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The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that it costs $233,610 to raise a baby until they’re 17 years old. Idk about you, but that number made my eyes bulge out of their sockets. Log this under stuff parents don’t tell you when they ask you why you don’t have kids. (Plot twist folks: This is why. The whole situation looks expensive.) Anywho. Starting a family doesn’t have to be something you put off indefinitely if you do a bit of planning and smart spending. Here are some things you should not buy during pregnancy:
Baby Do-Dads You Can Get From Someone Else
First baby? If you’re starting from scratch, you may not have to get everything. Reach out to friends and family to see if they have basinets, cribs, toys, baths and more that they’re not using. You can refresh items and make them “new to you” with a bit of paint. There are tons of videos on YouTube of baby stuff DIY projects.
Baby Clothes and Expensive Ass Brands
Yes, baby clothes are cute. Why wouldn’t you want to get outfits for every season? Why wouldn’t you want to get sneakers for your baby that they’re only going to wear once?
If things are tight, forgo the pretty clothes. Babies grow fast and they may not be going out to fancy events anyway, especially in their first few months of life. Spend money on good quality onesies, socks, hats, and clothes they’ll be wearing often.
Okay—you need medical supplies, of course. We’re not trying to cheap out and kill our babies here. But you may not have to pay for medical supplies completely out-of-pocket, and this is important. Using an HSA offers a tax-benefit and you can use this cash to spend on products.
An HSA account is a health savings account you can sign up for if you have a high-deductible health plan or HDHP. HDHPs have lower regular payments (which make them enticing for people who don’t go to the doctor often), but if you have a medical event, you have to pay more out-of-pocket before you reach your deductible. To help with some of these costs, you’re able to save in the aforementioned HSA.
Contributions to your HSA reduce your taxable income and when you use the money to pay for qualifying medical expenses you don’t have to pay tax on the money. Whippee!
You can use money in your HSA for deductibles, prescriptions, and dental care. (You may already know this.) But did you know you can also use it on baby related stuff like wipes, breast pumps, vitamins, baby thermometers, and much more? Learn all the items that are eligible here.
If you have an HSA, try to contribute to the account a little bit each month. After nine months, you’ll have a nice chunk of change to spend on medical related baby products.
Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are kind of like HSA accounts except you don’t need a HDHP and it’s typically through your employer. You can contribute money pre-tax for medical expenses and other expenses like childcare! These are “use it or lose it” accounts. Learn more here.
Explore Your Options
Finding out you’re pregnant can cause a rude financial awakening even if you were planning to grow your family. You don’t have to go crazy with the spending and this list of things you should not buy during pregnancy can help.
Fortunately, there are tools you can use to save up cash for stuff (HSA and FSA accounts) plus you can rely on hand-me-downs and smart shopping to make ends meet. Don’t panic, dear friend—plan!
Need some savings tips? Check out these posts next:
- How to save money when you’re broke as hell
- How to budget with variable income
- 100+ things to cut from your budget
- 107+ things to do instead of spending money
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