Are You a New Parent?
This week, a reader sent me an article with money tips for new parents. It has a lot of great ideas even if you don’t have a new baby, and you can read it HERE. The article is long and detailed, so in my post this week I’ll do some of the legwork for new parents, college students, or new parents in college (who need the most help of all). I’ve identified three points from the article that could help anyone concerned with their financial health, such as not buying designer clothes, planning big purchases wisely, and buying food in bulk when possible.
Designer clothes are hard to pass up- they’re stylish, usually well-made, and they’re something of a status symbol. We need to have nice clothes for job interviews, weddings, and other big events. But wearing trendy designer clothes is not necessary day-to-day, especially when you’re buying for a new baby. If you’re buying expensive clothes for your baby, she’ll practically grow out of them before you can get them on her. Your bank account will take a hit that it won’t easily recover from, so make use of hand-me-downs from family and friends. Boulder has a store dedicated to cloth diapers and used baby clothes, called Childish Things. You can visit their website HERE.
For yourself, Boulder has great thrift stores full of clothes that are well-made and don’t look half bad. I’m thinking of Plato’s Closet, Savers, and Goodwill, in addition to the bigger stores like Ross, Marshall’s, and Target. Buffalo Exchange often has prices in between the thrift stores and the bigger retailers.
The article above also recommends planning for big purchases, which I think is always a good idea. But it’s an especially good idea when strollers, beds, and medical bills all come with a new baby. What I said about clothes earlier applies here too; family and friends, thrift stores, and Craigslist often have the sorts of items new parents need. If you know you’ll need something new and expensive in the future, start saving regularly. Set a little money aside, and big purchases won’t seem so big when you can safely pay for them. If you don’t have a baby, your big purchases are probably cars and electronics, and it’s good to save for both of these. If you can put money down on a car, you’ll pay less in interest in the long-run. This is important because cars lose value over time, and you’ll never be able to sell it for what you paid. By planning for a big purchase, it’s true that you might not be able to get the nice computer or phone immediately. But that’s okay- it would have been obsolete once you bought it anyway!
Since you’re a college student like me, I bet you like Ramen noodles. I know I do – I buy them by the boxload, 24 at a time. It isn’t the healthiest way to eat, but it is one of the cheapest. My point is that by buying food in bulk, you can get discounts. If you know you love to eat something, head to Costco or Sam’s Club (hopefully you have a friend with a membership) and buy it by the pallet. If you spend all your money on baby formula, you might have to live off of one thing for a while. I would be fine with Ramen noodles, but maybe those aren’t for you. My roommate’s mom would cook a whole chicken over the weekend and then eat off of it for the rest of the week. She knew she wouldn’t have time to make dinner every day, so she found a cheap and healthy way to get through the week.
The linked article above is full of good advice, even if the three points I identified taste like bitter medicine. But if you have a baby, you will never regret your personal financial sacrifices. You’ll be making your baby’s life happier and more stable by planning ahead. Of course if you don’t have a baby, your own finances will be more stable when you look for deals on food and clothes.Share on Facebook