Saving money as a parent is challenging. How well you budget and divide up your weekly and monthly earnings can have a significant impact on the financial security of your family. Unfortunately, not all of us learn the most effective ways to manage money as adults, and this can cause major issues once we start a family of our own. To help you make sense of this money-saving mess, here are some practical and useful tips for how to save money as a parent.
How To Save Money As A Parent: 10 Practical Tips
Being a parent can be both rewarding and challenging, especially when it comes to managing your finances. With the added expenses of raising a family, it's important to find ways to save money wherever possible. In this article, we'll provide 10 practical tips for saving money as a parent. From budgeting and cutting costs to finding creative ways to save, these strategies will help you stretch your budget further and ensure that you have the resources you need to provide for your family. Whether you're a first-time parent or an experienced pro, these tips will help you make the most of your money and provide a secure financial future for your family.
1. Use reusable baby products
When you are going out to the store every week (sometimes more) to purchase disposable nappies, prepared baby food, and other essentials for your kid, you end up spending far more than you’d like. To save in these crucial areas, buy reusable products instead.
Cloth diapers can be washed in the laundry, and baby food can be made from home using a blender or food processor. There is no need to waste money or material to ensure that your kid gets what they need.
You can also use your extra money wisely by purchasing money saving cleaning products to keep your home clean without spending a fortune. For example use cloths in the home that can be washed, rather than kitchen roll that goes in the bin everyday. You could even have a go at making your own cleaning products, which can work out cheaper than buying them readymade. Many of these natural, chemical-free products are also better for the environment.
If you're on the go and need wipes for ease, choose bamboo baby wipes to keep your baby’s skin feeling clean and fresh while helping the environment, too! Look into the cloth movement for nappies and research online how others manage when they are out and about for the day.
2. Buy secondhand goods
As your child develops, they will quickly grow out of the clothes and shoes you buy for them. Decide to go with secondhand goods from friends and family or online thrift stores to dress your baby or young child. There is no reason to spend full price on clothes that will only be worn for a few months before it is time to donate them.
When you are done with them then donate them to your friends and family or local charity shops. Alternatively if you need more money, sell them online on Facebook marketplace, eBay or similar to recoup some of your outgoing family costs.
The same is true for baby and child toys. Opt for secondhand to save a small fortune and sell them afterwards to get some money back.
You can also borrow books for free from the library, saving you ever needing to buy childrens books.
3. Use appliances sparingly
You may also be looking for ways to make your limited budget stretch within the home, now you are a parent. Perhaps your bills are super high and you need to bring them down. These tips could help.
Aim to use the washer and dryer once a week. Limit your use of the dishwasher, and for any toasting, use your toaster, not the oven! All of these small changes will save you a ton once your bills come in for the month.
Making cups of tea and coffee, then forgetting about them with a busy family life and boiling the kettle again, constantly? Invest in a thermoflask and make a flask of hot drink first thing that will see you through the day without multiple kettle boils.
You can also take shorter showers and turn off the lights whenever you’re not in a room. Saving money on electricity and energy bills is important if you're looking to cut costs as they may be one of your highest monthly bills.
4. Be economical with your appliances
As well as being careful how often you use an appliance, you should also take into account how cheap an appliance is per use. Because even if you use an appliance a small number of times, the cost per use could be high due to the appliance being poor when it comes to energy efficiency.
There are a number of energy-saving appliances on the market that feature high levels of energy efficiency, meaning they will cost less to run per use. This means you are able to use your appliances more often than older, less energy-efficient appliances as they won’t consume as much electricity and/or water per cycle. You can easily tell which appliances are energy efficient through the energy rating system, which runs from A+++ to G.
Whilst buying a completely new appliance isn’t cheaper from the outset, in the long run it will be. It’ll have much lower running costs and is unlikely to break down and require repairs like an older appliance would.
