Baby on a Budget: Cost-Efficiently Raising a Child amid COVID-19

mom and baby

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has pushed several industries to take drastic measures to survive, ranging from temporary business closure to employee reduction. That left several households, especially with kids, in dire financial situations.

Cost of Raising a Child in 2020

The 2015 US Department of Agriculture report showed that raising a child from birth until of legal age costs $233,610 on the average. Single parents in the low-income bracket spend around $172,200, while married couples belonging in the same income bracket spend $174,690.

Over the years, child-care expenses have become the second largest expense for a household. While constituting only 2 percent of the total costs back in the 60s, raising a child now costs over 18 percent. Regardless of what income bracket any household belongs, it is a fact that raising a child can be costly.

Affordable Pointers for Raising a Baby

Having a baby requires a commitment. A financial commitment, to be exact. Though it is a fact that raising a kid is expensive given today’s financial landscape, there are still some aspects of child-rearing which parents can look on to cut back on costs. Here are some of those.

Cheap Diaper Options

Just on disposable diapers alone, parents spend as much as $2,500 from birth until a child is potty trained. There are other cost-efficient alternatives, however, which parents could opt to try.

Parents could switch to the good old cloth diapers. A stash of cloth diapers costs only $300, and you could use it for your next baby. The only downside of such is that you have to deal with a lot of laundries.

Nursery Room

Modern new parents are obsessed with baby nurseries, most spending thousands of dollars on expensive items and furniture, which a baby easily outgrows. What parents need to realize is that all a baby needs is a sturdy crib, a right mattress, and a changing table.

When furnishing a nursery, parents should consider its use in the future, making it fit for an older kid. And instead of buying expensive cribs and changing tables, parents may opt for DIY. With some wood panels, metal products, nails, and screws, you can create a lovely crib and tables.

Secondhand Toys

Most often, parents mistake a child’s wants with needs, resulting in parents spending a lot of money on toys and gears babies and toddlers outgrow fast. Instead of buying new toys and accessories, consider canvasing from friends, relatives, and other parents gently used gears.

But if you don’t know a lot of parents with little kids, consider hitting garage sales and thrift stores. You can find plenty of neat bargains that are almost barely used. With thorough washing, you can make any secondhand toys and gears look new again.

Pre-Loved Clothes

Clothing is another aspect parents could cut expenses on. Kids grow up quickly, and it is ridiculous to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on clothes that could easily be outgrown. Same with toys, parents should opt to purchase gently used items instead.

There are plenty of thrift stores that sell secondhand brand name clothes in good condition. For $2 or less, you can score your kids’ clothes and shoes from GAP, Old Navy, and Tommy Hilfiger. Aside from being cost-efficient, you are helping the environment.

No to Extravagant Birthday Parties

In this social media-driven age, we usually see parents post elaborate birthday parties for their children. Though there is nothing inherently wrong with celebrating birthdays, parents, on average, spend $500 annually for birthday parties.

It is given that kids would want an annual themed birthday party celebrated in some fancy resort, but parents always have the option to say no to their whims. Furthermore, birthdays are supposed to be celebrated with close friends and family. Save those extravagant birthday celebrations for milestone birthdays.

Inexpensive Getaways

Entertainment need not be expensive as well. There are plenty of ways for you and your child to have fun without shelling out. Take advantage of neighborhood parks, local museums, and other free local attractions. Teach your child that even with simple and inexpensive activities, you can have fun

Baby Food

During the first six months, it is highly recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics that babies be breastfed exclusively. The most inexpensive way to nourish an infant is by breastfeeding. But for moms who cannot nurse their babies, milk formulas are alright. You do not necessarily have to buy expensive brand-name formulas. There are plenty of store brands that are similarly nutritious and cost half 50 percent less than brand-name ones.

Though it might sound unsightly financially evaluating how to raise a child, being well-prepared takes a lot of burden off your shoulders. Furthermore, what your child truly needs are not material things but your genuine, unconditional love and care.

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