Having a baby is a great joy but often new parents find themselves overwhelmed with the responsibilities they have to face, especially in terms of finance. It costs a lot to raise a child till the point you drop him off to college and you will need to find ways to manage your budget from the time it is born. A few simple money-saving hacks can help your pocket maintain its balance and give your mind some peace.
7 Unconventional Money-Saving Hacks for Parents
Be a smart shopper
Stop with the impulsive buying, it doesn’t help you at all. Eager as you might be to give everything to your child, ask yourself, does he really need everything right now? Try to rotate the toys you already have every 3-4 months and chances are your child will still enjoy his old toys after this small break. Don’t give away your baby clothes in case you plan to have another child and buy gender-neutral clothing. Do your shopping for presents and such in the off-season, when there are great discounts and store them for occasions like birthdays. Don’t give all the toys up at once, try spacing out the stuff you give for when he gets bored of his old toys.
In a home with single-person income or even in a few two-persons incomes, childcare services often take a toll on your budget. Try to get another family and alternate the babysitting schedule between you two. If that’s not an option, go for home babysitting services, rather than enrolling them in daycare if they are cheaper. In daycare, ask if there is any sibling discount, if you have more than one child. Make playdates by forming a local group, so that you can get a few days off for yourself. These few simple methods will end up saving you quite a lot of money in the future.
Borrowing things, accepting donations
For activities like reading, you don’t need to buy all the books. Chances are that the families near you who have kids will have children’s books with them already. Choose to borrow those, but be sure that you don’t ruin them. Some families with grown-up kids may even donate their toys to you. Clothes are another thing you might get from them. Getting old clothes from your relatives or the people around you can be of great help for a new parent. The old clothes may even be better for your baby as they have been washed multiple times and are softer, so they will irritate their skin less. There’s no shame in borrowing or getting some donations, they will only help you to minimize your expenses in the long run.
Food is an important constituent of the child’s health and in no way must you keep them from getting their required nutrition. However, you can be efficient while buying them. Go for coupon discounts, sales, and other offers when you go shopping for your essentials. For a newborn, ask for samples of formula when you visit the gynecologist. Don’t skimp on meals but plan your budget while buying them. Make a list and try not to deviate from it. Also keep changing the menu in your budget, as kids are fussy eaters when it comes to vegetables.
Activities for kids
Choose inexpensive activities like going to a park for a walk, going to picnics, going for bicycle rides. For something educational, look for museums and libraries nearby. You could go for a simple visit or look for any workshops or activities they might have there. They are often cheap and could provide a valuable learning experience to your children. Get your kids interested in activities like reading, listening to music, etc. so that they won’t sit in front of the idiot box the whole day. If you wish to cut down your expenses more, cutting the cable might be an option for you if no one in your house uses it very much as especially in the age of the internet where you get every news and entertainment online, you might find no use for cable.
DIY baby stuff
There are many great parenting websites, with great do-it-yourself hacks. Instead of buying all new stuff for the baby, try to use the things you already have, and make them fit your needs. For baby-proofing the house, you can opt for using the things available at home. For example, you can make use of elastic rubber bands as cupboard locks, cover the corners with by taping mini-containers you no longer use, and likewise. You can even DIY toys if you are on an extremely strict budget. Paint old containers and give them to your kid to play with. This works well on small children before they are introduced to the world of toys. You can even repaint a few of their old toys to keep their interest in them alive.
While planning a vacation, plan ahead. Book your tickets when they are available at a cheaper rate and look for cashback offers. Tickets in the weekdays will be cheaper than the weekends. As soon as your child’s schedule arrives for the next academic year, start planning your vacations. Avoid busy travel days which tend to be on the more expensive side. Booking early on has its own advantages and you get access to great offers. You can even look for any offers on apps used for booking. Instead of renting a hotel room for many days, try doing a home swap with another family. It will save you loads of money you spend on hotels.
A few simple hacks like these may not seem like much at first, but when you look at the money, you ended up saving a year later, you will be happy with the results. The saved money can act as a small cushion for when you need a break or as a lifesaver in financial troubles. Small efforts like these will go a long way and help you plan your family life better.
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