When you have a growing family, keeping your budget on track can seem impossible. It seems as though there’s never any money left at the end of a paycheck, and you’re constantly struggling to stay afloat. Keeping your budget on track while raising a family, however, might not be as difficult as you think.
Shop Consignment Sales
Kids outgrow their clothes faster than you can keep up with them. Not only that, they typically outgrow clothes long before they wear them out. While you can certainly keep clothes to pass down from one sibling to the next, there’s no reason why you have to buy all new clothes for your firstborn, either! Instead, check out consignment sales and stores for children’s clothes in excellent condition for a fraction of the price.
You can also save big on baby items by shopping at consignment sales. Babies need a huge amount of gear, much of which can be purchased at consignment sales in gently used condition. They go through a lot of items fast in those first few months, and many parents are looking to unload those items to save space when their baby has outgrown them. There just a few items that should always be purchased new, primarily car seats and crib mattresses.
Set a Budget for Birthdays and Holidays
Every parent is tempted to give their child the world. Kids, however, don’t need more “stuff.” The more kids you have, the more the stuff gets out of control–and the higher your budget climbs. By limiting your budget, you help teach your kids to appreciate the gifts that they do receive and decrease clutter in your home–a win-win situation for everyone.
Limit Extracurricular Activities
Your child is, it seems, interested in everything. He wants to play two or three sports all at the same time, go to church every week, and participate in a local drama group. She plays an instrument, dances, and participates in the student government at school. All of these activities are wonderfully enriching, but they also get expensive fast! In addition, many professionals are concerned with the impact of too many activities on children. When you limit your kids’ extracurricular activities, you reduce your budget and the stress on your time.
Eat Out Less
Eating out is a huge drain on a family’s budget. When it’s just you, or you and your spouse, eating out isn’t all that expensive. Eating out with a family of four, five, or more, however, adds up fast! By planning ahead and eating at home even when it’s inconvenient, you can save a surprising amount of money, particularly over the course of several years of activities and outings.
Raising kids can be expensive, but you can do it without breaking your budget completely. By looking for opportunities to reduce your expenses, you can increase your savings and, more importantly, provide the things that your kids really need.