Sure, having a baby changes things: You survive on less sleep. You never knew you could take so many photos. And wow, you will suddenly freak out how much a baby costs. The average cost of raising a child from birth to 18 is $226,920, according to the most recent numbers from the Department of Agriculture. (Find your exact projected costs here.) What's more, a recent study suggests that even moms who are stressed about finances regularly overspend on baby products for their baby. But there are easy ways you can shave hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars off your baby budget. Read on to get started.
Just Be Patient
When preparing to have a baby, it's so easy to fall into the trap that you need to have everything ready before the baby is born. But trust us, you'll be back at the baby store regularly in those early weeks (and it's a fun outing with your newborn anyway). Wait to see what you really want -- and need. Some things that you think are essential before you have a baby just aren't. You may give birth to a 7-pound baby and realize that you don't need any baby clothes in newborn size, you can start with the 0 to 3 month clothes. Or consider this: While it may seem like a high chair is something that every baby needs, you can easily use a much less expensive reclining booster seat instead. The longer you wait to buy, the better informed you'll be about where you want to spend and where you can save.