I like to save money, so I was keen to get some ideas from Amberly Selah, who has written this post on three ways to save on your household budget exclusively for The Parent Social.
Studies over the years have shown varying numbers on the average costs of raising a child, but the one thing that is evident across the board is that having children is an expensive exercise. In the US, one child on average costs $245,000, while the Telegraph reports a whopping £230,000 per child. From electricity bills to groceries and clothes, having a kid can do some major damage to your bank account. However, it is possible to reduce family expenditure.
Here are a few ways that you can maximise your family budget:
Buy clothes for quality and versatility
More often than not, parents will wait for clothing sales during back-to-school seasons in hopes of saving themselves some money, only for the clothes to get worn out and tossed in the bin because they aren’t good enough to be sent to charity. Don’t fall into the trap of sales, which can make you spend more than you anticipated; rather, you want to shop smart. As Tootsa describes, you should be aiming for clothes “ideal for layering to suit temperature and changes in weather,” as well as durable enough to last wash after wash, so that once your child grows out of those garments, they can be passed down on to the next one (if you go that route!) or even sold on.
Plan your weekly meals
Cooking on a daily basis can get tiring and influences you to eat out or order in more. However, it’s common sense that your money will go a lot further on a trip to the grocery store than it will at your local takeaway restaurants. To minimise the time consumed by brainstorming what could be made with the leftovers in your fridge, a simple meal plan is all you need. Money Crashers recommend a weekly meal plan, as it will help you figure out exactly what you need and enable you to shop well within your budget. Removing the stress, helps remove the temptation of too many takeaways and meals out!
Throw the occasional “give and take” party
Have friends who also have families? American mother Julie Knoll has a mom’s club that often hosts a “give and take” table, an item swap that lets friends trade pre-loved toys, clothes and houseware that are still in great condition, all for free. The more exciting version of a garage sale, this is a great way to help out friends, neighbors, and of course yourself without dropping a fortune at different boutiques and department stores. Another benefit of this give and take party is that it helps in decluttering your house.
If you have any other tips, please feel free to share them below!