Are you a parent or going to become one soon? Learn how you can take care of your little ones and save money with our kids and taxes guide.
Kids and Taxes: Six Financial Steps to Take
As parents, it’s important to make sure you have you finances squared away. The problem is we usually don’t have much time to devote it.
Good news – here are a few things you can do quickly and easily:
Amend your health insurance: The first two years includes many doctor visits. Make sure you fill out the paperwork to get your child added to your health insurance plan. It also means making sure you get the paperwork done for your baby to get a Social Security number.
Look at signing up or adjusting your Flexible Spending Account: You may be able to lower your taxable income and take care of your new medical expenses by using a Flexible Spending Account through your job. Check with Human Resources to sign up for one if you haven’t already.
Take advantage of tax credits, exemptions and deductions: There are several tax benefits that you can use when filing your return. You can deduct $3,700 as an exemption if you had a child last year. Don’t forget to look into child tax credit, child care credit, and saving for college.
Prepare a baby fund: As much as you can research and estimate what having a baby costs, you won’t know how much exactly until they arrive. When you find out you’re having a baby, or when the two of you decide to start trying, go ahead and start saving in baby fund. You don’t have to keep it separate from your family savings – you can just build up your financial cushion.
Ask for gift cards in your registry: Babies are little bundles of joy and they each have their own personalities. Don’t just assume that because most babies love their swing or their exosaucer, that yours will. Check the option to add gift cards with your registry so you can get baby gear that you need as it comes up.
If you want more information and tax tips, TurboTax has a great blog where I contribute along with their own team of tax experts.
Finances, Taxes, and New Parents
I’d like to get your thoughts on it. How many of you are parents? What financial changes did you make for your little one?
For those more experienced parents, what adjustments have you made over the years? Does having more than one child significantly change things (financially) or they a smaller adjustment?
Having a baby has been a huge change in more ways than one, but the good news is that you can provide for you little ones without going broke.
15 Ways to Cut Down on Baby Expenses
I decided to consolidate some of the best tips and advice I’ve heard and read so far from others into a list that you can print out and put on your fridge.
Have a trusted friend or family member babysit your child. Don’t take advantage of a loved one’s generosity; you should still compensate them for their services. After all, you most likely get a discount and you’ll have some peace of mind over your little one’s well being.
Make your own baby food. If you have the right kitchen tools and the time, go ahead and make your baby’s food. It’ll also give you the freedom to introduce a variety of different foods to your baby early on.
Buy baby supplies in bulk (when appropriate). You can save quite a bit of money if you buy certain items in bulk, like diapers. consider subscription services like Amazon Mom to save 30% on diaper orders.
Consignment stores are your best friends. We have quite a few consignment stores in Raleigh with some high quality items. There’s one that specializes in baby clothes and gear a short drive from us that has fantastic deals. We picked up some outfits for $1-$4/each, with some of them having the tags still on.
Cook at home. Not exciting, but a huge cost saver. Eating at home not only helps you keep more money in your wallet, but you’ll have more control over what you eat. That means better health and more wealth. Curious about what foods to try or what cooking tips can save you time? Check out my blog Married Food for ideas.
Watch your toy budget. Babies don’t need as many toys as you think. It’s tempting to get the latest educational toy that comes out, but some basic ones really go a long way. Plus they have the added bonus of encouraging imagination.
Buy for the long term. When looking at cribs, my husband and I wanted to look for something that would last for years. Besides getting a convertible crib, we also looked at the material. We didn’t want the bed to break down after a move or two.
Go generic.Your baby can tell if she’s wearing the name brand shoes or having her bottom cleaned by the store brand wipe. Save yourself some money and go generic.
Buy washable nursing pads. You’ll go through them quickly, so it may pay to invest in some washable ones.
Check out the clearance rack. You can pick up some nice clothes and baby gear by looking at the clearance rack.
Keep the change. Go ahead and collect all the loose change you have at the end of the day. You can use that to build the family’s savings or put it aside for your baby’s future expenses, like a college fund.
Take advantage of coupons and discounts. Use manufacturers’ coupons and sites like Amazon Mom to score deals on necessary baby items.
Try free mommy programs at the library.
Wait for the baby shower. If you’re watching your dollars, be patient. If loved ones buy you some necessary items for your little one, you can pick up what’s missing.
Network with other parents. Parents can be a great resource for sales and deals in your area.
More Tips on How to Save on Baby Expenses
Looking for more ideas on saving with baby expenses?