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How to Budget for a New Baby
Many members of the military have small children, or plan on having children in the near future. While the addition of a baby to the family is always exciting, there are serious financial issues you need to consider. Adding a dependent is expensive, so having the right financial plan is necessary.
Know what you need to spend
There are some essential expenses that you will need to factor into your budget when you have a baby. These expenses can vary depending on the items you still need to purchase, or what issues come up, but you can find these products at your local Exchange, PX, NEX and off-base shops.
- Cleaning products – You are going to need money for diapers, baby wipes and creams, as well as baby-safe shampoos and soaps. If you notice your costs are going to exceed your budget, consider reusable cloth diapers to save some money.
- Food – While you may be breastfeeding early on, feeding your little one formula is also an option. As the baby gets older, they will be eating baby food and solids. Talk to your doctor to get a better idea of your baby’s needs.
- Clothing – You may need to buy clothing for your child quite often, as your baby will grow quickly. Small items are not typically very expensive on their own, but they can add up quickly. If you have a friend or family member who recently had a child, they may have some items their baby has outgrown that they’d be happy to hand down.
Be sure to avoid excessive spending
Purchasing items for your new baby will likely be expensive both before and after they arrive, but the following tips can help relieve the pressure to your budget.
- Don’t buy too many baby items – While you may want to spoil your baby, it is important to not get carried away. Spending a lot on these items could hurt your finances without reason.
- Go out less often – This may happen anyway now that you have a baby, but cutting costs like going out for dinner and going to the movies may help out.
- Look for help – Family members are usually quite willing to help when a new baby comes along, so you may have some ability to use your cash for important expenses.