According to the USDA's Cost of Raising A Child Calculator, the average family will spend 233,000 dollars to raise a child.
Mike and I have spent over 1.1 million dollars, and we have two more children to raise. HOLY MOLY!!!
Budgeting for a baby is difficult. Finding the money to plan and execute said plan can be challenging for the best of us. My last pregnancy, My husband was working at a church, and we had very little extra money for our baby. I learned first hand how to budget for a baby with minimal funds.
Budgeting for a baby takes careful precision! Create your budget NOW and stick to it. You won't regret it.
Why I am here and who I am:
Hey mama, I am Trish— AKA Labor Nurse Mama. I am a labor and delivery nurse with over 15 years of high-risk OB experience. I am also a mama to 7 kids and have given birth to 6. This means I am quite familiar with the postpartum period and how to navigate it. I am the online birth class educator for Calm Labor Confident Birth and The VBAC Lab birth classes and the mama expert inside our Calm Mama Society a pregnancy & postpartum membership community! I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey! You can find me over on IG teaching over 230k mamas daily. I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey!
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Budgeting for a baby
First things first; You need to be wise and figure out what you need versus what you want.
Are you wondering how to do that? Well, lucky for millennial moms, you have the internet and of course Pinterest. Not only can you speak to your friends who have children but read advice from moms all over the world.
You might also like must-haves baby items for new moms.
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Tip 1: Determine Need Vs. Don't Need:
Personal preference plays a role in choosing needs versus wants. Someone like me would inform you that you don't need a jogging stroller and you being a runner, might say YES I DO!
I suggest getting the necessities but also budgeting for at least one splurge! Below are the big-ticket items that you will need for your bundle of joy. Wait until after the shower to purchase the big things. However, start saving for them immediately. If you receive them at your shower, then funnel the money saved to other needs or our savings account.
Bassinet: Do you need a bassinet? It's used for the first few months and may not be a necessity. This is one of those things that one mom may be adamantly for and another entirely against using. I advocate for having a bassinet but understand that this is an item that you can borrow from another momma!
Crib: You must have a crib. Nothing fancy but a safe one is a must. Anna and Ian have a small size crib that fits their apartment perfectly. A small crib is a perfect solution for a tight budget. A used crib is not a smart option. You can not be confident of its safety. Keep in mind that safety standards are set to protect your baby. If you find a used crib and can slide a coke can go between the slats than it is too wide and therefore not safe. Do your due diligence on this item.
Car seat: A safe car seat is also a must. A car seat is one of those items that I would put high on your baby shower list. Do not skimp out of a safe car seat. This is not where you need to be tight on your budgeting for a baby list.
Stroller: A stroller is something you could potentially buy used. There are several tutorials on cleaning a used stroller that you can follow. I am a stroller snob, so this baby product is one I say buy used to get a better stroller than you can afford new.
Check out Offer up, Letgo, and other “yard sale” type apps!
I bought Anna's Uppababy off Offer up and got a fantastic deal. It was a hilarious story as I was at work at the time. My patient was a natural patient in the midst of hard physical labor. We were panting and breathing together standing in her room. She was leaning against me in pain while I coached her. My coworker came in to tell me that the stroller lady was in the parking garage waiting. I transferred my patient to my coworker and hurried out. Another coworker ran with me (in case they were crazy people) and we did the exchange in the garage. It was like a stroller drug deal. I was back laboring my patient in under 20 minutes with a stroller safely tucked in my car.
If interested in natural labor read these:
Natural Birth Guide: Four Tips for the first time mom (or not)
10 Insider Tips to Rock a Natural Birth in a Hospital Setting
Tip #2 Master Your Money
Girl if you don't learn to master your money, trying to budget for a baby won't matter at all. You have to become the boss of your money, not the other way around. This is vital for creating and maintaining your new budget.
You have to check out the master your money super bundle I found. It includes 14 eBooks, 9 Printables & Workbooks, 11 eCourses, and 12 videos. No matter your learning style, it is included in this deal.
