According to Forbes magazine, Jan 2015, it's costing the average millennial couple $245,340 (£173,084) per child from newborn to 18.
Phew! That is a lot, right?
The total includes housing food, clothing, education, extracurricular and many other costs you might associate with being a parent. There a few well-noted tips from parents around the globe about how to trim the costs of raising your children, here are the top 5 ways to save a little cash on the run up to the birth of your gorgeous bundle.
- Millions of parents get the spending bug as soon as the two little blue lines appear. That's great, but most of us (myself included) end up buying newborn, in bulk. Our nurseries become laden with vests, full outfits, and tiny booties, most of which won't even fit in a little over two months. In reality, what we should be buying is a small selection of 0-3 months, 3-6 months and go easy on the accessories like headbands and booties. By stocking up on various sizes, you will be cutting the costs of buying new sizes further down the line and are less likely to wake up one day and almost nothing fits your baby!
- Thrift Store/Secondhand shops and online stores like eBay are brimming with BNWT (brought new with tags) items for a snip of the cost of full retail price. Some things, like car seats, should always be new as you can never be sure they haven't been damaged before, from a safety perspective it's always better to pick those up brand new. From an ethical and green point of view, however, it's responsible to buy second-hand clothing, this makes a lot of new parents shudder at the thought but in reality, babies are in clothes for such a short amount of time the clothing you've purchased in excess will be churned out into the 'too small' pile a matter of weeks.
- Free Stuff. What do you mean free stuff? Sample sites are amazing little treasure troves on the internet giving us access to free samples of everything from nappies and soothers to nappy cream and money off vouchers. During my pregnancies, I stocked up on small samples and was able to fill bags with mini tubes of nappy cream, emergency nappies, socks and even toys. Sites like Free Stuff Baby are brimming with goodies, and although it might take a couple of minutes to fill in your address you could end up using what you get for years. I still have potty training charts, stickers, spoons and even bowls that we still use now.
- Choose unisex styles where possible. We were very lucky and ended up having three girls, so the pink overload of clothes I received and purchased with baby one are still going strong 9 years later with baby three. However, I know more than one family who had a girl first and then a little boy, wasting dresses, skirts and plenty of bright pink floral outfits. 'Hand me downs' can save a huge amount of cash on subsequent babies and if you are really lucky to have a friend or family who has a stash of baby clothing and you are offered it, take it! Even if you might not use it all, there will be plenty you will need and use.
- Accept help and gifts. If you've been blessed with great family and friends, you might have offers of items like cots and pushchairs, clothes and more. Have a look at what you really need, the essentials for baby, many new parents spend a lot of cash on things they don't really need and actually won't even work when the baby arrives. The NHS has a great baby list of things you will likely need without going OTT.
You might think your bundle of joy needs nine pairs of shoes, but they don't, trust me.