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Money-Saving Tips for New Parents

A new Fool wandered into our Foolish Community a few weeks ago and posted just two messages on our discussion boards. The new Fool is a new parent and was wondering what smart things he should do regarding money. He asked about life insurance on our Insurance board and quickly received two responses. (Learn, among other things, all about some insurance you may not have realized you needed in our Insurance Center.)

Then he wandered into our Living Below Your Means (LBYM) board and asked (a) for pointers to coupons for parents and (b) for ways his now-to-stay-at-home wife might make money at home. Our LBYM board has more than its share of opinionated (and savvy) people. In short order, he had more than 80 responses!

I encourage you to read the whole discussion, but if you're strapped for time, here are just a few tips:

  • FlippoHip offered many good ideas (read all of them), such as: "Don't go buy a new car. I'm not saying you were going to, but a lot of people think they need a bigger car, when one baby doesn't take up much room at all. Same goes for houses." And: ". eat most meals at home. Like, 90% of your meals at home. If you can't cook, you should learn. Food is the easiest thing to save on."
  • StBridgit added, among many tips: "Have your wife register on the formula makers' websites. She can receive formula coupons that, even if she breastfeeds, she can swap with others for the cost of a postage stamp for different coupons you will use." [By the way, some major formula makers include Nestle (Nasdaq: NSRGY  ) , Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY  ) unit Mead-Johnson, Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT  ) , Wyeth (NYSE: WYE  ) and Heinz (NYSE: HNZ  ) , among others.]
  • Tricia1971 said: "I am a work at home mom, as well, and stumbled onto my position. Network network network! I wasn't looking to work, but one of my daughter's classmates mom has a successful home-based educational consulting business and needed a hand with clerical and marketing tasks. Through word of mouth, I am now working a job on my schedule."

Of course, part of the beauty of our boards is the diversity of opinions and temperaments you'll run across. This helpful discussion began with a lot of tips and ended up also including an impassioned discussion about breastfeeding and some humor, as well. Impolite, for example, asked, "What is all the 'child-proofing' fuss about? If I lock up the cleaning supplies, how can I make them scrub the toilets? I'll be too drunk, of course ...."

If you have questions about . well, just about anything, consider asking them on our boards. You can try our entire Fool Community for free for a month. (And you should!) Read about what makes it such a special place in "Meet Your Fellow Fools."

And by the way, if you're a new parent, there are indeed a bunch of things that you need to do, such as looking into insurance, starting college savings plans, getting wills and other important financial documents drawn up, etc. This is exactly the kind of stuff that a financial advisor can help you with. Learn how to find one at our Advisor Center -- and perhaps check out our TMF Money Advisor service, which features customized independent advice from a variety of objective financial experts.

LongtimeFoolcontributorSelena Maranjiandoes not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.

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