5 Easy Ways to Save Money as a New Parent
5 Easy Ways to Save Money as a New Parent
My friend Brooke, over at Mother Me Crazy has some great tips on saving money and budgeting. Saving money in general can be very difficult for a lot of people. It is about 1000 times worse when you are a new parent. It seems like all of your money is going toward your new bundle of joy and all of the baby products that come along with her, leaving nothing for you or your bills. Well, I am here to tell you how I made it through the newborn phase and show you how you can save money as a new parent.
Having a budget and sticking to it, can show you that you actually do have a little extra to put into savings. A simple budget could be written on paper, or you can use apps like Mint or YNAB (You Need A Budget) for your family budget. Personally, I have used all 3 and they are all great for their own reasons.
Some tips for budgeting:
Build a safety net first
The easiest way to get out of debt is to not get into it. By building an emergency fund, you will have that to rely on and you will be able to avoid using creditors for those unforeseen expenses and placing yourself into more debt.
What do you actually need to spend money on? Where can you spend less and save more money?
Separate into Fixed Cost and Adjustable costs
Fixed costs being things like rent and car insurance which cannot be adjusted by you. Adjustable costs being things like groceries or shopping expenses which you can adjust and change to fit your budget.
Pay off debt
Target the debts with the highest interest rate first - like your credit cards. My boyfriend and I have very different ways of paying off debt, both of which are effective. I like to throw small amounts at the debt often, whereas he likes to throw large amounts less often and see a greater difference. Find what works for you and stick to it. Once your debt is payed off, you can then reallocate those funds to either paying off another debt or for build up your savings account.
Reset on Pay Day
This works especially well if you are paid via salary or your pay checks are a consistent amount. On pay day, everything that is left in your account right before you get paid goes into savings. So if you have $860 in your account after you got paid, and your pay check was $800, transfer $60 into your savings account (or pay off debt with it) leaving only the amount of your pay check in your account.
I do this every time I get paid. It helps me to stick to my budget, and only spend what I need to. When I have extra money in my account, I have an urge to spend it. If the extra money is in my savings account, where I am not "allowed" to touch it, it ends up staying in my possession a lot longer.
In addition to this, I put any extra money - like a holiday bonus or back pay - directly into my savings. If it was never in my checking account, I don't miss it, but when it sits in my checking account until I get paid again, I end up having an unconscious desire to spend it, even though I do not need or want to. Burning a hole in my pocket so to speak.
Through your online banking, you can set up an auto-transfer from your checking to your savings account on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Pick an amount that you won't really notice has been transferred, like 5 or 10 dollars, and auto-transfer it to your savings on a regular basis - whether that be daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
This way, you aren't missing a big chunk of money, but you are still building up your savings over time. Did you know that $5 a week is $260 over the course of just 1 year? That's a lot less than some people spend on their morning coffee! Now if you add in the money you've saved through resetting your account on payday, you'd save quite a bit in a year!
Coupons and Deals
There are a tonne of places to find coupons, deals and free samples as a new mom. If you just google "baby product coupons" or "new Mom coupons" you could probably feed and clothe your baby until their first birthday for free.
If you like to use a specific product, be sure to sign up for their rewards program and email list. Most companies send out coupons or free vouchers to their subscribers, which will help you save a lot of money for the duration of using their product. Once you are no longer using the product, simply unsubscribe.
There are always sale's on at the grocery store as well. Save some cash by opting for the item that is on sale rather than the one that isn't. Or simply select the cheaper one when neither of them are on sale.
Cut Out 1 Item per Day
Do you really NEED 2 XL cups of coffee in the morning? Try getting one less and put the money you saved into your savings account. It might only be $2.19 per day but guess what? That's $15.33 per week and $797.16 per year. Imagine what you could do at the end of the year with almost $800, just imagine! Or what you could do with the $3985.80 of savings in just 5 years. All from cutting out a single coffee per day.
Avoid online shopping
I know, I know, I said 5 easy ways to save money as a new parent. But this one's good, I promise! Avoid shopping online! Amazon is great, I know, but just ask yourself - "Would I buy this if I had to put pants on, get baby n e car, drive to the store, haul it around while I shop for everything else, wait in the crazy long line, load it into the car, drive home and bring it into the house?" Probably not. So don't buy it online. It is extremely easy to chuck money at an online store without thinking about it. Sooner or later, you are going to be wondering how there is only $25 left in your account and why the mailman keeps ringing your doorbell and waking your baby up!
It is much harder to spend money when you have to put in the effort of going to the store.
I hope this article has helped you to realize how easy it really is to save money. If you put all of these practices to work right now, just think about how soon you could be on the way to Disney with the family!
Got your own methods for saving money? I'd love to hear about them, share in the comments below!
Hello! I’m Brooke, I blog over at www.MotherMeCrazy.com, where our mission is to provide the information required for new Mom's and Dad's to survive the newborn phase and beyond. When I'm not blogging, you can find me hanging out with my own baby, Hadley, who is less than a year old. I hope that every new mom out there knows that they are not alone.