MIAMI, Fla. (8/7/12)--While new Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer probably isn't worrying about how much diapers cost or what she'll pay a nanny, most people in her situation do. Mayer, who landed her new job in July, is six months pregnant (Miami Herald
If you had a child in 2011, you can expect to spend about $234,900--$295,560 if you add projected inflation--from birth until age 17, according to an Agriculture Department report released in June.
It's easy to get caught up in a spending frenzy when you're expecting. Here are ways to take control, according to Financial Highway
Buy diapers and formula in bulk. It's cheaper than buying small packs. Pick up extra when on sale and cut coupons.
Resist buying name brand clothes. List clothing items on gift registries and don't focus on newborn sizes; it's nice to have bigger items on hand for your baby to grow into. Seek out family and friends for hand-me-downs and shop thrift stores and garage sales—you even can find new items at these places if you search.
Find a safe, but reasonably priced stroller. You'll want the Cadillac of strollers, the one with the double cup holders. But if you do your research, you'll find there are plenty of high-quality strollers with a practical price.
Consider a convertible crib. Cribs that convert into toddler beds and, later, to headboards may have a higher price tag, but can save money in the long run.
Decorate wisely. Basic is best. Consider buying a comforter and window coverings in neutral colors and adding more colorful items like stuffed animals and a mobile. Little ones grow fast and you won't be using "Winnie the Pooh" forever.
Be smart about books. Check out parenting and children's books from your library or rent them on your e-reader tablet. Find more information about parenting on the Internet--for free.
For more information about getting financially prepared for baby, read the Turning Point "Preparing for Baby" in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center