Ten Sure-Fire Ways to Save Big Bucks on Baby Gear
by Ann Douglas
You’ve no doubt seen all the scary statistics on the costs of raising children — numbers that may very well have you second-guessing your decision to toss your birth control pills in the trash! Well, despite what some people would have you believe, starting a family doesn’t have to lead to financial ruin. While it may be tempting to wear the numbers off your credit card as you merrily shop for the new arrival, there are plenty of practical steps you can take to minimize the impact on your family’s budget. Here are a few ideas.
- Learn to differentiate between products that your baby really needs and those that are merely masquerading as necessities. Not all baby products are created equal: some are absolute lifesavers; others are nothing more than expensive frills. Your mission as a first-time parent is to learn to tell the difference. The best way to get this type of insider advice is to talk to other new parents — parents who’ve made their way through the baby store jungle recently and who are willing to let you know which products were worth every penny and which ones your baby could definitely live without. (Think baby wipe warmers!)
- Hold off on shopping for baby for as long as you can. The sooner you start hitting the baby stores, the more money you’re going to spend. By the time you make your thirty-fifth trip to the local baby specialty store, you will have long since lost track of which items you’ve already got stashed away in your baby’s room — something that will inevitably cause you to overbuy.
- Train yourself to check your emotions at the baby store door. You’ll spend a lot more money if you let your heart rather than your head guide your purchasing decisions. If you wake up one morning and find yourself positively oozing with maternal sentiment, it’s probably a good day to give your credit card a rest. Otherwise, you could end up buying six of everything just because you’re so darned happy to be having a baby.