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By Natalie Bracco

Some of the best advice on how to save money for the first time mom, because your little bundle can cost you big and here’s a few tips on how to avoid blowing your budget.

As a first time to be a parent I’m sure you are giddy with pride, and positively beaming with the thoughts of what your child might become. You dream and hope the world for your baby. This excitement might cause you to buy unnecessary stuff. As a veteran parent of three teenagers here are a financial few hacks I’ve learned. Work daycare into your budget As a working mom, it’s inevitable that at one point your baby will have to go to daycare. With my first child, I grossly underestimated how much it would cost, trust me it’s no cheap affair. I would urge you to have separate saving accounts just for daycare expenses. Sit down with your spouse and figure out how much each of you can realistically contribute after every payday. This may seem overly exaggerated but you will be surprised to know that for the first four years or so this will be one of your biggest expenses.

Maximize your maternity benefits

This is wholly contingent on the company you work for. For instance, the public sector has their own predefined policy. You definitely want to have a serious talk with your insurance provider and HR rep to understand exactly what’s covered. Your findings may surprise you since many policies offer great perks. Everything from car seats which is typically one of the most expensive items for a child to postnatal pilates classes.

Dress for comfort, not fashion.

Children outgrow clothing at a warp speed and guess what? Babies and infants are the quickest of the bunch. We’re talking a matter of months here so don’t waste any extra funds on the designer or even brand name items. Leave that to the baby shower folks. so a great way to save on clothes is to invest in gender neutral clothes, unisex clothes are perfect for children you may have down the road or for your friend’s baby who might be a different gender than your own bundle of joy. Buying gender neutral upfront ensures you’ll be able to use them again and again. Another way is to buy used baby clothes that typically have very little wear and tear on them. You will have no problem finding extremely affordable second-hand articles that still make your child look presentable.

Look for a babysitting co-op program

Chances are you’re already going to be spending a bundle on daycare. The last thing you want to do is to carry that expense over to your evenings and weekends. A co-op program will help alleviate this. The idea is pretty simple; groups of parents team up and take turns watching each other’s kids at no cost.

Purchase diapers in bulk

The average baby will use upwards of ten thousand diapers. The truth hurts, but such is life. With a little bit of web sleuthing, you can unearth some pretty amazing bulk deals on Amazon and a few other sites.

Don’t skimp on the car seat

As earlier stated, this is a crucial item and you don’t want to cut corners with it. Aside from the obvious safety factor, a poorly made, overused or out-of-date child seat could end up costing you a bundle in the long run. You can actually pay a hefty fine if you’re caught with one that doesn’t meet set standards.

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