born can be overwhelming. It’s best to get a head start—and the earlier, the better.

Keep track of everything you spend on the baby in a spreadsheet or old-fashioned notebook. Make sure that you include doctor visits, diapers and formula, clothing and cribs, toys and furniture. When you look at the numbers and see where you’re spending, it’ll give you a better idea of how to allocate your money.

When creating your budget, remember that you can’t control every expense that comes up during pregnancy and the first year of your child’s life. That holds true regardless of their age. You can, however, plan in advance what you can afford to spend on your baby and try to stick to it. You’ll be much less likely to overspend if you’re as prepared as possible for what you’re going to do if the baby comes early or requires special medical care.

2. Set aside as much as you can each month

Some parents want to save money for a down payment on a house, but that’s not the only thing you’ll want to save for! If you’re an independent or stay-at-home parent, it’s important to consider the future costs of daycare. As well as everything else, babies need care and clothing before they can walk and speak clearly.

If your family has a traditional daycare arrangement, you can prepare to start saving for that as well. Many daycare operators have pre-set savings accounts, so if you know precisely the amount you will need to save, it’ll make it easier to dole out money each month.

If you have a nanny or someone else who is looking after your baby, you can pay him/her out of what you’ve set aside for the child’s basic needs.

But that’s not all you need to save for. It’s also a good idea to set aside a small percentage of your earnings each month to go toward your child’s future. It may not seem like a huge amount right now, but you’ll be surprised to see how quickly it grows.

3. Apply for benefits and government support

The government and quite a few private establishments offer tremendous support for parents. There are plenty of programs that will help families, which can be a huge benefit when it comes to saving some money.

The easiest way to tap into these funds is to apply for them as soon as you know you’re pregnant. You may need to submit some paperwork but there’s nothing that has to be done in a rush and they will take the time they need to process your application.

A number of private companies offer financial assistance, too. You can consider applying for scholarships and grants to pay for college if your child is older. You may be able to save some money while pregnant, especially if you don’t have a family history of needing a lot of money for medical expenses.

Another option is to look at coupon sites to get special discounts on your baby’s supplies. You will likely have to pay for shipping but it can sometimes save you hundreds of dollars. As well as giving you more money to spend on your baby, it’ll also make a nice little windfall that you can deposit into your savings over time.

4. Stick to your budget

No matter what it is that you’re saving for, do it as much as you can each month. You’ll be a lot less likely to overspend if you keep track of your expenses.

If you’re really strapped for cash, don’t skimp on the essentials: food, clothing and shelter. These are your first priorities!

The more you put away for little extras like visits to the doctor or special events, the more money you’ll have when it comes to these things that are out of your control. Saving money isn’t very much fun at the time, but the payoff over time is incredible!

5. Try meal planning

One of the most important things you can do if you’re looking to save money is to plan your meals in advance. This means stocking up on foods that are healthy and filling, but that also don’t break the bank.

It’s no secret that kids love to snack. Planning out your meals and snacks in advance can help you cut down on costs and minimize unwanted purchases.

One way to save money is to make sure that you have as many healthy options on your shopping list as possible. By choosing a variety of fruits and veggies and keeping them stocked in your pantry, you won’t find yourself buying expensive snacks anytime you get hungry. You’ll also save money!

You can easily plan meals if you do it the night before. For example, make sure that the freezer has plenty of chicken thighs and maybe a few whole chickens in it. Instead of buying frozen dinners, cook them yourself and freeze the leftovers. Each night, take them out the night before to defrost. Then you should have something healthy that you can keep reheating for days.

The takeaway

Life as a parent can be expensive and trying to save money is hard. The good news is that you don’t have to go without essentials when you’re having a baby! Just make sure that you plan ahead and stick to your budget to be able to do everything that you want for the best possible outcome for you and your child.

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