New parents usually have no prior experience in budgeting for a family, and may have no idea what their budget should be when their new arrival comes. The truth is that babies do not need very much. Babies need to be fed, clothed, diapered, bathed and they need a place to sleep. There are many ways to make due with very little. For instance, a changing pad placed on a dresser will work fine in place of a changing table. A bottle sterilizer is nice, but not necessary in to adequately clean baby bottles. While it may be nice for your baby to have their baby wipes warmed up in a wipe warmer, this is also frivolous. A baby’s bottom can be cleaned with cool wipes just as well as warm wipes. Parents can make their own decisions about what is really necessary for their baby, but talking with other new parents who have gone through the experience can usually help inform them of what the basics come down to.
Also, don’t forget that humans grow faster as babies than at any other time in their life. Though it can be tempting to buy a bunch of new baby clothes, it is important to remember that your baby will likely grow out of those clothes in a few short months. There is no better time to take advantage of consignment clothes, the Goodwill, and other friends with hand-me-downs. Friends who have babies are likely to want to get rid of the pile of outgrown baby clothes anyway! Consignment stores and Goodwill also carry gently used baby clothes for a fraction of the cost that they are when purchased new. Just remember to put the clothes purchased on consignment through a thorough wash cycle before putting them on your little one.
And remember the significance of diapers. New babies can go through diapers at the rate of ten per day. Diapers are not inexpensive and they are a necessity. One way to save money on diapers is to use diaper coupons that can be found in drugstore circulars, but a better way to buy them is with cash-back rebates. Sites like Ebates.com offer cash back on online drugstore purchases. Buying diapers through these websites will result in cash back that equals the same amount of money that would be saved by clipping coupons. This way, diapers can be bought immediately with cash back, instead of waiting around for the coupons on the preferred brand of diapers. Certain diaper brands also have points programs where points can be earned with diapers purchases. Buying wipes in bulk is also a good way to save money, because baby wipes tend to be much more expensive when they are purchased in smaller packs. Buying diaper wipes in bulk will save new parents from running out and will also save a lot of money over time.
Carole Brunner writes about personal finance, green living & saving money at www.homeequityloan.net.