Welcoming a new baby to the family is an exciting time for mothers. However, it can also be costly. There are many unexpected expenses that can catch new mothers off guard, such as doctor visits and baby traveling. With a bit of planning and creativity, you can trim down the costs of having a new child. Here are a few tips to help with your childrearing:
1. Diapers. First-time mothers underestimate how much money they will spend on diapers in their baby’s first two years. Disposable diapers can cost between $30 to $85 per month or up to $1, 050 per year. An easy way to trim costs is by using cloth diapers. These days, cloth diapers come with snaps, inserts and dual gusset technology that allows for an easier use and transition from disposable diapers.
2. Formula. Breastfeeding offers a multitude of benefits for a mother and her child. However, more than 80 percent of mothers stop nursing after their child reaches 6-months-old, which translates to mothers spending hundreds of dollars on formula. A budget friendly way to manage the cost of formula is by paying special attention to coupons and offers from formula companies. Be sure to sign up for baby manufacturers’ newsletters and consider using generic formula, which is significantly cheaper than name brands. As your baby gets older and transitions into solid foods, you can cut costs by making your own food. You can find plenty of baby food recipes on Parents.com.
3. Childcare. If you’re a working mother, childcare can put a serious dent in your budget. A recent study by Child Care America found that the annual cost for day care for an infant exceeds the average cost of in-state tuition and fees at public colleges in 31 states. New York has the annual highest cost with child care costing approximately $15,000 per year.
One way to avoid increasing child care costs is by staying at home. According to Pew Research Center, nearly 30 percent of mothers are staying at home, which is an increase from 23 percent in 1999. If staying at home is not an option, you can consider asking a relative or friend to babysit your child. You may also look into home daycare centers and nanny sharing as affordable ways to invest in childcare. If your employer offers a flexible spending account for childcare expenses, you may want to consider enrolling in the program as a tax saving measure (you’ll pay out-of-pocket expenses with pre-tax money instead of using money from your paycheck where state and local taxes have already been deducted).
4. Clothes. As a first-time mother, you may receive enough gifts to keep your baby clothed for the first few months. The next step to save on clothing costs would be to ask for second-hand clothes from friends and relatives. You can find gently used clothing from consignment and thrift stores or at garage sales. Also, be on the look-out for store sales and online deals. Finally, invest in stain remover to protect your child’s clothes from being ruined by food stains and soils.
Motherhood is a beautiful experience. By following these tips, you can minimize childrearing costs for your new baby. To schedule an appointment with Contemporary Women’s Care, request one online or call the office at (407) 478-6249 today.