How to prepare for baby on a budget?

Congratulations! You would be a parent - discovering so many emotions and feelings when a baby is about to be born. You are excited about the little guy who is about to be part of your family, a little nervous about the unknown, maybe even worried about how you go to pay for it all. There is no doubt that babies need a lot and can be expensive.

To help ease these concerns, we would share some tips to help you prepare for the arrival of your new baby on a budget. They are doable, absolutely doable. That's it.

Make a list and divide it into 'need' and 'want'

There are countless baby products, gadgets, and tools out there, and as a new parent, it can be overwhelming to sift through page after page online (or walk down the aisle after aisle in a store). Before you are overwhelmed, put together a list of baby items and supplies you think you would need. Ask friends and family what their "must-haves" were or are.

From there, organize your list into needs—you cannot live without them, and things you want—that would be nice but not necessities. By creating this hierarchical list, you can allocate your baby budget to meet "needs" and then use the rest of the money to venture into your "want" list.

TIP: It might be nice to tell grandparents or your friends these "wants" - you make great gifts!

Increase Yard Sales and Online Facebook Groups

Buying used baby items will save you a lot of money, especially if you start your search early, so you have time to wait for what you're looking for to pop up. Spend a few hours on a Saturday morning for a yard sale and try to get there first, then you have the best selection.

Location-specific Facebook yard sales groups are very prevalent and good ways to get deals on similar new baby products. Search Facebook for terms like your city + yard sale (e.g.: Salt Lake City yard sale) and request to join. Some virtual yard sales groups solely focused on baby or children's products noted in the group name or description. Once you are a member of this group, use the group "search" function for an item such as a bouncer or a crib, any result will pop up. (the magnifying glass in the upper right corner of the page when viewing Facebook from a computer - the mobile/app version does not search very well). Also, keep an eye on the group to see what new projects would post.

Tip: When buying used and used items, be sure to check the product for any recalls or warnings. Check the items to ensure they are in safe working condition.

Contact your insurance company about the breast pumps

Before you sell yourself some cash for a breast pump, check with your insurance company to see what it offers. Under the Affordable Care Act, your health insurance company must cover the cost of the breast pump. You can read more about breastfeeding benefits under the Affordable Care Act. 

Take advantage of samples and coupons

If you're giving birth in the hospital, most people will send you home some diapers, wipes, pacifiers, and other baby items at checkout. When I had my first child, I brought home nearly 150 diapers and countless packs of wipes.

Many infant formula brands have programs, such as the Enfamil Family Start Program, which is free to sign up for, and you'll receive samples and supplies kits worth up to $250. Check out other formulation brands like Similac and Gerber to take advantage of their samples and procedures.

Congrats again to the new members!

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