Smart move. An update with Push just came out! Good timing.
There is also a free plugin for firebase. Dabbling with it now, but it looks like it's meant for apps that need users to be in continuous contact with the database.
It's fast but only allows fifty simultaneous users (under free account), and has a lower monthly bandwidth and other specs compared to parse are lower as well. Firebase would be best for apps made for customers who will end up with their own firebase accounts.
Parse is perfect for an app that you want to own and have as many users as possible.
Just wanted to give you a heads up in case you come across the firebase plugin and start wondering about having spent money on the parse plugin.
Fear not, money well spent, imo. Your app needs to be pretty popular before you'll have to shell out any coin.