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Most of the human society lives with an amount of uncertainty, from paycheck to paycheck, or having to cut down on expenses all the time to make it through. It isn’t a happy picture, but it is what it is.
Yet, I see a large number of people – even in my own community – who value what others think of them or how they present themselves on social media, more than what actually matters: spending in accordance with the income. I’d even go as far as to say that even the people on wealthier side should look into spending less on status.
Most temporarily wealthy people don’t pay a lot of attention to conserving what they’ve got – living a life where they spend what they need, with occasional treats, while investing the rest of income into making their wealth permanent, is often a foreign concept.
Regardless of where you fit in, if you have children, you want to be looking into saving where you can – on things that you can get second-hand, inherit from older children or the ones you don’t have to buy at all.
Kids grow too fast to even notice their fashion – unless they’re older (pre-teens) where you’ll have to compromise a little bit. If you have a baby or a toddler, it’s important to understand that, whatever you buy, the child will most likely wear a few times (up to 10 or 20 times if the child is over one) and it will either be too small, or too ruined to choose for an out-of-home outfit.
Kids are messy and they grow quickly. Also, they don’t care about what they wear – unless it’s an awesome shirt with their favorite cartoon character that they’ll fall in love with, or if you care so much about your own fashion that the kid will undoubtedly inherit the same preferences.
When you’re looking into getting clothes for your child, there are plenty of resources to check out before buying new ones:
- Second-hand shops
- Friends or relatives with older kids who are willing to sell or donate clothes
- Your own clothes when you were a child, if you have them
- DIY ways to improve or reuse old clothes
- Volunteering – there’s often a free shirt you get to take home
If you’re set on buying new clothes for your LO, my advice is to get the most affordable clothes possible. I’ve been April Moon’s affiliate for a while now and I’ve also bought clothes from their website. They’re super affordable, have a wonderful cause and a unique attitude towards boy/girl clothes that I love. I highly suggest checking them out – if you do it through my links, you’ll even get a 25% off on everything they sell!
If you have a young baby, I can’t help but state the obvious – breastfeeding is a lot cheaper than formula feeding. If you’re looking for reasons to breastfeed, this is a huge one – coming from someone who’s lived rather tightly during the first few months of my son’s life. This expense reduction was priceless! If you can’t or won’t breastfeed, find the best deals possible for your chosen formula!
Once your baby is no longer a newborn and starts getting into solids, making your own food in bulks is a lot cheaper and simpler than buying jars of baby food for every meal.
If you’ve got a one year old (and up), your kid can start eating whatever you’re eating, at least in moderation. If there’s food you still haven’t introduced to their nutrition, go slowly – but confidently. You have to eat, right? That means you can make a bit more food, be wary of things like sugar and salt while cooking, and eat the same meals.
“There’s no way my kid would eat that kind of food!” – if this is something that crossed your mind, make sure to sign up for my newsletter – you’ll get weekly updates and announcements about my upcoming book that addresses this topic. You’ll love it, and I know you’ll be able to do something about it!
This is probably one of the most expensive things you’ll come across over the years, when you add everything up. Truth be told, you don’t need as many toys for your kid as you think you may. A lot of studies have shown that a child plays more actively and is more engaged when there’s five toys laying around, rather than fifty. A bunch of toys quickly becomes overwhelming to a child – I tested this and it proves to be true. You can save a lot of money on toys by:
- Realizing you don’t need one or more of each toy that’s ever been produced
- Acknowledging that your child will develop and will be perfectly fine even if you don’t buy all the educational toys and gadgets that are out there
- Making your own toys at home – this is a great activity for kids of all ages. Even if they can’t participate, they’ll love watching you make something for them!
- Buying second-hand toys, from local stores or online
- Getting toys from friends or relatives who have older kids with toys they don’t use anymore
- Getting presents for birthday parties, Christmas etc.
- Teaching your child the value of money and importance of taking care of toys they already have
Let’s be honest here: young children don’t remember traveling anywhere. Having pictures with your baby on exotic locations is great, but i’s a lot better to save up and take your child on a trip they will actually remember.
If you really want to go somewhere, look into local places you can visit that will be just as fun (or even more!), like zoo’s, workshops, ranches, farms, beautiful things in your environment that you’d like to visit etc.
Remember: kids don’t know how much money you spent on them. They will be the happiest if you get them a good day, regardless of how much it costs!
This may be a tough pill to swallow, but your young child doesn’t need all these weekly classes and lessons. Time with family is what matters the most. I truly believe children should be children and have lots of playtime – that won’t be possible if their week is structured in a way that they’re in different classes all the time. You can teach your kid most of these things. This includes sports, too – by getting yourself to exercise and play outside, you’ll provide your child with everything he or she needs!
If there’s anything I haven’t mentioned, it’s mostly because I find it to either be irrelevant enough you can cut it completely, or is essential and you can’t cut anything.
- using cloth diapers
- cheaper birthday parties
- reconsidering child care
- kids sharing room
- asking family or friends for help (financial, or support)
- babysit while looking after your own kids
- borrow a breast pump if you still want to breastfeed, but can’t
- decorate nursery on a tight budget
- practice photography yourself
- explore financial assistance options
- ask for freebies
- establish a side hustle
Do you think I missed anything. though? Let me know how you save money while raising your LO’s!