New parents often experience sticker shock when they first discover the cost of their new bundle of joy. There are diapers to buy, clothes to purchase, and all the gear to invest in. Once both parents are back at work, there’s the additional cost of childcare for your little one. Most working families struggle to pay the cost of putting an infant in daycare. In some parts of the country, it may be as expensive as a mortgage payment. Here are six ways you can help adjust your budget to pay for daycare.
1. Buy Used Baby Items
Before you start making payments for your child’s daycare, start your budget off strong by buying as many baby items as you can in used condition. There are plenty of social media neighborhood swap meet groups that offer gently used items for very little money, such as high chairs, toys, and baby clothes. Even better, check with friends or family members to see if anyone is trying to give away their baby stuff.
2. Use Cloth Diapers
Another big expense for any new parent is the cost of diapering a child. A new baby may go through almost 3,000 diapers during her first year of life. The cost of diapers can get overwhelming, especially if you consider how many years your child may be in diapers. An alternative that may help your family get more room in the budget is to try cloth diapers. Cloth diaper advocates suggest investing in about a dozen or so cloth diaper designs and reusing them throughout the child’s infanthood and toddler stage.
3. Look for Family Discounts
Once you enter the world of parenthood, you may even start to qualify for certain discounts. New parents can often take advantage of introductory coupon offers from baby formula companies or baby food producers. Be sure to sign up for any type of discount club or mailing list to get all of the savings for your favorite products. This can help lessen the blow of feeding and clothing your child over the first few years of her life.
4. Lower Transportation Costs
Transportation costs can also be adjusted for new parents if they think creatively. You can make more room in your budget for your daycare provider’s costs if you go down to one car for your family instead of two. Carpooling may also be a better option if you can’t completely get rid of your second car. There are also plenty of options for parents looking for discount Philadelphia auto insurance to help make more room in their monthly finances for childcare.
5. Stop Eating Out
New parents also need to make sacrifices when a new arrival joins the family. In most cases, these necessary sacrifices for your finances aren’t too difficult to make. You can help save thousands of dollars each year if you limit your time going out to eat. Most parents aren’t ready to take their infant to a fine dining establishment, and eating at home may work much better for your child’s sleep and eating schedule. Later, when your child is older and daycare costs less, you can start teaching them restaurant manners.
6. Stay at Home for Date Night
Finally, the last way you can help cut back on your spending to save room for daycare is with date night. Date night is an important part of a successful marriage, even for new parents. Avoid the temptation to put date night off the calendar for a few years. Instead, schedule a few date nights at home with meals you prepare yourself. Set up a romantic table and atmosphere when your baby goes to sleep.
Making room in your monthly budget for a new baby and the high cost of childcare is doable if you make some smart choices. This way, you’ll be better prepared for the next child and even more thriftiness.