5 Money-Saving Tips for New Parents
Baby on the way? You’ve probably spent the last few months making lists of what your little one will need and… found that they can add up to quite a tidy sum.
As parents ourselves, we know what that feels like. So, if you are looking for ways stretch your savings with baby on the way, we have just the right tips for you. Here are 5 tips to stock up for your baby’s first year, without breaking the bank.
1. Buy only what you need, when you need it
The sheer joy of expecting a baby may drive you to fill your shopping cart with anything that baby might possibly need.
But babies grow rapidly. All those cute outfits you’ve stockpiled could get too small, too quickly. Here’s an easy money saving tip to start with, especially for new parents.
Buy clothes and shoes just when your baby needs them. All they really need are some staples for home wear, and a few outfits for the occasional outing. To jazz things up, take a leaf from the fashionistas: mix and match their outfits, or accessorise with a headband or a cap.
For larger ticket items such as carriers or prams, it’s even more important to purchase them closer to when you need them.
That’s because buying prams too far in advance “uses up” the warranty period. And because each child is different, your baby might not like the carrier or pram from your storeroom. It pays to wait till your baby is old enough to try it out instore. A comfortable baby makes for a happy parent.
2. Try before you buy
Your child can be finicky. This could include the brand of milk powder, diapers or even the bottles they drink from.
To avoid buying a whole lot of stuff that your baby rejects, try the free samples given out during baby fairs. Most brands would be happy to provide free samples (sometimes in exchange for an email address).
Or, tap on your network of friends or family whose child may be outgrowing certain items. Bottles can easily be sterilised and fixed with a new teat, allowing you to see how your child likes that combination before you head for the stores.
Not spending on unnecessary expenditure can be really helpful in helping you save money for your newborn. It’s eco-friendly too!
3. Think long-term
Saving money for your newborn means saving for their future. These useful ABCs will help you to think long term.
A is for All-ages products
By using products that your baby can use as they grow into toddlers and pre-schoolers, you save money through the years. Especially if these are multi-purpose products.
Take car seats, for example. There are convertible car seats that can hold your child snug and safe from infant to toddler stage; and function as a carrier when it’s clipped onto a stroller frame.
(Note: You might need to get an insert to have your child fitted correctly, but this multi-purpose product can last your baby for years, instead of months.)
B is for Be insured
By getting life insurance early, you reap two benefits for your child. One, the younger your child is, the cheaper the life insurance premiums are likely to be.
Two, it helps your child to be insurable even when they grow older. The benefit of this is that the earlier your child is insured, the cheaper and more affordable insurance is – and the greater your ease of mind for any unforeseen circumstances.
Health and Accident Insurance
Being young, the immune systems of infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers are weaker. This makes them more susceptible to Chicken Pox and Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD), especially if you plan to send them to infant care. A kids’ protection plan is cheap and affordable, and will help you with medical treatment expenses.
Active little ones are also prone to injuries, simply because they run all over the place. With a kids’ protection plan, injuries caused by accidents such as a fracture sustained while playing at the playground are also covered.
C is for CDA
Three, don’t forget to open a savings account for your child. By opening a POSB Smiley Child Development Account (CDA), your baby gets extra savings from day 1. The government matches the amount you save dollar-for-dollar, up to S$3,000. Your baby will also earn 2% interest each year, and there is no cap to the amount that can be earned.
4. Clear the storeroom and stock up
Savvy parents know that a sale or discount is a clarion call to fill their storerooms with baby and toddler products.
When your child goes through 6-8 diapers a day and a tin of milk formula per fortnight, bulk buying is the only way to save on necessities and cut down on trips to the stores.
That’s why it’s common to see this at baby fairs: parents wheeling out cartons of diapers, baby dish-washing liquid, and milk formula. But always remember to compare prices – a big SALE sign doesn’t always mean it is a bargain. If you manage to be savvy with your spending and get more for less, you can afford a baby even on a tight budget.
Oh, and if you have a POSB Smiley CDA, remember to check back regularly for exclusive deals for you and baby.
5. Pre-loved is good enough
Given our country’s relative affluence, there are good bargains to be found when it comes to picking up second-hand items.
Online forums, listing aggregator apps and up-cycling sites all provide plenty of inventory for parents willing to accept a little wear and tear on items.
Given that family sizes are so small in Singapore, that used pram might only have been used for a year and would still have plenty of life to it. It is little wonder why pre-loved items appear on top of checklists for raising a baby on a budget.
But as with any pre-owned items, it is prudent to carefully clean and wash all covers before you let your child use them.
And …with the balance in your kitty at the end of the month, give yourself and your spouse a treat – you’ve earned it!