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Archive for April, 2014

Kids Aren’t So Expensive

I often hear how expensive it is to be a parent. It makes me really sad to watch people putting off having kids until they’re “financially ready”. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not a bad plan. But as I’ve often been told, if you keep waiting to be ready(especially financially), then you’ll never be ready. And I think it’s a very common misconception that having kids and starting a family is crazy expensive when in reality, it’s only really expensive if you make it so.

Think about. Think about everything you just have to have. Do you really need them? Are they necessities? Could you have survived without it? In most cases, the answer is that it wasn’t necessary. It just made things more convenient.

But having kids isn’t about convenience. It’s about raising a human being. It’s about unconditional love and always being there to support this child. It’s about watching them grow and be who they wish to become. And giving them all the tools they need to make it in this world.

“All the tools they need? That’s expensive.” No friends… It’s really not. Let’s take a look at a few ways to save lots of money.

 

Research pregnancy. Everything about pregnancy and birth. Know your rights. Know what tests can be refused. Which ones aren’t necessary to have. Don’t go crazy on ultrasounds. I didn’t see a midwife until I was already 16 weeks along. There were no risks and it wasn’t necessary. Minimal visits means minimal costs. Very simple and so easy for those with low risk pregnancies.

Have a natural birth. Don’t get the unnecessary interventions. Remember that you are paying for every thing they use during labor. Having an epidural costs more than doing it naturally. And if you can go without, do it. A woman’s body was meant to birth. Yes, there are instances where that just doesn’t work but stop trying to find excuses or allowing others to find them for you and trust in yourself and your body. Many women come out of natural births feeling completely restored and empowered.

 

Breastfeed. Yes, breastfeeding is a HUGE cost reduction. If you are able to do so, and most women are, then why wouldn’t you? It’s better for baby, it doesn’t carry the risks of formula, gives baby antibodies and other things to boost immune system, and it’s free! Baby can live off breastmilk up to the age of one. Food isn’t necessary before the child turns one. Think of how much can be saved during that first year if you aren’t purchasing 25+ dollars of formula. Probably several cans a month. That’ insane!

 

Feed baby what you eat. Just get a baby bullet or something similar and feed baby regular vegetables and fruits. No need to buy baby food. Baby food is more expensive than just doing it yourself as you are paying for the service and labor that goes into it. And parents often have jars of baby food left over. If you just use the food you eat, it’s already something you plan to purchase so you aren’t spending any extra or wasting any money. Before you know it, baby won’t need baby food and will be able to eat food cut into little pieces. Baby food is really just a transition process.

If you you breastfeed for a year, baby food is only going to be for play in most cases as all their nourishment comes from breastmilk. Solids shouldn’t be started before 6 months giving babies tummy time to develop and properly be able to handle digesting solids. Holding off longer doesn’t harm the baby in anyway.

 

Cloth diapers. Cloth diapers are an amazing investment. Looking into cloth diapers you may think it’s crazy to spend 10 bucks or more on one diaper, but you will be reusing this diaper. You can’t reuse disposables. You can also resell cloth diapers when you’re done with them or use them on your next baby. A good cloth diaper can last about 5 years or so.

My cloth diaper stash consists of 46 diapers for 250. 46 diapers is enough to cloth two babies! A large box of disposables is about 40 dollars. If I only go through one box a month, that’s 480 dollars a year, 960 for two years. That’s money that you’ve just thrown away. If I choose to sell off my cloth diapers right now, I could probably get 175 back. And I spend nothing extra because I use the same detergent on my diapers as I do our regular clothes. You can also get cloth wipes.

I truly encourage all new parents to look into cloth. It’s no longer the same as the horror stories you may have heard growing up. My parents used plastic bags to cover our cloth diapers so we didn’t leak. I’ve heard some horror stories my self, but I love our cloth. They even work as pants so my son can just wear a tshirt and a cloth diaper when it’s warm out.

 

Clothes. Clothes is a big one I think. Parents go over board when it comes to baby’s closet. Why? The child will grow out of it really quickly. My son spends most of his days in nothing but a diaper. We could probably get buy with 7 different outfits. He only wears clothes if we leave the house. I know for some people, that’s a lot more than it is for me, and that’s fine. You can still save. Buy hand me downs. Don’t be to proud to buy cheap clothes. What does a baby need brand names for? What does anybody need brand names for? If you are more focused on image than your actual needs, then you have a whole nother problem.

 

Toys. Does your child need all the toys he/she has? Does he/she play with them? Probably not. We have downgraded immensely on toys. We have a box of toys in the closet and a toy box filled with toys. When he gets really bored with the toys he has, we swap them for the box in the closet and it’s like all brand new toys again. He also plays with random things in the house. Measuring cups and utensils. Boxes. Laundry hampers. Sticks. Kid has an imagination and we let him use it.

 

Those are just a few ways I can think of to save money but there are many many more. I may make another post in the future about it but for now, I’ll leave you with this.

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