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Having a baby is an exciting event in your life! You begin imagining little feet running around your home, sweet bedtime cuddles, and sloppy baby kisses. Unfortunately when you find out you’re having a baby, one of the first things you have to think about is money.
So like everyone, we pretty quickly began thinking of ways to save money when having a baby. I don’t consider myself to be the most frugal of moms, but I do try to plan out our spending so we save as much as possible. That’s why to save money when having a baby, you should consider 1) health insurance, 2) baby showers, 3) a diaper party, 4) registries, and 5) nursery. How much did it end up costing us in the end? Only about $300 (and that $300 went towards something you would not expect!).
When I first found out I was pregnant, we had no health insurance. That is, not “traditional” health insurance. Instead, we use a health care bill share called Samaritan Ministries. After all the doctor’s visits, lab tests, and hospital bills, the price tag on our little one was staggering. But in the end, we only spent $300, and that did not go towards doctor’s bills!
Why we went with Samaritan Ministries
My husband’s job offers a discounted health insurance rate, but since we are relatively healthy people and don’t go to the doctor often, we didn’t feel the price was right for us. With Samaritan, our share each month is significantly less than that of a traditional health insurance company. Also, because of how the bill share system functions, we are exempt from taxes that penalize individuals for not having insurance.
How does it work?
Each month, we receive a Share notice. This notice contains a person’s name, address, healthcare need, and our Share amount. With their new PayPal system, we can send the money directly through PayPal.me. Otherwise, a traditional check in the mail will do the job. Each member is asked to also send a note of encouragement with their share as well.
When you have a Need you would like to publish, you have to check Samaritan Ministries’ guidelines to see if your condition qualifies for Sharing. Pregnancy is covered IF you get pregnant after you have joined. Otherwise, it is considered a “Special Need” (not available to Share, but members can give to your need at their discretion). After you have spent the first $300 of a share, Samaritan Ministries allows you to publish the rest of the Need.
How does it work for pregnancy?
When I was pregnant, we would check out after each doctor’s appointment as a “self–pay patient”. Most healthcare providers will offer a huuuuge discount for self-pay patients! Some of my lab bills were cut by 75%! While you are responsible for the first $300 of a Need, Samaritan Ministries accepts patient discounts as part of that amount. We received thousands of dollars in discounts for being self-pay, so we did not have to pay a cent towards that $300 amount!
One aspect of Samaritan Ministries you must consider is it takes two months for your Need to actually publish. If you send in your bill to Samaritan Ministries in January, it takes a month to be approved, then the following month it will be published. That’s when you will start receiving money from other members. Most healthcare providers will offer payment plans or you can hold off on paying the bills until you have received the Shares from other members. Just brace yourself for shelling out some money ahead of time (you will be reimbursed after you publish the bills).
Maybe it’s presumptuous, but hinting to your colleagues, best friends, parents, and church that you wouldn’t mind a baby shower is a smart move! The more baby showers you have, the more items from your registry you can check off (and the less you have to buy yourself!).
My mom threw me a baby shower, and my church was so very thoughtful and did the same. As an expectant mommy, I felt so special and loved at the same time! It wasn’t until later, when I was home with all the gifts, that I realized how truly blessed I was!
Don’t have anyone to throw you a baby shower? Get involved in a MOPs group! They have them everywhere, just check their search engine to find one near you. These ladies will love on you, provide you with support, and probably throw you a baby shower! And trust me, after you have the baby, you’re going to need a network of fellow mommies to keep your sanity.
What is a diaper party, you say? Only one of the most ingenius inventions of the millennial parent. While mama has a baby shower, daddy invites his friends over for a diaper party. Guests are asked to bring a six-pack of beer and a pack of diapers. It helps celebrate daddydom while adding to a much-need supply of baby essentials! A word to the wise when throwing a diaper party: specify what type of diapers to bring. We received everything from cheapo preemie diapers to jumbo Pampers.
Your local Wal-Mart or Target will oftentimes allow you to exchange a pack of diapers for a different size at no charge AND without a receipt! This is one of the greatest ways to save money when having a baby, and I’m so grateful someone suggested it to us. With all the diapers we received, we didn’t have to buy any until Genny was about 3 months old!
If you plan on cloth–diapering, you can specify that on your invitations along with a link to a registry or simply ask for a gift card to your store of choice. If there’s alcohol involved, most people don’t mind bringing a little something extra.
If you’re going to have baby showers, you’re going to need a registry. Not just any registry, either. You need a really good registry of baby gear you will actually use. Check out my post here where I provide my guide of the barebones best baby gear.
