PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – We feel the pinch of inflation in purchases every day. Now add up those increased costs over the course of a kid’s entire childhood. The estimated cost to raise a child until they’re 17 is now more than $310,605, according to the Brookings Institution. That’s up more than $26,000 from estimates in 2017.
For new parents, the financial stress can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Andrea Woroch, an author and money-saving expert, says one of the best things you can do to keep costs under control with a new baby is stay put, at least for a little while.
“I think a lot of families out there tend to think that they need a bigger home or a bigger car to accommodate baby, whether it’s your first baby or your third, but the reality is kids don’t need a lot of space,” Woroch said. “So I really recommend sticking with what you have. Adjust to your new lifestyle. Get used to the new expenses that you’re paying and all those unpredictable bills that come with a baby and then give yourself time to figure out what you can comfortably afford.”
Woroch also suggests setting a budget, shopping sales, and finding alternatives to brand-new items, especially if it’s something you’re just going to use for a few months. “I think the best thing you can do is talk to a parent who has gone through it all because I’ve made those same mistakes of feeling like I needed all the latest gadgets,” Woroch said. “Maybe you can borrow from friends or family that recently had babies. It’s also a good idea to buy gently used. Now there are some things you don’t want to buy used, like maybe a car seat or a mattress for the baby crib, but there are plenty of things that you can buy used and save a lot of money.”
“There’s a cool browser tool called Beni, and what it does is it lives on your browser and every time you’re shopping for a baby item online, it will show you if it’s available for resale at another site,” Woroch said. “That can help you save a lot of money.” There are also rental options, like Rents4Baby.com. The companies typically cater to families who are traveling, but if there is a high-dollar product you may only use for a short period of time, Woroch says it could be cost-effective to rent it instead of purchasing it.
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