Each day, approximately 360,000 babies are born worldwide. If you are one of the many who is planning to welcome a baby this year, you’ve likely started to prepare to bring home your new addition. Whether this is your first child or fourth, you can never be too ready for a new baby. One such area in which this is incredibly true is your financials. From designing your baby’s nursery to buying daily essentials, babies are expensive to raise. Aside from the obvious ways to prepare financially, there are a few creative strategies that you can use to get even further ahead. Not sure where to start? Before baby arrives, utilize the following tips to help you get as ready as possible for your little one.
Use Credit Card Rewards for Baby’s Needs
The latest figures show that raising a child from birth to age 17 costs the average American family $233,610. This equates to roughly $14,000 each year. Therefore, every penny counts when it comes to saving for your new baby. One commonly overlooked way to help cover some of the costs of your child’s first year is by using the points from your reward credit cards. If you have a cash back balance, or reward points for popular retailers, redeem these balances prior to the birth of your baby. Use cash back or reward points to pay for common items such as nursery supplies, diapers, toys, books, or supplies for mom. Although it may not seem like much, any rewards that you currently have can put more money back in your wallet.
Start Your Child’s Education Fund Now
Is it one of your goals to help fund your child’s college education? If so, don’t wait until he or she is older to start saving. Instead, begin savings smaller amounts right away in a 529 plan. These plans are “a type of investment account that allows you to set aside money for your child’s education and let it grow tax-free.” Rather than saving large sums later on in a traditional savings account, you can take advantage of the benefits of one of these plans right away. Not only will it be easier to save over the course of your child’s early years, but you will likely save more overall. Additionally, in lieu of traditional baby gifts, you can also ask for 529 plan contributions as gifts.
Buy Gently Used Baby Items
The expense of buying all of the items baby will need in his or her first year is undeniably expensive. This is especially true if you are having your first child, since you do not have any hand-me-downs to use. Whether you are looking to buy baby clothes, toys, a stroller, or a crib, nearly everything can be purchased second hand. High-quality, gently used baby items can be found in resale stores, as well as online. When compared to other used items, ones for baby are often in better condition. Why? Since clothing, toys, and other necessities are used for a few months at most, it is incredibly easy to find like-new products at a fraction of the cost.
Getting ready to welcome your little one is an exciting yet busy time. Although it may feel challenging to financially prepare for baby, using a bit of creativity can help make it easier to buy the items that you and your child need most.