Budgeting for baby
Updated: Jul 18, 2020
This first appeared on todaysparent.com. (Client: Costco)
Sleepless nights, figuring out a schedule (like when to shower, for instance) and learning how to feed a baby are more than enough to keep a new parent on her toes. But now you have to budget, too? That’s enough to send you straight to your nearest takeout app to relieve some of that pressure. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered: here are some smart ways to save money while you focus on the most important thing in the world - that brand new little bundle (finally) sleeping in the just-constructed crib beside you. Because, as you’ve probably figured out by now, budgeting is best handled after a big cup of coffee while the baby naps. Here are some helpful tips to make sure you’re best stretching that parental leave money.
Plan for parental leave
Aside from saving as much money as you can before you take your leave, remember that you’re going to be on a tight(er) budget for as long as you’re at home with the baby. If you’re lucky enough to get a top-up from work - that’s great! But remember that the top-up will end and you’ll have to make ends meet on less than you were making while you were working. Try to find out how much you’ll be making each week on your parental leave, and try living off that amount for a few weeks to get a real understanding of how that will work for you in your life.
Figure out how much life with baby will cost
It’s a cliche, but it’s true - diapers are expensive! Use a diaper calculator to figure out how many you’ll need for each stage and try to buy in bulk, it’ll save pennies. The same goes for baby formula, if you plan to use it. (But not baby and believe us, you’ll need more than a few boxes! Costco.ca delivers right to your door for all of the above, not to mention that Costco delivers groceries in some areas. It’s the best of both worlds: saving money is integral and saving time earns you some much-needed sleep.
Don’t get sucked in by fancy baby stores
Going to a boutique baby store is a mighty cute outing, but think smart. Baby purchases are fun, but there’s no reason to blow the bank. Costco has the brands you love at better prices than other stores. They should be your go-to for things like cribs, strollers and bottles.
Think strategically with credit
One way to budget is to track your spending by using a credit card and then going over your statement to see exactly what you bought that month. A good credit card will give you cash back on your purchases so that you can put that money towards more diapers! The Capital One Costco Mastercard does just that - and it doubles as your Costco membership, so you’re saving there, too. And once you’re ready to take the little one on his or her first family trip, the card has tons of travel benefits: car rental insurance, baggage delay and travel assistance and even travel accident insurance for some extra peace of mind.
With all the new parent stuff coming your way, planning and budgeting ahead of time is one way to make sure you’ve got this. And don’t worry, you do!