Are you a new or soon to be new dad? Congratulations! Your world is about to change…mostly for the better. Really though, being a dad is a joy.
You’ve probably heard that it can also be a pretty expensive time. From my experience, expenses mostly just shift from spending on yourself and your spouse to spending on your little one.
But there are some ways to save money as a new parent. Let’s look at a few savings tips for you, the new dad.
Start Using That Workplace Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
If you’re already using it, consider bumping it up a few extra dollars. Out of pocket medical spending will almost certainly rise in the first year or two of having a new baby.
Funded with pre-tax dollars, an FSA is a great way to save some money on your increased medical spending.
Update Your Form W-4 and Change Your Withholding
Don’t forget your new baby will help you save directly on taxes by giving you an extra exemption, possible child tax credit, and possible deductions and credits for medical and childcare expenses.
But you don’t have to wait until next tax season to take advantage of this savings. Visit your employers human resource department and request to update your W-4 form with additional allowances.
TurboTax w-4 withholding calculator can help you figure out the correct amount of exemptions.
Use Your Network to Find Gently Used Baby Clothes and Gear
Taxes aren’t the only way to save money as a new dad. One of the biggest ways we save is by tapping into our existing network of friends and family to find “hand-me-downs”.
Babies grow out of things so fast you can spend a lot of money heading to the store every month for new outfits.
If you don’t have generous friends with kids, check local consignment stores or Facebook groups.
Use the Wait and See Approach to Luxury Baby Gear
During your nine month wait it’s tempting to fill your house with all the latest baby gear and gadgets. Most parents will tell you there’s so much stuff that you don’t end up needing.
For instance, we actually found that is was a real pain to use the diaper disposal systems with their expensive refill bags. We ended up using a simple waste basket and plastic grocery bags.
If you can’t help yourself, and you end up with a room full of baby gear, be sure to keep your receipts and don’t hesitate to take things back when you find you just aren’t using them.
Skip the Baby Life Insurance and Get Insurance for You Instead
If you want to save money for your baby, use a simple savings account. What your baby really needs most though is life insurance on you and your spouse.
For most moms and dads, a simple term life insurance policy will help provide the income security your baby needs.
Save on Baby-sitting and Bring Date Night In-house
Your dates just got $50 more expensive. That’s because you’ll now be paying a babysitter to watch your little one while you’re out.
There’s nothing wrong with getting out of the house and using a sitter – but maybe half the time you could opt for staying home and doing a date night there.
Pick up dinner for your spouse, put the little one to bed, and turn on Netflix to make a fun and special evening.
One alternative idea for getting out is a crybaby matinee that your local theater may offer.
Remember, this is a special time. But special doesn’t have to mean expensive or wasteful. Make your little one proud this Father’s Day with the money your saving.