Welcoming a new baby into the world is an exciting, miraculous time. Most new parents know that having a baby means added financial pressures, but many also underestimate how much money they'll spend.
Depending on your baby's needs and your spending habits, you can easily spend $7,000-$14,600 each year for the first two years of your baby's life.
Between doctor's visits, clothes (which they grow out of every few weeks) and everything else that goes with having a baby, it's easy to see how parents can spend this much.
The good news? With some discipline and a good strategy, you can cut back on expenses, so you can hold onto more of your hard-earned money.
1. Breastfeed if You Can
Breastfeeding isn't for everyone, but if you can do it, consider it. Nursing is healthier for the baby, and you'll save on formula. How much will you save? About $1,400 in the first year of your baby's life.
2. Pass on the Hospital Add-Ons
Skip the hospital add-ons if you really want to save money in the first few months. Having a baby (the actual delivery of your little one) is expensive enough as is.
Pass up on the private room. Prices can range anywhere from $30 a day to more than $500.
Don't watch TV. Some hospitals charge a daily fee for television privileges.
Before you leave the hospital, take home the toiletries (ask permission, of course). The hospital stocks baby-care items, like swaddling cloths, diapers, thermometers, alcohol swabs, disposable bottle nipples, nasal aspirators and more. Taking these items (if allowed) will save you about $50.
3. Buy Diapers in Bulk
Never underestimate how many diapers you'll need in the first few years of your baby's life. It's worth lugging home the giant boxes of diapers from wholesale clubs.
The 200+ count boxes can save you almost $200 a year.
4. Find Ways to Lower Your Bills
See where you can cut back on your monthly bills to save as much as you can.
Call your credit card companies to see if you can lower your interest rates.
Cut the cord on cable. There are plenty of free movies and television shows on Amazon if you're already a Prime member. If not, a Netflix or Hulu subscription is far less expensive than your monthly cable bill.
Change your auto insurance policy. Get a Direct Auto Insurance quote to see if you can save money by switching policies.
Get rid of your land line phone if you have a cell phone.
There are many ways to lower your bills. See where you can cut back, and pocket that extra money. Even just a few dollars here and there will add up over time.
5. Eat Out Less Often
It's difficult to dine out at restaurants when you have a newborn, but it's still just as easy (and probably even more tempting) to run through the drive-thru after a crazy day.
Eating out not only costs a fortune, but also takes a toll on your health. Try prepping and freezing some foods and meals ahead of time, so you have something quick and nutritious to eat at home on those crazy days. You'll save money – and your health.