Having a child is a wonderful thing. At the same time, parenting is expensive! Whether it’s your first kid or your fourth, you always want to give the world to them. However, the costs can rise up, and too often parents find themselves stretched too thin. It doesn’t have to be this way though. Although we are not parents we know exactly how costly it is to raise a child. So I thought of writing a ways to save money while raising your kid in an ideal way. Hope you’ll like it.
First and foremost, before we list the money-saving ways. No money-saving scheme actually work in longer term unless it’s associated with some form of budgeting. Budgeting may consist of target on each item to having only one target, that is saving a fixed amount per month. Whatever it is that you are comfortable with, simply get it going as soon as possible. Else, you’ll save money on food but end up spending more on child care, just as an example. A budget can keep all your spending in control.
Here are some tips on how to save money when you’re raising a small child
Your child is going to grow up, and as such any clothes will quickly become outdated. There’s no need to buy brand new clothes for your child every time this happens. Instead, buy used at garage sales or consignment stores. Here’s a list of items you can buy used for your child.
You’ll find plenty of high quality garments, and a couple of cycles through the wash will make them look and feel as good as new. Recycled and eco-friendly clothing is so in-vogue right now!
Postpone buying unnecessary items
Those tiny shoes might look very cute but, your child may not need shoes till he/she starts walking. Hold off on buying full set of baby clothes if you only need pants. Ask yourself, does your baby needs 20 head bands?
There are items that you may not need for your child, so, don’t buy them even if they look awesome on them. I chanced upon this article listing what your baby really needs. This is a practical list that can stop you from buying excess.
Borrow from others
Ask friends with older children if they have anything baby related to give to you. They will be more than happy to pass on clothes, shoes and accessories. You can also borrow cribs, changing table, rocking chairs, toys, high chairs, etc.
But invest in quality items
While you’ll want to buy used clothes and toys, it’s a different story when it comes to purchasing products for the safety of your child, and you should invest in items such as high chairs, car seats, and cribs.
Safety regulations are constantly changing, and what was deemed safe last year may not be so safe this year. So for things that affect your child’s safety, spend the extra money.
Save on child care cost
During initial years, child care cost constitute a significant portion of your expense. Try if you or your partner can choose work at home option. a stay-at-home parent is the best thing for your child.
If parents have flexible work hours, they can save money by minimizing the time at child care. It may be possible for one parent to leave the home at 7 a.m. and be home by 2 p.m. while the other works a typical 10-to-6 schedule, if permitted. Even getting a day to work at home can cut child care cost.
You can also opt for a cooperative child care system where a group of people take turn to provide child care. Here’s a list of 14 ways to reduce child care cost.
Opt for best medical insurance plan
During initial years, you may need to visit pediatrician several times. Adjust your annual benefit enrolment accordingly. Check if high co-pay with annual maximum is better than low copay with a higher annual maximum.
Try enrolling in CHIP, if you’re eligible.Chip provides affordable health care for your child, this is heavily subsidized by the government.
Save on groceries
Food takes up 13% of our annual spending, and half of that goes to eating out! For starters, only eat out when it’s a special occasion. By doing this, not only will you save money, but you’ll also make going out more of an experience, and thus will appreciate it more.
When it comes to groceries, you should use coupons and buy basic when possible. To save even more money, make a list, or more specifically, two lists. Have one with what you need to have, and another list of what you would like, but only if they’re on sale. That way you aren’t tempted to buy unnecessary products.
Save money on gas
Gas is quite expensive these days, so combine errands when possible. Don’t take a trip only for milk, instead stop for it after you pick up the kids. You should also carpool when possible, as this not only saves money, but is also environmentally friendly.
These are just four ways to save money, but there are many more. A little cleverness goes a long way.
Save money on books
Books can be very costly expense for a school going kid. You can get “like new” books on Amazon for up to 90% discount on original price. Not only books, you can even get used comic books and children knowledge books.
Half.com is also another good resource to buy used books. You can even go for book rental sites. eBooks are generally cheaper than paper books. Have your child develop ease and interest in eBooks.
Buy frugal gifts
You can give your child all they want by looking for frugal alternative. Even there are stores that sell second-hand video games. There are number of gifts that you can create yourself by re-purposing and reusing items you already have in your home. better, involve your child in the process. this brings tremendous value in your child’s mind.
baking a birthday cake with your child can be more appealing to your child than buying that cake.
Look for frugal vacation
Look for your city site. The city where we live in Florida, has a yearly calendar of events on their website. Most of the events are catered for small children, ranging from side-walk, painting workshops, community gardening, city/state-run dance classes, etc.
You don’t have to create own pumpkin patch, there must be some place where your city is celebrating Halloween. Find out those local entertainment, make full use of them. They are educational and friendly to your pocket.
You can go for local hiking trails, you can camp out at your nearest state/national parks. Wherever you live there must be number of museums nearby.Visit TripAdvisor and search for things to do in your area, or weekend gateway ideas where you live. you’ll get a number of ideas.
When you go to a popular tourist place, have other families join you, sharing a house cut down on individual cost.
Avail tax benefits
Take advantage of tax credits on a dependent child. 20% to 35% of child care expenses can be deducted depending on your income. Some states offer additional benefits, check with tax adviser. Even standard deduction goes higher if number of dependent increases. Make sure you take full advantage of that.
Reader, if you are a parent, where your maximum money goes and what are you doing to save?