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Baby steps Cutting newborn expenses
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 July 27). 

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 (June 14):

  • 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.
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