5. Start an at-home business
For parents who work from home, make a plan to bring in extra money each month doing something lucrative yet manageable from home. Some ideas include hosting a daycare at your home, renting out a storage space in your garage, or starting a blog that promotes products you like.
Obviously, your main duty is caring for your little one, but when you have the extra time, a side hustle can help you save more money.
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6. Eat from home
Instead of eating out or grabbing coffee to go, do so from home to save money. The money you spend on groceries should be the total amount of money you spend on food and drink for the week. The money you save on food that you would usually eat when out and about can go right back in your pocket.
Without paying much attention to it, we quickly waste money on unnecessary dining, quick beverages throughout the day, and other kinds of consumption that burn holes in our wallets. Start cooking from home and taking your coffee with you when you leave the house. The same goes with snacks and bottled water - get your own reusable water bottle and take a few snacks out with you for you and your children to resist buying them on the road.
7. Shop around for the best prices
Babies and kids need a lot of things. You can't always get them secondhand, so you'll need to shop new as well. Take the time to compare prices at different stores, and don't be afraid to negotiate for a better deal. Here are a few ways to shop around for the best prices as a parent:
Comparison shop online: Use websites like Google Shopping or PriceGrabber to compare prices at different retailers. You can also use websites like Honey or Rakuten to automatically apply coupons and find the best deals.
Visit multiple stores: Don't be afraid to visit multiple stores to compare prices in person. This is especially useful for items like groceries, where prices can vary widely from one store to the next.
Negotiate for a better deal: If you're buying a big-ticket item, like a car or appliance, don't be afraid to negotiate for a better price. Many salespeople are willing to haggle, especially if you're a loyal customer or if you have a competing offer.
Look for sales and discounts: Keep an eye out for sales and discounts, both online and in-store. Sign up for newsletters and follow your favorite retailers on social media to stay informed about promotions and discounts.
Use price-matching policies: Many retailers have price-matching policies that allow you to get the same item at the same price as a competitor. If you find a better deal at another store, you can often ask the store you're shopping at to match the price.
8. Create a budget and stick to it
Having a budget in place will help you track your spending and make sure that you're not overspending. Creating a budget and sticking to it is an essential step in saving money as a parent. A budget is a plan that outlines your income and expenses, and helps you make informed decisions about how to allocate your money. By setting limits on your spending and tracking your expenses, you can make sure that you're not overspending and that you have enough money left over to save for the future.
Having a budget also allows you to identify areas where you can cut costs and make adjustments to your spending habits. Whether you use a spreadsheet, a budgeting app, or a simple pen and paper, the key is to find a method that works for you and stick to it. By being consistent and disciplined with your budgeting, you'll be able to better manage your finances and achieve your financial goals as a parent.
9. Look for discounts and coupons
One of the easiest ways to save money as a parent is to keep an eye out for discounts and coupons. Whether you're shopping for groceries, clothing, or household essentials, there are always opportunities to save. Look for sales and discounts both online and in-store, and use coupons to get the best deal.
Many retailers offer special discounts for military personnel, students, and senior citizens, so be sure to ask if you're eligible for any special discounts or if you're shopping alongside someone who is! By taking the time to search for discounts and coupons, you can save money on everyday purchases and stretch your budget further.
10. Cut unnecessary expenses
Another way to save money as a parent is to take a close look at your monthly expenses and see if there are any non-essential items that you can eliminate. This could include subscription services, expensive gym memberships, or other unnecessary expenses. By cutting unnecessary expenses, you can free up more money to put towards saving or paying off debt. Be sure to review your expenses regularly, and make any necessary adjustments to your budget. By being mindful of your spending and cutting unnecessary expenses, you can save more money and achieve your financial goals as a parent.
The bottom line
Saving money as a parent is certainly possible with a little thought and consideration. Consider the above suggestions as you work to set aside more money for your family. Make your money work for you and consider creative ways to bring in more income from home. Remember, parents: the world is your oyster!
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