Tips #3 Create a registry:
Creating a registry can assist your plans in budgeting for a baby. Having a registry allows others to see what you need and to buy it for you. The other plus to creating a registry is that many places like Buy Buy Baby send you coupons and allow you to purchase items remaining on your registry at a discount. Amazon registry is also an excellent place to start as Amazon has everything you could want and need. For a limited time, Amazon is offering a gift card just for starting a registry.
Use Target Baby registry, Buy Buy Baby Registry, and Amazon Registry to ensure that all your friends and family have access to your baby needs.
If you don't have amazon prime, sign up here for a 30-day free trial and get started on collecting diapers.
Create your registry early in your pregnancy, and it can be a tally of the stuff you need for your sweet baby. Print the registry list and keep it on the fridge. I allocated a certain amount weekly to my baby products and used my resources wisely.
If you have items left over on the registry, most of the above stores give you coupons to get a great discount on those items.
Tip #4 Baby Feeding:
Ok, let's face it breastfeeding is financially the obvious choice. Formula costs are ridiculous.
Disclaimer: I am all about breastfeeding and its benefits, (or at the very least exclusively pumping may be for you.)
Breastfeeding has a few expenses that you can offset with a few simple tricks. For one, get your breast pump for free. Check to see if you qualify and they will do all the work to get it for you. One expense I would not forgo as a breastfeeding mom is a nursing pillow. It indeed is a life saver.
The average cost for formula feeding can be up to $1700 in the first year.
Breastfeeding Moms Need list:
- Breastpump. Be sure to add Breastpump accessories to your registry.
- Bras for nursing. You will need at least three good bras that facilitate breastfeeding. Keep in mind your boobs will be LARGE.
- Nursing Pads: opt for washable ones as the disposable kind cost more in the long run.
- A Nursing Pillow. Again, this is vital to protecting your neck and back muscles.
- Nursing Cover is optional but worth the money, Check these out as they are both economical, stylish, and versatile.
Alleviate baby food expenses by going back to the kitchen. Bust out those homemaking skills girl and make your own! There are many resources available to make your baby food at home. Grab an ice tray from the dollar tree and freeze baby food for the perfect portion size. Anna uses reusable baby food pouches to feed Asa his homemade baby food. Grab a baby bullet blender, learn to steam, and you have a stocked supply of baby food.
Tip # 5 Stock up and save on Diapers:
Create a weekly diaper buying plan and stick to it. Comb through coupon sites like Southern Savers and find the most savings weekly. Ask your friends and family to clip diaper coupons every week and save them for you. If you use coupon websites to find the best deals each week, you can buy diapers economically. Amazon Family also enables you to get up to 20% off on diaper subscriptions and more.
Create a plan to buy different sizes weekly or biweekly. (DOWNLOAD OUR DIAPER BUDGETING PLAN FOR FREE and have the following stock of diapers accumulated when the baby is born, be sure to check off diapers that are gifted to you)
Related post: The Ulitmate Guide to a Diaper Stockpile
You can always exchange for a different size if your baby outgrows or skips one size.
If this is a second child, consider having a diaper and casserole baby shower. Everyone brings a pack of diapers and a casserole to freeze for the postpartum period.
Tip #6 Create a Baby Budget that includes Childcare:
Childcare, if needed, will be the most significant expense on your baby budget. Daycare in the US costs anywhere from 4k to 16k a year or more.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), child care is affordable if it costs no more than 10% of a family’s income. By this standard, only 30.2% of Florida families can afford infant care.
California is one of many states that infant child care cost MORE than in-state tuition for college!!!
My best friend uses an in-house daycare and loves the sweet mom who cares for her daughter. This may be a more economical solution for your family as well.
Again, going to one income could also be the best solution for your family.
You may enjoy: Ten Newborn Baby Care Tips
Tip #7 Bust out your Crafty Hat and put it on.
Decorating for a baby can be cheaper if you can make some things on your own. If DIY is your thing, then making baby items is the way to go. Anna made many things such as a DIY mobile, changing pad cover, boppy cover, and much more. Check out these links to some excellent DIY baby Tutorials for you to utilize.
