Adding a little person to your family is a huge responsibility. Getting prepared for sleepless nights, lots of laundry, and the most rewarding little smiles. Having a baby, especially if it is your first, can be stressful in many ways. Take the following steps before the stork arrives to minimize the financial strain on the family.
- Figure out maternity/paternity leave
The FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) provides all parents 12 weeks of maternity or paternity leave. However, the employer does not have to pay for that leave. Find out as soon as possible what your work offers, and start budgeting for any unpaid time off. Look into short-term disability, vacation time, etc. to help with the living expenses during that time.
- Focus on the basics
It is easy to spend thousands of dollars on all of the baby items the media tells you are “must haves.” In reality, babies truly “need” very little – food, shelter, clean diapers, and lots of love. You probably already have the shelter (house, apartment, etc.). When it comes to food, nursing can be a lot cheaper and easier than formula (without any bottle prep in the middle of the night). Enlist the help of a lactation consultant if your family would like to go this route. Using cloth diapers can significantly cut the costs in that category, and you can even resell them when you are done. Professional services exist that will “strip” (super clean) the diapers for the next person. And, of course, love is free and endless.
- Buy “gently loved” also known as used
Babies rarely stay the same size long enough to wear through clothes, so you can find brand-new looking items in consignment and second-hand stores. If you can wash it, then it’s ok to buy used – nobody will know the difference, and you will have more money for more important things like college savings. Check out garage sales, thrift shops, hand-me-downs from relatives/friends, and social media buy/sell/trade sites for the best deals. Of course, some items such as car seats have to be purchased new, so save your money for those items.
- Consider a loan if you’re in a pinch
Having a baby is a joyful albeit challenging time. Decide what is important to your family, reduce the spending on the rest, and minimize financial stress. If you are still coming up short on money, consider looking into vehicle registrations loans to get you through the hard times. Tio Rico Te Ayuda offers a variety of loans to residents in Arizona and California. Get a quick and flexible auto title loan for as little as $100 or as much as $1,000. All you need a motor vehicle registration in your name, a driver’s license, and a paystub from your employer and you can find out how much you would qualify for.
From the entire team at Tio Rico Te Ayuda Financial Loan Centers congratulations on your new little bundle of joy! Please keep us in mind if you are ever in need of financial help in a pinch.