Readers Weigh In: Your Best Financial Advice for New Parents

Readers – it’s your turn to shine and let the world know what you think.

I hope you enjoyed last week’s pregnancy-focused posts as we expect the arrival of our first child in January.

I know many of you have started families of your own. Some of you have already shared your advice as we embark on this new journey.

But I’m eager to know more, and I’m certain that others in the same position are too.

So here is this week’s reader question –

What is your best financial advice for new parents? What worked best for you? What are the pitfalls to avoid? What was the best advice you received from someone else?

Please share what’s on your mind! As always, the best comments will be featured in a follow-up post. I look forward to learning from you and sharing the collective knowledge of the community.

Now, head on down to the comments section and see what everyone thinks –

10 thoughts on “Readers Weigh In: Your Best Financial Advice for New Parents

  1. 1) There will always be unexpected expenses. We had always planned to breastfeed, but that wasn’t possible — so now we shell out $$ for formula.

    2) Take whatever hand me downs you can possibly get. If the clothes fit, the toys aren’t broken and the bassinet is in one piece, it’s worth getting it — they’ll only last so long for you, so don’t pay for it if you don’t have to.

    3) Remember that buying expensive things for your baby is more for you than for the baby. The baby doesn’t care about fancy clothes or diapers, as long as they do the job. And they will all get dirty, no matter what!

    1. Thanks for the tips! Hand-me-downs have begun to pour in, and we’re certainly not complaining.

      I tell my wife #3 all the time. I just hope we can keep our heads straight when all those cute toys and clothes start flashing in front of our eyes. 🙂

  2. Man, his number 3 is my number one. He’s right though…buy a kid an awesome new toy, rest assured that it will love the box or the bubble wrap more than the toy itself.

    Also, a good comfortable car seat may just get the little tike to sleep faster than that silly swinging chair or the playpen. If this works on your little one, it is better to discover early…before you spend on items you don’t need.

    1. Awesome point on the car seat. We’ll be sure to test things out before splurging for new products. Thanks!

  3. 1) Only register for what you need, and leave off the non-necessities; otherwise, your baby shower might be a bust. Make sure you tell all your family & friends to get a gift receipt. Sometimes stores won’t take things back or give you a lesser value if you return the item without a receipt.

    2) Wait to buy diapers until after the baby is born. Newborn size didn’t cut it with both my boys. And don’t take off the tags on all your newborn clothes until you’re sure that your baby will fit in them. Wash 1 newborn and 1 3-month old outfit to bring the baby home from the hospital. Worst case, you’ve wasted 1 newborn outfit.

    3) Make sure you have help the first night you get the baby home (especially for the first baby). I thought I had it all under control until I got the baby home and there wasn’t a nurse around to help…it was serious culture shock!

    Good luck & I hope the advice helps!

    1. Awesome advice on the outfits – I had not considered that and it’s something we’ll definitely do.

      Bringing the baby home will be exciting and scary at the same time! 🙂 Thankfully, my wife has a lot of experience taking care of newborns from family, and we’ll have a lot of family and friends around, so hopefully it will be smooth. Should still be a fun/scary shock.

  4. Congratulations on your upcoming arrival! My advice is to buy pre-owned for most large items. Babies only get so much use out of the large amount of equipment (baby swings, changing tables, walkers, etc.) they need and you can find great deals on items at garage sales and craigslist.

    1. Thanks! Yes, I am expecting these large items to cost the most, so attacking them with the understanding of how long they last and what they cost is definitely on the menu! 🙂

      Thankfully, we have friends and family who are more than willing to “donate” items they no longer need, which is a blessing.

  5. A good idea that ended with a twist.

    From a financial standpoint, in 1982 when my wife and I had our daughter, I was in the Navy and was just able to make ends meet. I, like most parents, wanted to save for her education. Again, not having alot, I was able to kick in $30/mo on my power bill. The utility company offered customers the ability to purchase shares at no cost.

    Well, it’s been 27 yrs and I’ve never had to touch this pot of gold because my daughter is a smarty pant and got scholarship money for college. That stock has split/resplit/divs reinvested and it continues to grow to this day. I’m still socking away money each month but now I call it a part of my future retirement savings or should it be called my grandkids scholarship fund?

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