Monday, February 13, 2006
7 News Features: Million Dollar Baby
From diapers to videogames to college tuition -- everyone knows having a child isn't cheap. In fact, if you're not careful with your money, you could be raising a million dollar baby. But in tonight's special assignment report, 7's Tom Haynes has suggestions on how to save.
WSVN--One, two, three...
A year's worth of diapers... One thousand dollars.
98 dollars, 99 dollars, 100.
College tuition... $50 to $250-thousand dollars.
One million dollars.
Having a kid... Priceless.
Tom Haynes: "Priceless yes, but not cost free. If you have kids or you're planning to have kids, it could break your bank -- in fact, one survey recently showed you could spend nearly a million bucks on a baby by the time he graduates college."
Georga Levenhagen: "It's a little bit overwhelming, money wise sometimes, but I try not to think about it that way because my husband always says, oh honey, it's going to be fine."
Melissa Reimers: "Well with five children it can be very expensive."
Melissa Reimers is mom to Molly, Jacob, Jordan, Jay and Lucy.
Georga Levenhagen has two girls, a stepdaughter, and another baby on the way.
Both families know what it means to stretch a dollar.
Georga Levenhagen: "For the most part I save everything and reuse it, bottles and everything."
Melissa Reimers: "They wear a hand me down T-shirt rather than a 50 dollar brand new polo shirt or something. You have to weigh it."
Marketing expert and mom of four maria bailey agrees.
She says with the right planning, your little one doesn't have to be a million dollar baby.
Maria Bailey: "It is so hard when you look in that baby's face and not to spend on them, but if you can resist the urge, the savings in the long run, you can invest later."
That's why Maria says don't go overboard on baby gear.
Instead of a decked out baby stroller...
Maria Bailey: "Pick one or two items that you definitely need to buy new, for instance the car seat and the crib mattress, and then those items that your kid will grow out of very quickly, shop the consignment stores."
She also suggests joining baby clubs.
They'll not only send you coupons, but free samples.
Plus you should buy generic and stock up on big items, like diapers.
Maria Bailey: "Go ahead and disperse your spending over several months by picking up those items when you do see them on sale."
If possible, breastfeed -- a year's worth of formula can run you more then two-thousand dollars.
You can also sign up for free money -- well sort of.
Program's like U-Promise put a portion of your purchases towards your child's college fund.
Maria Bailey: "Everytime you're spending, you're actually saving for your child's education as well."
You should search the internet before making large purchases.
Sites like bizrate.com show the lowest prices out there.
And then there are sites like mommysavers.com, created by stay-at-home mom Kimberly Danger.
It provides coupons, bargains, and other money saving ideas to over thirty-thousand subscribers.
Kimberly Danger: "It's definitely a sharing of information. it's not just me putting tips and ideas. it's all these women that come together that support one another."
Kimberly offers her advice in her new book, "1000 best baby bargains..." like saving money by making your own baby wipes.
Kimberly Danger: "If you are really careful with your money everyday if your budgeting if you really pinch your pennies, you know it's okay to splurge once in a while."
Eight, nine, ten...
That's what Georga plans to do when she delivers in may.
Georga Levenhagen: "It's a lot of work but it's still fun and I will never regret it."
Neither would Melissa.
Melissa Reimers: "It's all about just making priorities and doing what you can and really enjoying life and enjoying what you have."
Tom Haynes: "Experts suggest you also network with moms who have children about six months older than your's -- that way they can hand me down clothes and old toys."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Maria Bailey/Marketing Expert
Money Saving Websites: