The Hidden Costs of Parenting: Tips for Saving Money When Having a Baby

The Hidden Costs of Parenting: Tips for Saving Money When Having a Baby

Being a new parent is incredible. The bond you have with your baby is indescribable. Many people often say that having a family completes them. However, despite all of the great benefits of having a kid, there’s one glaring issue that is not normally discussed.

Yes, the money issue.

Having children is costly. From the moment they are born, you’re paying off hospital bills and paying for diapers. Eventually, you’ll also be paying for their college tuition.

But despite the true cost, don’t allow this is to deter you from expanding your family. Whether you’re already a parent, expecting, or wanting to start a family, here are money saving tips for new parents.

Say no to hospital add-ons

You start spending money on your little bundle of joy the second they come into this world. The hospital stay for the delivery can stretch up towards the thousand dollar mark. Not many people think about money saving tips for new parents in the hospital — but this is one of the best ways to save your coins.

Keep an eye out if the hospital tries to add anything additional to your bill. For example, if there is a surcharge for a single room, kindly decline. If they charge you to use their wi-fi or to turn on the TV, avoid these pleasures until you’re back home.

Ask nurses for coupons or samples while you’re at the hospital

Another way you can save some money as a new parent is to take advantage of any baby-related samples while at the hospital. This may include products such as diaper cream, diapers, lotion, or baby wipes. This is one of many money saving tips for new parents that also allows you to try new products before committing to buying the full-sized version.

Clip coupons

Parenting will take up most of your time, but if you want to implement more money saving tips for new parents, utilize a few hours every Sunday for hunting for and clipping coupons. The savings may not seem drastic initially, but they will add up over time. You can save hundreds by the end of the year on diapers, lotion baby food, and more. But couponing is just one out of many money saving tips for new parents you can use to modify your lifestyle!

Throw a baby shower

If you have already had your baby, it may be too late to throw a shower. However, this party is the perfect way for your friends and family to express their excitement for your new child coming into the world. A baby shower also allows them to bring gifts for baby and mom, cutting your bill significantly.

Buy secondhand clothes for the baby

Buying gently used clothing is an excellent way to stretch your pennies out. You can get more outfits for the price of one dress or pair of pants at the department store. Since your baby will grow exponentially throughout his or her’s first year, many parents find that splurging hundreds of dollars on clothes alone isn’t worth it in the end.

Try to breastfeed

Breastfeeding may not suit every new mother. However, turning to formula can be more costly. You can expect to save up to $1000 in a single year when breastfeeding.

Note, that breastfeeding isn’t completely free. You may have to purchase bottles and a pump.

Try cloth diapers

Not only can cloth diapering be cheaper, but it’s also exponentially better for the environment. There is a learning curve when switching to this method. You may find yourself doing more laundry than you could have ever imagined! However, if you’re looking to try more money saving tips for new parents, this one should be at the top of your list.

Buying cloth diapers upfront will be an investment. However, the savings will come down the line.

Workout at home

Gym memberships can be costly. One great way to implement more money saving tips for new parents is to pause or cancel your membership. This tip may not be for everyone, as many parents find that working out at a commercial center is beneficial for their mental health.

However, if you find that you’re no longer going and that you’re spending more time with your baby, turn to at-home workouts instead.

Look at a used car

Having a child also means looking for a safer and more reliable vehicle. Browse used cars to get the best deal, especially if you wish to implement more money saving tips for new parents. If you wish to have more kids eventually, look for a large car that will accommodate them all.

Pay off all of your debts

Whether it’s credit card debt or student loans, attempt to pay off a decent chunk of those debts before your child arrives. You’ll be less stressed, and you can spend more money on your baby.

Don’t overspend your money on the baby

It will be tempting to blow through your budget when it comes to your baby. You want to give them the world. This thought process will be especially difficult to overcome if this is your first baby. However, you’ll need to get over the desire to spoil them, as this can burn a giant hole through their pocket. Put that money towards essentials. But don’t buy a $400 stroller just because it’s the newest one. Refrain from purchasing cute crib throw pillows, since objects in the crib are a huge no-no!

