Personal Finance Sep 24, 2015 08:41 PM EDT

Smartest ways to budget baby spending for new parents

By Staff Writer

Raising a baby is expensive. First-time parents could easily get lost navigating across tedious budgeting task for their baby.

Huffington Post reported that the US Department of Agriculture found out that the middle-income family spends an average of $13,000 during the first year of a baby.

LearnVest reveals some smart tips on how to manage the baby spending for new parents. Using cloth diapers is first on the list of tips from parents who have been there and done that. It is financially wise and environmentally friendly as well. With only $450, parents can have 40 washable diapers, 70 cloth wipes, a couple of pail liners, and three wet bags that can last until the baby is old enough to be potty trained. Disposable diapers will cost parents $2,500 a year, which means you can save $2,000 with cloth diapers.

Join the local online forum where parents sell gently used baby stuff. This will give you great bargain prices for your baby things. When your baby grows up, you can also sell his or her stuff through these online forums, which helps you save money from the stuff you bought after your child has outgrown them.

Open a 529 Savings Plan, which is a state-sponsored, tax-advantage account for future payments like college costs, fees, tuition, board, books, and technology.

Go freelance and work at home to take care of your child yourself. Otherwise, child care could drain as much as 50 percent of your income. Home-based freelance jobs will also give you the extra income you need for your family. This is best for the mommies.

If you can't let go of your full-time job and you have to keep up with its hectic schedule, one of the best options is to hire a live-in au pair, which is about $7.85 per hour and can work up to 45 hours a week.

Be more financially wise by cutting off unnecessary expenses such as your cable costs, cell phone data plans, unnecessary travels, dining out, and impulse buying.

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