Like saving money? Here’s how to do it — even with kids in the mix.
the main points
- Raising children is an expensive prospect.
- There are steps you can take to make savings, even when your expenses are piling up.
I’ve been a mom for a little over a decade now, and I can say it definitely hasn’t always been a smooth sailing financially. When my kids were younger, I spent a small fortune on things like diapers, supplies, and daycare. Nowadays, a large portion of my earnings go towards paying for summer camp.
But while I’ve definitely had to dive into my savings account on more than one occasion as a mom, I’ve also learned, over the years, some ways to keep my spending to a minimum. Here are three tactics you might want to consider for yourself.
1. Don’t splurge on clothes
There are a bunch of cute outfits that will undoubtedly look great on your kids. But do yourself a favor and resist the urge to slash $50 on a single jacket or $60 on a ruffled dress. Instead, do as I do – order a cheaper version on Amazon, or see the clothes available at your local Costco store.
Children’s clothing tends to tear or destroy easily. And even if it doesn’t, kids tend to throw off their clothes more quickly. It’s not worth spending $30 on one pair of jeans when you can find similar pants for $12.50 at Target.
2. Stay away from activities that require a lot of uniform
When my daughters were younger, I enrolled them in a gymnastics class for a year. Then I pulled them out the following year for one big reason – I didn’t want them to take part in competitions.
Too bad that gymnastics itself cost more than $100 per month per child. But I found that once the competitions started, I would need to start spending $100 or more on uniforms for those events. And just to be clear, we’re talking about disposable uniforms here. Multiply that by the five or six gymnastics that meet per year, and the cost can get prohibitive.
If your kids are older and excited about a particular activity, you may want to see if you can find space in your budget to make it happen. But you may also want to direct them toward activities that won’t break the bank, as I did.
3. Buy the right groceries in bulk
Kids tend to snack – or at least that’s my experience. If you don’t want to have a huge credit card tab for groceries, be sure to stock up on household essentials in bulk. Doing so saves me a lot of money and helps me avoid constant trips to the store.
However, be careful when buying in bulk. You’ll want to limit yourself to the tried-and-true products that your kids have been consuming consistently for at least a few weeks. If you take the opportunity to buy a new product and buy it in bulk, you will risk that your children will decide that they hate said item just as you have stored it.
Being a father is one of the most precious experiences I’ve ever had. But it is also one of the most rewarding. And while finding ways to spend less money over the years has been a challenge, if you’re willing to make adjustments and get creative, you can also get your share of the savings.
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