Your baby won’t care if you’re using the latest and greatest items in baby technology. They just need your unwavering and unconditional love!

Take them to the dentist early

Parents will typically wait until all their child’s teeth come in to take them to the dentist. However, you should probably take as soon as their first tooth comes in. To ensure you’re not spending thousands of dollars on treatments as they grow up, make sure regular visits to see a pediatric dentist are common in your household.

Hold off on buying nursing bras

Clothes meant for nursing can also get quite costly. A pack of three nursing tees can cost up to $90. Before splurging, ensure you’re committed to breastfeeding your baby. Many new moms switch to formula after a few months, so save your money and don’t jump the gun. Not to mention, your baby will spend the majority of their first couple of months of life indoors.

Don’t spend too much money on specialty baby food

You can always make your own baby food at home using a blender and fresh produce.

For example, blend up fresh avocado, strawberries, or bananas to create purees that your baby will go ga-ga over.

Return things you don’t need

If your friends have gifted your family with things you don’t need, there’s no shame in returning these goods for store credit. Better yet, get your money back! If you don’t see yourself using this item, it’ll just collect dust in the corner, which can be a serious waste of cash.

Get free advice from groups around town or your hospital

A lactation consultant can cost anywhere between 100 and 200 dollars. Save yourself that hunk of cash and call a friend or family member instead if you’re looking for advice. Look into breastfeeding groups in your area as well. Your hospital may also have a breastfeeding hotline that can help you out if you’re in a bind.

Watch movies at home instead

Going out to see a film can cost up to 30 dollars per person. The next time you want to see a movie, consider renting one online instead. This will also spare you that embarrassing moment when your baby inevitably has a crying fit in the middle of the movie!

When you’re home, you can rock them gently to bed and presume the film.

Reduce your expenses every month

Need more money saving tips for new parents?

Try to shrink down your other non-baby-related expenses to give your budget some wiggle room. For example, you can try:

  • creating realistic savings goals each month
  • waiting a full 24 hours before making any big purchases
  • canceling certain subscription services you don’t use
  • paying for things in full, instead of using your credit card
  • avoiding ATM fees
  • putting your bills on autopay so you never forget a payment

Buy convertible baby gear

When decorating your baby’s nursery, consider purchasing items that have two uses in one. For example, look for a dresser that also functions as a changing station. Going this route will also save space in the nursery. You can also purchase a car seat that functions as a stroller.

Install cameras

Theft can also cost you a pretty penny, so take charge and install security cameras as soon as you learn that there’s a baby on the way. Having cameras will also give you that peace of mind you need as a new parent.

Use a rewards-based system when you meet savings goals

If you meet your savings goal each month, make sure you also have a fun incentive lined up for the entire family. This incentive can be something as simple as going out for ice cream with the family! Make sure you don’t go overboard with the spending, or else what was the point of saving your money all month long?

Set aside time to outline a new budget for your family

If you have never been big on budgeting, now’s the time to start. The reason being is that it allows you to understand where your money is going at the end of every month. This process will also allow you to make adjustments. If you find that you’re too busy to sit down and watch a movie on your streaming service, cancel it.

Put that money towards your savings, or use it to buy yourself lunch instead!

Don’t put your health on the backburner: Doing so will cost you!

Your child needs a healthy parent to take care of them, so don’t skimp on your healthcare! While money saving tips for new parents are important, you’ll also save money by taking care of yourself now in the present, and you won’t have to be sent to a funeral home too early in your life!

See a doctor for your disability

If you have one or more disabilities, make sure to see a doctor before your baby is born. They can prescribe pain medication or help you learn how to navigate child-rearing when you have a disability.

Take care of your teeth too

Pre-teens aren’t the only ones who get braces. Adults can get them too. Get this health issue sorted before your baby arrives.

Find a hobby you love

As a parent looking to save money, ensure you’re also taking care of your mental health. Find a hobby you love, like hiking, swimming, or even knitting.

Barely scraping by as a new parent can be rough on anyone, so use this hobby to express yourself and to stay sane.


A lack of money doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying all of life’s great moments with your baby. Take the load off and implement these money saving tips for new parents so you can get back to the things that actually matter — enjoying your little one.