Building your family is a life-changing decision, one that also has a financial impact. It probably didn’t take you long to realize that raising a child comes with many expenses from the start, beginning with diapers, formula, and childcare costs.
Those expenses grow over time, with the overall cost of raising a child reaching well over $200,000. Money-saving strategies can help you prioritize where you spend and where you save when it comes to growing your family.
Related: Here’s How Much it Cost Us to Have a Baby the First Year
Follow these five money saving tips to score some serious savings, which you can put toward education expenses, savings, and so much more.
1. Evaluate Childcare Choices
Childcare costs are probably the first significant child-related expense you’ll face.
Explore your options to find childcare that suits your family’s budget. Large centers might be the easiest to find, but they can often be the costliest.
A small in-home daycare typically has lower rates and may also offer more personalized attention.
Similarly, a nanny share with a friend or neighbor allows you to split the cost of private care. Remember to continue to assess childcare options as your family grows.
If you have multiple children in daycare at the same time, a nanny might end up costing less than tuition for multiple children at daycare centers.
2. Shop in Bulk
A growing family needs plenty of food and household goods—often in bulk.
Shopping at warehouse clubs can offer significant savings if you know how to navigate it. Make a list of the items that you buy weekly at the grocery store and compare costs at warehouse stores.
Typically, you’ll see lower per-item costs from warehouse stores. Plus, they offer discounted prices on household items that you always need, like toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, and laundry detergent.
Even when you factor in the annual membership fee at these stores, you come out on top if you shop smartly.
3. Reuse and Resell
If you plan on having more than one child, hang onto those baby clothes, toys, and gear.
You can even reuse your convertible car seat as long as it hasn’t expired or been in an accident. Store these items between kids to save some money when your next child arrives. When you’re finished with this gear, pass it along to the next new parent.
Participate in a consignment sale, visit a consignment store, or sell this gear on local online marketplaces. You can check out inventory to pick up any secondhand clothes or gear that your child may need.
Kids outgrow clothes quickly, so buying items secondhand can result in big savings.
4. Stay Simple on Birthdays
Birthday celebrations can quickly add up for families.
Elaborate birthday parties held at rental facilities and play places can cost hundreds of dollars—or more—and that’s before you buy birthday gifts. Multiply those costs by the number of children you have, and you’ll see how birthday party expenses can impact your budget.
Stick to simple birthday parties at home, at a local park, or inexpensive rental facilities around town. Some outdoor space, games, food, and cake are all your child needs to create a memorable birthday.
5. Budget for Holidays
On a similar note, keep holiday gift-giving within your budget.
It’s easy to get sucked into Black Friday sales and holiday hoopla, but it’s also essential to make a list with a budget for each child and stick to it. Ideally, you can set aside some money every month to save up for holiday gifts, so you aren’t racking up a credit card balance.
January will be much less stressful if you don’t have to address mounting credit card debt that you accumulated over the holidays.
Simple strategies allow you to stick to a budget and maximize your family’s savings. Use these money saving tips to reduce the fixed costs that come with having children.
Author Bio: Cristin Howard runs Smart Parent Advice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Cristin writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.