Pregnancy and having children can certainly cause a strain on bank accounts and our wallets. Whether you decide not to return to work or now have the cost of childcare you are likely a little stressed about where money is going to come from. I am going to share a few of my quick tips for cutting back monthly costs.
- Start couponing: Some of you may think that it is tedious or annoying, but I save anywhere between $10-$15 a week on items that I normally buy. There are great websites out there that teach you how to coupon and show you what deals are at which stores. My favorite is Hip2save.
- If you plan on using formula at all sign up on the Similac/Enfamil/Gerber websites. They will send you great high value coupons to use on formula.
- Even better… breastfeed. This will save you roughly $2,000. Need a breast pump? Check with your insurance company plan. Many plans will pay for the cost of a breast pump.
- Diapers: Amazon Mom or an Amazon Prime account is an amazing deal. I buy almost all of my diapers and wipes through here and they are shipped directly to my door. You can find the deals on deal websites like Hip2save.com and Jungledealsandsteals.com. You can also find great deals on these websites on other items like household cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, dog food, etc. The price of a prime membership is $79 a year, but it is well worth the cost. You get free 2-day shipping and special discounts.
- Get rid of your home phone. If you are paying for a home phone, chances are you rarely use it. Call your cable/satellite company and see if you can get a discount for removing this service. Also, ask if there are any current promotions that you can take advantage of. I did this recently and saved $15 a month.
- Check out your cell phone plan. Look at what you are paying for and see if you need a package that large. I checked out our data usage and realized that I was paying for 2 more GB than we needed! I switched the plan and saved $20 a month here as well.
- Auto and home insurance: Call the company and ask about new discounts. I received several discounts worth 20% off my total bill just for making an online account and for signing up for an auto-payment. It saves me time and money. Win-Win.
- Student Loans: Talk to your lender and see if there are discounts available for paying on time or doing an auto-payment. Apparently, my husband and I both qualified for a rate discount and rebate because we had never made a late payment. Then we signed up for auto-payment and saved .25%-.50% on the loan rates. This lowered the monthly payments. You have to ask for these rebates and discounts though. It will not happen automatically.
- Tax Returns: I know, I know… No fun… But someone has to say it. We all want to go out and spend money and buy a new tv, new outfit, etc…, but if you use this money to pay off loans you will be much better off. You can pay off individual student loans, car loans, credit card debt, etc. This will save you interest and a monthly payment. Don’t have any debt? (Congrats if this is true!!) Stash it away for savings if you need some extra cash for an emergency. You would be surprised how many people don’t have enough savings to sustain them for a few months in the event of a job loss.
These are all really big things that are simple and save you a lot almost immediately. When I realized I was saving several hundred dollars each month just by doing these simple tasks I felt stupid! It was like I was throwing money away. Now I take the money I save and put it in an account for my daughter. I hope someone finds this helpful.