Remember you only have a certain number of people who are you going to be shopping for you, so consider pricing as you select the items. Most people will buy one item at $20-30 or a few items that amount to $20-40. Also, choose items on your registry that you wouldn’t mind buying for yourself. That way if those items are not bought for you, you can still get that completion bonus by buying them yourself!
Aside from price, consider these four things when adding to your registry (taken from my post on best baby gear you will actually use):
–Usefulness: Have you heard good things about it? Are you sure this is one of those baby essentials? Will it make your life easier?
–Durability: How long will it last? Is it going to hold up for the needed amount of time? Would you be able to use it for future kiddos?
–Practicality: Is this a frivolous item (of course, those are okay, just make sure you have a balance of essentials/splurges)? Is it going to do its job better than anything else?
–Color: Is it gender neutral? Optional: Will it match the nursery? Does it fit with your theme?
Best places to create a baby registry
These stores are everywhere, and they have extremely convenient online shopping!
Most people have Amazon Prime nowadays, making Amazon one of the easiest shopping options no matter where you live. Use Amazon Baby Registry so your aunt in the Swiss Alps can send you a gift just as easily as your nextdoor neighbor can!
If you don’t get everything you need from your baby showers, you can buy the remaining items from your registry yourself. Amazon Prime members receive a 15% discount on the those items left in your registry, and non-members can save 10% when completing the registry. Qualifying items are from baby, beauty, grocery, drugstore, toys, and maternity departments. Your time window for this offer is 60 days before and 14 days after your set due date.
If you don’t have Amazon Prime, try Prime 30-Day Free Trial
Hint: If you register for a baby crib and don’t receive one as a gift, don’t panic and buy it before using your fabulous completion discount! Your new baby will sleep in your room with you for the first couple of weeks, so all you will need is a Pack and Play with an insert or a bassinet (or a SnuggleMe for co-sleeping). You can buy that big baby gear item with your completion discount after baby is born! No sweat.
Who doesn’t love Target? Their selection is perfect for nursing clothes, baby essentials, and food alike!
If you check in at your local Target to establish a baby registry, you will receive a welcome bag containing $100 worth of coupons and discounts! If you want to save money when having a baby, this is gold.
After your due date, you have one shopping trip to purchase ALL the remaining items on your registry at 15% off!
There is practically a Kohl’s in every major city. They have a super cute selection of baby clothes AND baby gear. Their app makes it easier to add and take away items from your registry wherever you are.
When you register with Kohls, you can print announcement cards online that will give your friends and family a 20% with a $100 purchase!
If you don’t get everything you need from your baby showers, you have a chance to complete your registry by buying the remaining items yourself. After your due date, you will receive a 15% off coupon (via email) on the items remaining in your registry. The offer is good for up to 3 months after your due date.
If you’re completing your registry, don’t forget to grab your Ebates cashback! Kohls is usually offerred as one of the participating stores with cashback. Use my link on the post here to get an extra $10 on your first Big Fat Check.
When designing your “dream nursery”, there are ways to make it affordable. Depending on what you want to do and what space you have to use, consider style/theme, color scheme, and (again) practicality.
This is going to be the overall theme of your space. What do you picture when imagining your baby’s nursery? Write down the items that you REALLY want for your nursery and compare it to the list of what you REALLY need to have. When planning your registry, you can include these items and save some money by not having to buy them yourself! For big savings, choose a more minimalistic theme such as Woodland, Starry Night, or Zoo Animals.
- Color Scheme
Now that you have your theme, it’s time to choose a color scheme! Gender neutral colors will be the best bang for your buck if you plan on reusing baby gear for future kiddos, selling your used items, or allowing your baby gear to grow with your little one. Neutral tones can be fitting for an infant just as much as for a ten year old, so think before you paint those walls Pepto-Bismol pink. You might just save yourself a paint job when your child starts to have her own opinion.
If you only use the essentials when decorating your baby’s nursery, you will have a room designed for ease of access. Ease is your main goal when planning for life after baby! Usually the only pieces of furniture you need in your new baby’s room are a crib, a changing table, a dresser or some other type of container to hold clothes, a diaper pail, a rocking chair/glider, and storage space.
If you go through this check list and still have extra space and funds, then go ahead splurge!
What did we spend $300 on?
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The only item we bought with our own money when Genny was first born was our incredible jogger stroller!
This baby now goes for half the price (about $180) we spent when it was a new item, but it has been worth every penny. We’ve taken this thing up mountains, across fields, into stores, onto planes, and to the beach, and it’s still my favorite piece of baby gear! Read my full review here.
I hope this guide on how to save money when having a baby was helpful to you!
What are some ways you used to save money when having a baby? Share with me by commenting below!
Love, Emily XOXO