Parenting can be a life changing experience as moments of joy and stress can come along with it. The stress can be compounded by the fact that many parents struggle to manage their finances after birth of children. They could be at times unprepared and surprised by the sudden rise in their monthly expenses after starting a family. However, parents can follow some basic, often overlooked tips that really can improve your long-term savings.
1. Establish a Monthly Budget
It is very important for all parents to set a monthly budget. By establishing a clear and documented monthly budget, you can gain a better control of your finances. It will help you understand your expenses and the amount of income that you will be earning in a month. Ideally, you should divide the total monthly expenses in different categories such as groceries, travel and entertainment, and utility bills. This will give you a better idea of what to expect in terms of expenses and prepare you to save some money at the month end.
2. Banish Credit Card Debt
As a parent, you also need to ensure that you do not accumulate any additional debt, which could cost you several hundreds of dollars each year. It is important to pay off any credit card debt as the higher interest rates lead to an even heavier burden of debt. To cut down your interest expenses, you may consider signing up for credit cards with low fees and long introductory periods. If you enjoy a good relationship with your card issuer, you could ask for a rate cut to lower your monthly payments.
3. Reuse Everything
One wise way of saving a good amount of money could be to recycle and reuse daily use items. You can also hand down clothes in wearable condition from one generation to the other. You should also be constantly on the lookout for deals and special offers on the internet. Social media and other online sites are a great source of information for such deals. As a frugal parent, you may also be interested in checking out local garage sales and other classified ads for great deals on various items.
4. Do It Yourself
When you buy some of the most basic items and services from the market, you obviously pay more for things that you can even do yourself. You can cook healthy and fresh meals at home to avoid spending on dining out. You and your spouse may also consider taking homemade lunch and skipping the early morning coffee from the corner shop. Besides, doing these little tasks together at home could be a great way of spending some quality time together.
5. Shop Smarter
When you go out to shop the next time, please ensure that you have a grocery list so that you do not shop for unnecessary items. Shopping locally for the in-season items is also a great way to save money. Even if your kid insists on buying the latest toy, do not give in easily as your kid may already have abundant toys at home. Let your kid use his creativity and come up with ways to have fun. By saying no to disposable items, you will be making greener choices that result in long-term savings. You may also consider making bulk purchases, buying reusable nappies and shopping at stores that offer loyalty reward points. After every few months, you should also clear out your home and hold a garage sale of the unwanted items.
Jessica Bosari is a freelance writer and blogger for various publications and her ownblog. You can read more of Jessica's work here. If you have any comments or questions about SavingTools or about saving money, leave your comments in the form below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!