Practical ways to save when you have a baby
ONE way to save money is to breastfeed as much as possible. Exclusive breastfeeding is free!
Even if you choose to purchase a breast pump and a few essential accessories to enhance your breastfeeding experience, these one-time costs are still significantly less than weekly or monthly formula purchases for a year or more.
Plus, breast milk contains everything your baby needs, including many beneficial nutrients not found in infant formula. Healthier babies require fewer doctor visits or hospitalizations, reducing healthcare costs and saving your family more.
You can also sign up for newsletters from infant formula and baby food companies. Although breastfeeding offers many benefits and is the cheapest way to feed your baby, not all mothers can breastfeed. Some mothers feed their babies both breast milk and formula, while others switch to formula after breastfeeding for several months.
Check the websites and social media platforms of infant formula and baby food companies and sign up for their newsletters. They often send out free samples and coupons. Compare brands and stores. Check which store has the best deal or the lowest price. You can also consider buying in bulk to save money. But try the brand first to make sure your baby likes it and can digest it.
You can also prepare your own baby food. As your baby grows, it may be more cost effective to make your own baby food at home than to buy it from the jar. Making your own baby food is not only easy but also healthier. Store-bought baby foods often contain preservatives. Baby foods are basically vegetable, fruit and protein purees. You can make your own at home by steaming or boiling fruits or vegetables, then blending them in a blender until smooth.
Other practical tips to reduce the cost of having a baby are:
Research area hospitals ahead of time. Ask your family and friends for recommendations and pick one you like and can afford.
Ask your doctor for an estimate of the cost of examinations, hospitalization and childbirth.
Whenever your doctor recommends an expensive test or procedure as part of your prenatal care, ask why it’s needed and if there are other options.
Ask your doctor for free product samples or coupons for vitamins and baby products.
Text or call your doctor to discuss an issue before scheduling an appointment. A very experienced doctor may be able to diagnose a disease directly over the phone and give you advice without going to the clinic right away. Some doctors may not charge you for a quick consultation, which will also save you time and transportation costs, especially if the hospital or clinic is far from your home.
Try to negotiate with your doctor or hospital for a lower rate.
Check your hospital bill item by item. Hospital billing errors can occur. See if they charged you for items you never used and have those items removed from the bill.
Pay in cash if possible. Some hospitals generally charge much lower fees to those who pay in cash.
Ask about payment plans. Many hospitals offer payment plans for those who cannot afford to pay the full amount up front. Speak to a financial planner or advisor if you need help managing your finances.
While having a baby can be an incredible journey filled with wonder and excitement, it can also be a serious financial event that you need to plan ahead for. The cost of having a baby is no joke and can skyrocket if there are complications or unexpected events.
You’ll likely feel overwhelmed during the first few days of your baby’s life, so it’s important to start thinking about your finances earlier and organize your wallet before your little one arrives.
And if you’re still unsure about certain costs or how to make the whole baby budget work, pick the brains of family members or friends who have had babies recently. Chances are they’ll be happy to share some of their experiences and hopefully reassure you that the financial aspect of new parenthood is still manageable.
Janice Sabitsana is a graduate of the Registered Financial Planner program and hosts the blog www.thepinayinvestor.com. To learn more about personal financial planning, attend the 97th RFP program in August 2022. To inquire, email [email protected] or text at 0917-6248110.