Budgeting | Personal Finance | Article

Cheap Parenting: How to Cut Costs While Raising a Baby

by Sophia | 27 Nov 2020 | 3 mins read

It goes without saying that parents will always want to give their kids the best they can possibly afford — that includes clothes, toys, and even food! But does “the best” always have to be the most expensive thing on the shelf, whether it’s diapers or milk powder? We took to Instagram to ask our followers for tips on cheap parenting and compiled some of the best (or most often quoted) tips and tricks to saving heaps of money.

1. The case for diapers: buy in bulk, or use cloth diapers

The most frequently brought up tip: either buy diapers in bulk or use cloth diapers to (1) save the environment and (2) save your wallet.

Cloth diapers are washable and reusable, and may even be repurposed into towels or bibs should the need arise. If cloth diapers aren’t your thing, then consider buying diapers in bulk, bearing in mind that baby tax is a real thing (i.e. premiums charged on baby items).

2. Acquire hand-me-downs/second-hand items where possible

Not everything has to be recently bought off the shelf. One parent mentioned that clothes, toys, and furniture will be used “for at most a few months to about two years” — so second-hand items might be the way to go if you’re looking to cut costs.

As long as these items — baby chairs, strollers, and clothes — are hygienic, comfortable, and functional, it’s good enough. That means no $2,000 strollers — unless you can afford it!

3. Avoid branded items; shop as cheap as possible

In a pre-COVID world, we would have suggested buying groceries and other baby supplies from across the Causeway in JB as some users mentioned to us in our DMs. But with the pandemic situation still ongoing, parents can only default to online shopping, especially around discount periods or sale seasons like 12.12.

One parent mentioned, “Giving the best to your kid does not mean going for the most expensive thing you can afford. I kept this in mind and saved a lot of money from buying the latest hip things for kids.”

4. Optimising and maximising your baby bonus and child development account (CDA)

Make full use of the government matching your CDA top-ups dollar for dollar! Baby bonuses come up to $6,000 in total, with half of it being disbursed in cash and the other half being deposited in your CDA. Parents can top up their cash bonus into the CDA directly and “earn” another $3,000 from the government, making their total baby bonus $9,000.

“The baby bonus can last you up to four years in childcare fees, if you exclude infant care,” one parent commented.

These tips are geared towards cutting your expenses down as well as maximising the benefits you’ll get from the government’s baby bonus scheme, thus lightening the financial load, if only for the first few years of parenthood with your little one.

Did we miss out on any game-changing tips to parent on the cheap? Let us know in our DMs or give us a shout on social media.