We’re all looking for ways to save. If you’ve got kids, you are probably desperate to make every penny you spend worthwhile, and yet, it always seems like there just isn’t enough to go around.
There’s no doubt that children can be a bottomless pit when it comes to cash, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You’ll still end up spending money on your little ones, but with these four money-saving tips, you can reduce wasteful spending and feel good about every penny you do spend.
Pay Yourself First
Nearly every parent makes the mistake of putting their children first when it comes to cash. That’s a dangerous strategy that will leave you without enough money to pay the bills in the short term, and not enough retirement cash in the long term.
Instead, every parent should pay themselves first. That means setting aside all the money the family needs to pay bills, buy groceries, and save. Then, you can budget for other items, like new clothes for the kids or how much you can send to your college student in El Salvador.
Don’t Buy Stuff Unless There’s a Good Reason
Kids’ toys and candy aren’t very expensive. Most only cost a few dollars, so it’s easy to bring something home for your child each and every time you go out into the world. Well, all those dollars add up.
Instead, you shouldn’t buy things for your child unless there is a good reason. Many parents find that there are some great benefits to depriving their kids of toys that include:
- More imaginative play
- Better concentration
- More effective communication
Instead, only buy stuff when there’s a good reason, like a new outfit for the first day of school or celebratory ice cream after winning the big game.
Reduce or Eliminate Pay-To-Play Activities
Teams and activities can add up fast for children of all ages. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars every month to involve your child in every activity under the sun, allow your child to focus on just one pay-to-play activity.
It’s even better if you can find free activities! Many communities have intramural leagues, craft nights, and other activities that are completely free.
Tone Down Gifts During the Holidays
If it’s easy to overspend on your child the rest of the year, it’s even easier during the holidays. Tone down that holiday spending with the four-gift rule. Buy your child something to wear, something to read, something they want, and something they need.
Not only will it enable you to save tens, or even hundreds, of dollars during the holiday season, it can also teach your children to be more mindful about what they ask for and more thankful for what they get.
Being a parent doesn’t automatically mean you’ll never have any money ever again! It just means you have to get smart about how you spend it. With these four tips, you can stop spending on things the kids don’t need so you can start saving it instead.