Think about Spending Differently
While most expectant mothers daydream of a picture perfect nursery and a baby dressed in the cutest outfits, thinking about these expenses realistically can help keep your costs in check. "It's really easy for expectant parents to get wrapped up in cradles and bottle warmers, when infancy only lasts a little while. If I could do it over, I would save the money we spent on frills for the later years," says Hilary Evans of Fort Dodge, Iowa.
William Connington, owner of Connington Wealth Management Group in Pine Brook, New Jersey, points out, "Most parents want to provide more for their children than they were given by theirs." But this kind of thinking can lead to incredible costs.
"Kids can be very expensive if parents purchase brand new, top-notch everything for them. I think parents can manage the costs by saying no to some of the high-priced toys and purchasing baby furniture, equipment, and clothes secondhand," suggests Brigitte Thompson of Williston, Vermont.
A frugal approach will continue to work as your child ages as well. "Children's interests and abilities change so quickly. It doesn't make sense to buy a lot of things or pay top-dollar for things that they will only use for a short time," offers Elise Monroe of Trenton, New Jersey.
Consignment and secondhand stores offer great buys on high quality, lightly used items. Careful comparison shopping will allow you to get good prices for items you buy new. If you start to develop a habit of spending wisely, you will not only be able to control costs throughout your child's life, but also set an excellent example for him or her.