It is hard for anyone to save money. It is doubly hard for those who have children. Kids are a certain money-pit of needs, wants, and ailments that cost a considerable amount of money.
Without children, most individuals can at least save some dough for a rainy day. For most parents, even those who have higher-paying jobs, the toll children take on the bank account can be tremendous. Nevertheless, there are ways to minimize the impact of children on the bottom line. It is not as if you can take away food or clothing, so the next best option is to spread the dollar as thin as possible.
Tip 1: Use Second-Hand
While some may scoff the idea, second-hand clothing and toys are a tremendous way to save a large sum of money very easily. Children are inundated with commercials, and because so they can often beg and demand for expensive toys and clothing. As a parent, it is not always easy to say no to the constant barrage of “I want” and “I need.”
Lucky for keen-eyed parents, many designer material and toys can be found at local second-hand outlets. Especially for younger children, these toys and clothing are just as good as the name-brand material. Even the trendiest child will quickly forget about the lack of the brand on the side of a toy that works just as well as one that costs three times as much.
Tip 2: Buy Generic
Just like with clothing and toys, kids often are essentially brainwashed into thinking they want a particular item. Also much like with clothes and toys, it is often that the child cannot tell the difference between generic and brand-name foods. Buy generic items at the stores instead of the leading brand-names can save as much as 50% per month on food costs. All the while, as long as the food is like the brand-name food, the child will be satisfied.
Tip 3: Local Vacations
Forget the long trips to big expensive theme parks or treks to tourist sites the children could care less about. When planning your next family getaway, choose somewhere close and cheap. Camp is a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors for next to nothing.
Furthermore, the vast outdoors gives your children a great way to expend energy and their explorative personalities. Between hiking, fishing, canoeing, and general nature-exploration, your child will never be without something to do. All of this and the park fees are considerably cheaper than any theme park or hotel.
As long as you have a basic tent that can accommodate everyone and food, you have few other expenditures on a camping trip. If the national park or campsite is close by, you will save even more on transit.
Tip 4: Call Your Doctor Before Visiting
A parent can saves hundreds or even thousands per year by calling up their family doctor before visiting the office. Parents can often overreact to sickness or injuries that befall their children. It is certainly hard to blame them, as it can be a very scary situation when a child is hurt or ill. However, by calling your doctor before heading into the office, a parent likely will be “talked off the ledge.” Quite often, a fever or signs of sickness are fleeting or common.
Injuries can sometimes sound and look much worse than they actually are. Instead of allowing one’s self to be overcome with worry, give your local physician a call and provide him or her with the details. Many times, a doctor will let a parent know that they should simply monitor the situation. If the symptoms or injury worsen or persist, then a visit may be necessary. More often than not, the affliction subsides and the child is fine.
Tip 5: Set A Monthly Budget
One of the most important point is to set a monthly budget and spend within it. Doing so will ensure that you do not overspend.
Tip 6: Whip Your Own Meals
Whip up easy and healthy food at home that are also budget friendly. Do not eat out or pack lunch for work. Also, avoid buying coffee every morning. If your budget is just sufficient, saving $20 a week on lunch and $3 on coffee would make your finance turn healthy again.
Tip 7: Shop Sales
If you cannot afford to go shopping, then purchase your clothing during sales time. This could mean big savings. All you have to do is make account of how fast your baby might grow and purchase the right sizes for them
Tip 8: Plan Your Grocery Shop
It is best to plan for your grocery shopping trip. By doing so, you will not go to the supermarkets unplanned and randomly buy things which may burst your budget. Another way to save on groceries is to cut out coupons and buy promotional items.
Tip 9: Go Shop At Local Farmer’s Market
One other way to save on food bill is to go shopping at the local farms. These local farmer’s market not only offer discounted prices, but also fresher product most of the time.
Tip 10: Make Full Use of Local Library
Leverage on the local library for complimentary usage of books, music and magazines. You can borrow books for your children or purchase the e-book versions for as cheap as US$1.99 each!
Tip 11: Make Money By Selling Craiglist
We have times when we need to clean our house out and get rid of things that we no longer needs. A great idea is to have a garage sale where we can clear out the clutter and at the same time, get some cash.
Image credited to artisanplr.com