Practical Advice for New Parents on a Budget
The arrival of a new baby brings families overwhelming love and happiness. However, this tiny bundle of joy can also come with big expenses. Often, it means an extra mouth to feed, childcare costs, diaper costs and as a result, emptier pockets. The statistics don’t give much hope either. In the first year alone, the cost of raising a child can run to upwards of $21,000.
Fortunately, with adequate planning and advice, you can save more money, stretch your dollars, sleep better and help save the environment while at it.
1. Consider Investing in Plant-Based Diapers
For your child to grow up in a healthy and happy future, there has to be a future in the first place. The current trajectory and deteriorating climate mean we need to make better choices now — starting with diapers.
The average baby uses 3,000 disposable diapers each year. Every single one of them ends up in a landfill, introducing waste into groundwater and further worsening the climate crisis.
That said, there are eco-friendly diaper alternatives out there. Dyper, for example, makes bamboo diapers made with viscose from sustainably sourced Bamboo and packed with oxy degradable materials.
If you thought it can’t get any more environmentally friendly, it does. Dyper has a ReDyper service that allows you to send your diapers back for composting. This way, they don’t end up in a landfill somewhere. Above that, for any purchase you make, Dyper buys environmental credits to help with deforestation efforts.
2. Buy Secondhand
There are dozens of reasons to buy secondhand goods for your home and family. The clothing industry, for example, is the second-largest polluter of the environment, according to World Economic Forum. By buying used clothes and accessories, you decrease the demand for new items to be manufactured. This helps reduce carbon emissions and save a large amount of resources, water and energy. That’s a lot of good before you even get to the budget part; buying secondhand is significantly cheaper than buying new.
3. Embrace Hand-Me-Downs
Hand-me-downs don’t have to be from immediate siblings — cousins and friends count, too. Hand-me-downs are not only free, but also help create a clean environment by helping reduce consumerism, overproduction, dumping and resource depletion. That’s not all, hand-me-downs form a special bond between a child and their immediate friends and family, all while being easy on your pockets.
4. Babysit With Other Parents
At an average of $18.36 an hour, you’re literally paying for childcare through your teeth. The fact that new parents often resort to taking up additional roles at work makes childcare a tricky situation.
Fortunately, you’re not alone. Together with other parents, you can create a babysitting cooperative where you pool resources and share responsibilities as parents.
5. Don’t Rush to Buy A Bigger Car
Now that you’re expecting another member of your family, it may seem like the time to splurge on a bigger vehicle. Well, don’t buy it. Apart from the fact that buying a new car puts a big dent in your monthly budget, SUVs cost an arm and a leg to maintain. And the horrors don’t end there, SUVs have horrendous gas mileage that will have you weeping at the gas station, and above all, those big bulky engines are terrible for the environment.
The birth of a newborn comes with its fair share of challenges, but is also means better financial decisions, minimalism and less wastage. By making smart choices when it comes to buying necessary items for your baby, you may end up fighting climate change while at it.