Floral Mobile: DIY Floral Baby Mobile Chandelier
Feather Mobile: DIY Nursery Mobile Tutorial
Boppy Cover: DIY Boppy Pillow Cover
Changing Pad Cover: DIY Changing Table Cover
Tip #8 Make some extra cash!
I am the queen of working from home. A Side hustle for a mom is the new black. If you don't know anything about side hustles check this Side Hustle Starter Kit that is included in the bundle, I mentioned. It's a fantastic resource when your side hustle has suddenly started making over 5k a month as ours has.
Don't you love to make extra cash through creative means? There are so many ways that we can make money from home, it's crazy. Surveys are a bit of a pain, but a viable way to make some serious cash. You must be patient and consistent to make money through surveys. Companies want your input and are willing to pay.
Starting a blog is also a way to earn an extra income all while working from the comfort of your home. I won't lie to you, blogging is work, but it is gratifying to share your passion and expertise with others.
- Ebates is a great way to earn an extra cash pool for the month. Ebates browser extension is incredible. Download it to your internet browser, and it alerts you to coupons and rebates available for your purchase. I love it. You can earn money back for stuff you already purchase throughout the month. I earned about 40 last month. Hey, It helps!
- Ibotta: Ibotta gives you money back for stuff you are buying each month. It's super easy. Click this link to get $10. Then create your own. Share with your friends, they get $10, and you get $5. Easy Peasy!
- Honey App I love this App, and it's FREE to sign up.
1. Honey is an extension for an Internet browser. It includes a free extension for your desktop/laptop browser, and It takes just two clicks to add, and you're on your way to savings. Honey is supported by five browsers:
2. It’s incredibly easy to set up via their website, and then you’re off to saving and earning HoneyGold (aka money to use). When you get to the sign-up page, you click the Get Honey button, follow just a couple of prompts, and voila you’re done!
3. It runs automatically. It really couldn’t be easier.
4. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll have your account where you can track your orders and keep tabs on how much you’re earning with Honey.
5. Honey can save you money within Amazon itself. A little orange bar appears, and what it’s doing is calculating your total price at checkout for that item, and then seeing if there are any better options hiding in Amazon. If the Amazon price is the best one, the button will say Best Deal, but if there’s a better price available from a different seller, the button will darken and tell you how much you could save by using a different seller. Then you can hover and add the best-priced item to your cart,
6. The other way Honey app works is with online retailers. It tracks all available coupon codes, and when you’re shopping at a site like Target and more, Honey will automatically apply the best coupon code at checkout.
7. Honey’s portal is excellent because it shows you which stores have great deals and are popular at the moment. This can be a big tip for a hot offer.
8. Honey will activate automatically when you hit the checkout page, and a small popup will appear toward the top of your screen. When you click the button, it’ll scan available coupon codes out there in internet land and finds the one that gets you the best deal. It takes a few seconds to a minute to do and saves a TON! I saved $50 off a Cricut on Black Friday. Cricut.com I would never have found that coupon on my own. It was so random.
- Surveys are another epic way to make some cash while sitting on the couch snuggling the baby. The following are my favorite: TIP: Create an email address that is specifically for these surveys and Sample sites.
SurveyRewards: Get paid by Check, PayPal, or Amazon Gift Cards for completing these short and easy surveys online. Take surveys, earn rewards– It's that easy!
SurveyMomma: Join their community today for FREE and qualify for a variety of PAID consumer surveys. Get access to your qualifying surveys and make $300 in only a few clicks right away! Participation is 100% optional.
Survey Club: Create your SurveyClub account for FREE! Make money each time you take part in a paid research survey. Payments are made directly into your PayPal account.
Samples & Savings: This one is a great way to earn free sample products and potentially gift cards.
The key to an adequate budget is to STICK to it and be faithful. There is nothing gained to create a budget that you don't follow!
Related Post: You should read the other great tips for preparing for a baby in our Preparing for A Holiday Baby for the crazed Millennial Mom!. I know your baby may not be a holiday baby but the tips are super informative.
These tips are just a start to creating a successful budget for a new baby. Comment below with your suggestions so that my readers can benefit from a wealth of knowledge.