Becoming a parent for the first time is exciting— and it can also be expensive. USA Today shares these all-too-common mistakes to avoid when you’re starting out:
Buying every gadget.
You’ll feel deluged by ads for everything from baby-wipe warmers to blenders that make gourmet food for infants. Resist the temptation to buy it all. You can make do with the basics—a crib, a changing table, clothes, food, and diapers—without blowing your budget.
Stocking up excessively.
You don’t have to buy six months’ worth of diapers in one swoop, no matter how great the deal may seem. Remember that kids grow quickly, and chances are they’ll grow out of infant clothes in a short time—which means you don’t need dozens of outfits no matter how cute they are. Focus on just-in-time purchases during the first few years.
Check resale shops for clothes, toys, and other baby necessities. Many parents donate their used supplies once their kids have outgrown them. Friends and relatives with kids may also be happy for the opportunity to unload some of their old gear on you.
Not planning in advance.
You should put your finances in order long before going to the hospital. Look into your insurance options for the new addition to your family— both health care for your child and life insurance for you. Set up an emergency fund. Think about your child care options (day care, or will one parent stop working?) so you can be prepared for the expense or drop in income.