3 of the Best Money-Saving Tips I've Picked Up as a Mom
Like saving money? Here's how to do so -- even with kids in the mix.
- Raising children is an expensive prospect.
- There are steps you can take to eke out savings, even when your expenses keep piling up.
I've been a mom for a little over a decade now, and I can say that it definitely hasn't always been smooth sailing from a financial standpoint. When my children were younger, I spent a small fortune on things like diapers, supplies, and daycare. And nowadays, a large chunk of my earnings goes toward paying for summer camp.
But while I've definitely had to dip into my savings account on more than one occasion as a mom, I've also, through the years, learned some ways to keep my spending to a minimum. Here are three tactics you may want to consider yourself.
1. Don't splurge on clothing
There's a host of cute outfits that would no doubt look adorable on your children. But do yourself a favor and resist the urge to plunk down $50 on a single sweater or $60 on a frilly dress. Instead, do what I do -- order a cheaper version on Amazon, or see what apparel your local Costco has in stock.
Kids' clothing has a tendency to get ripped or destroyed easily. And even if that doesn't happen, children tend to outgrow their clothing quickly. It's really not worth spending $30 on a single pair of jeans when you can find similar ones for $12.50 at Target.
2. Steer clear of activities that require lots of uniforms
When my daughters were younger, I enrolled them in a gymnastics class for a year. I then pulled them out the following year for one big reason -- I didn't want them to have to participate in competitions.
It's bad enough that the cost of gymnastics itself was over $100 per month, per child. But I found out that once the competitions began, I'd need to start spending $100 or more on uniforms for those events. And to be clear, we're talking about single-use uniforms here. Multiply that by five or six gymnastics meets a year, and the cost can get prohibitive.
If your children are older and passionate about a specific activity, you may want to see if you can find the room in your budget to make that happen. But you may also want to steer them toward activities that won't break the bank, like I did.
3. Buy the right grocery items in bulk
Kids tend to be snacky -- or at least that's my experience. If you don't want to rack up a massive credit card tab buying groceries, make a point to stock up on household staples in bulk. Doing so saves me a lot of money and helps me avoid constant trips to the store.
That said, be careful when buying in bulk. You'll want to limit yourself to tried and true products that your kids have consistently consumed for several weeks at a minimum. If you take a chance on a newer product and buy it in bulk, you'll run the risk of your kids deciding they hate said item just as you've stocked up on it.
Being a parent is one of the most expensive experiences I've ever had. But it's also one of the most rewarding. And while finding ways to spend less money through the years has been a challenge, if you're willing to make adjustments and get creative, you, too, can eke out your share of savings.
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