Becoming a new parent is filled with surprises, joys, and lots of change. Here’s how you can put away cash and avoid losing money where you don’t need to—and it will add up to more than a few coins!
10 Ways to Save Money as a New Parent
1. Shrink Shopping Costs
As a new parent, you’ll save more money than expected if you lower your grocery expenses. Plan out meals, or at least dinners, for the week ahead. Use an online service to deliver your groceries, so you’ll be less likely to purchase “impulse buys.” Join your local supermarket’s reward program for greater discounts and coupons, and buy your grains, rice, beans and oatmeal, and other goods in bulk.
2. Buy Used Instead of New
Ask family and friends for hand-me-downs. Visit your local thrift shop, yard sales, and online marketplace for gently used products. You’ll find clothes, shoes, toys, and furniture in almost-new condition for a fraction of the cost—or even for free!
3. Review Your Spending Habits
Awareness is knowledge. Notice where you may be overspending and consider what expenses you may be able to trim down or remove. If reviewing your expenses feels overwhelming, start small. Choose one credit card or a single area of your finances, such as grocery shopping or utilities, to review each month and go from there.
4. Make Home Energy Adjustments
Find simple ways to save money by lowering your energy costs. Switch out traditional light bulbs for LED ones. Turn off lights when you can use sunshine or if you leave the house. Unplug electronic devices to prevent “phantom energy” that draws on your electric bill. Set your thermostat to a lower temperature at night. Get an insulator for your water heater. Install door and windowsill draft stoppers. Walk instead of driving, if possible.
5. Refinance Your Mortgage
Call your home loan assistant to reduce the interest rate on your loan (translation: you’ll pay less money per month). When you replace your current home loan with a new one, you can cut monthly payments, tap into your home’s equity, or switch from an adjustable-rate to a fixed rate.
6. Cancel Your Gym Membership
If you’re subscribed to a pricey gym, you may want to consider suspending or canceling your membership as a new parent. You may find that working out with other moms, your partner, or doing at-home workout videos is easier and cheaper during this season of your life.
7. Cut Expensive Vacations
Are you usually one to pay a lot for a nice vacation? During new parenthood, think about staying local or choosing a low-budget getaway instead of paying for airfare, lengthy travel, and an expensive resort. You and your family might get just as much pleasure out of an outdoors day trip, a visit to a farm or winery, or staying overnight in an inexpensive bed and breakfast, rather than shelling out cash for a big vacation.
8. Wait Before Making an Expensive Purchase
Do you find yourself at the clothing store, online shopping, or in the furniture aisle wrestling over whether or not to spend the money on something you want? If you’ve found an adorable pair of boots for junior or a new bench for your home but the price tag is high, give yourself 24-hours to think about it before making the purchase. This is a gift to yourself that will allow you to make a financial decision calmly.
9. Swap Out Reusable Items for Disposable Ones
If you’re a new parent, there are times when disposable items make life easier. But if you’re in a position to do so, consider how much money you will save swapping disposable diapers for cloth ones, using towels, cloth napkins, and rags instead of paper napkins and paper towels. Can you use glass or reusable containers in place of plastic baggies and throwaway kitchenware? This will reduce your grocery bill, as well.
10. Cancel Auto-Renew and Other Subscriptions
Do you have a magazine, monthly gift-box, or cable subscription you don’t need? Try writing down one to three subscriptions off the top of your head. Then, cancel them and save money each month. If you can, make a list of your entire household’s monthly and yearly subscriptions and see what can be eliminated. You could end up saving hundreds of dollars with this step alone.