A great gift registry idea is a college savings account. My son was the first grandchild on one side. As a result, we received tons of toys and clothes that weren't on our registry. It looked like we had eight kids instead of one. We ended up returning or donating a lot of brand new and barely used baby items. Eventually, I started a 529 college savings account for my son. Parents or grandparents can start a college savings account before the baby is even born by starting it in his or her own name, then making the baby the beneficiary once a social security number is available. The beneficiary change usually requires a one page form. Anyone can contribute to a 529 and some plans will even give you a stack of postage paid envelopes that you can hand out to friends and family members so they can mail their checks.
Be careful with spending. It's easy to get carried away since having a new baby is exciting. Here are my tips on credit card use and a few thoughts on cutting corners and saving. If you have a rewards card and use it to pay for $5,000 worth of nursery furniture and decorations, and your interest rate is 21% (pretty normal for a rewards card), and you make only the monthly payment, you'll be paying for about 26 years and pay over $9,000 in interest. To put it into perspective, the baby in that nursery will be grown, done with college, and possibly starting his or her own family soon.
Tips: Have a baby shower. Register for what you want. Keep on eye on things you should absolutely buy new, and if you don't receive them at your shower, most retailers will give you a 15-20% discount on items not purchased off of the registry prior to the birth. Things you should buy new and not used are car seats and mechanical rockers. Baby beds can be purchased second hand, but always make sure you can find the model number and check for any recalls. Many second hand stores do not carry things like car seats or strollers at all because they have no control over any use and abuse that may have caused the item to not function as safely as it should. A great way to furnish is to use second hand items you or family members already have available, such as dressers or chests of drawers. They can be painted and it's easy to add decorative drawer or cabinet pulls that make the piece look new. An old lamp can be painted and topped with a new shade. And, keep gift baskets for storage and organization. The Easter Bunny brings my son a basket each year that just happens to have high utility value to me, and it finds its place somewhere in the house for storage and organization once he's emptied it.
Contact Respire Wealth Management for help planning for baby!