Parents: 10 Money Tricks for New Parents

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A close friend of mine is expecting and, with joys of having a newborn baby comes lots and lots of expenses. We are both finance nerds and finance dominates a lot of our conversations. We both acknowledged that it is tough to think about saving, investing and parenthood when facing a whole new category of costs from health care to baby formula. It is overwhelming, especially for a new bride, moving to a new city and expecting – but here are 10 money tricks that can help as a new parent:

#1 Breastfeeding

Whenever you can, breastfeed. It is not only healthy but you can save you a lot in your first year with your child. You can also save by waiting to buy breastfeeding clothes for nursing in public. Wait as long as you can until you are committed to breastfeeding since you’ll be indoors in the first three months anyway.

#2 Baby Food

Make some baby food. Instead of relying on baby formula, when your baby is of age, mash some zucchini, pumpkins or ripe bananas. Make one more serving and save another.

#3 Think Big

Buy goods in bulk. There is a high probability that if you are a new mum you are taking advantage of stocking up on all the food and supplied that cost far less when you bought large quantities.

#4 Swap Goods

Exchange clothes and toys. You can pass on or seek out hand-me-down clothes, toys, and books from friends and relatives. While you are at it, have a heartfelt conversation about being a parent.

#5 Unisex Clothes

Mix up and buy unisex shades & styles. When you are having your first baby, mix up the pinks/blues with unisex shades because you next child might be boy/girl. Those hand-me-down clothes would be useless unless if you buy only pink/blue clothes.

#6 Baby Wipes

DIY homemade wipes. These could save you a lot in the long run. Purchase nice soft paper towels that won’t fall apart when wet.  Place them in a plastic container – soak the towels in some baby wash, olive oil/baby oil/essential oil of your choice, and some water.

#7 Life Insurance

Get some life insurance. It is never too early to seek out a great life insurance product to save money for your child’s education fund. This will enable you to take advantage of the huge tax benefits that come along with life insurance products.

#8  Gifts

Create a gift list. For birthday gifts and other holiday gifts, ask family to give presents for things that not only help your child but as well as actually help your budget in the long run i.e. clothes, sports gear or music instruments/lessons. Do away with the useless plastic toys that they can outgrow.

#9 Saving

Automate savings. As a new part, it is wise to stash away some money every month from the day the baby comes along. You can start off with KES 1000 a month is a great start and years later you may have a significant reserve fund that can be used to fuel your college or help with emergencies.

#10 Educate Your Children

Teach your child to be mindful of money. As your child grows up they too start can start adding as well. These are the kind of lessons that will last a lifetime and reduce the risk of having an entitled child. A financial conscious child knows that money isn’t plucked from trees and therefore, will not ask for outrageous things over the years.


I understand that it is hard to shift your thinking overnight to align with your new life as a parent. It isn’t easy. However, keep rocking and don’t be afraid of failure.

You can click on the following links to read more about kids and money:

 

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Irene Makanga
Irene has an MBA in Finance and is an avid businesswoman, passionate about financial literacy.

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