We all know that having children is an absolute blessing. However, there’s one thing they don’t bless; your bank balance. Yes, everyone with kids knows how expensive it is to raise them. From things like diaper costs to using up more electricity, there are so many costs that go up when you start a family.
To make matters worse, these costs tend to go higher and higher as they get older. If you sat down and figured out how much you spent on each child throughout their life, you’d probably have a heart attack!
Having said that, you can’t blame your kids for this, it’s just the way life goes. Furthermore, you can do things to make life more affordable when you have children. The expenses don’t always have to go through the roof, and I’m here to explain how!
I’ve split this post up into different sections filled with tips to help you spend less and stop worrying about where all your family’s money goes. Hopefully, my advice will help you, and you can focus on enjoying life with your children rather than getting stressed about how much they cost to raise.
Reducing Clothing Costs
Buying clothes for your children will cost a serious amount of money over the years. You buy them outfits, they grow out of them, and you buy them more. This goes on and on until they’re old enough to buy clothes for themselves. The costs add up with each child, but I have some ideas to help you save money.
The first is simple; look for hand me downs as much as possible. Contact family members that might have old clothes you can borrow for your child. This is especially helpful when they’re really little as they grow out of clothes so quickly. You could be buying new things every few months, which is an expensive life to live! By getting hand me downs from relatives and friends, you basically have free clothes for your baby. Also, when new babies come along, you can use old clothes from your first child to pass on to them.
Another idea is to ask for clothes as gifts during a baby shower, wedding, Christmas, etc. People are always keen to get gifts for your kids, and this is the perfect opportunity to stock up on things you need.
Finally, consider shopping at discount or charity stores to buy the cheapest clothes possible. At the end of the day, your young child won’t know anything about fashion or clothes. So, they won’t care what they wear as long as it’s comfortable. Buy them cheap clothes, and you will save so much money.
Cutting Your Internet & TV Bill
For parents with toddlers or young kids growing up, then your phone and TV bills will be a massive issue. It’s not so much a problem when your children are babies, as they’re too young to know about streaming movies, playing online games, and just generally being on the internet. As such, this is the perfect time to try and save a lot of money on these bills. I have one simple tip here; pay for what you need!
You see, loads of internet providers will offer different tariffs and services for you to choose from. If you look on Optimum.com for more information, you’ll see what I mean. There are options that give you different internet speeds at different prices. The faster the internet, the more you’ll pay. When you have a baby, you can save money on your internet for a good year and a bit by purchasing a slower tariff. Is there any need to have a super quick internet speed if only you and your partner use it, and none of you are big streamers or downloaders? No! You’ll waste so much money, so save it now! Then, as your kids get older and they use the internet more, you can upgrade while still only paying for what you need. Also, make sure you compare providers to find the best and cheapest offers. You can do a Speed-test on your internet to see how fast it is going, and if you are paying too much for the speed it is currently at.
The same goes for your TV bill as well; pay for what you need. Does your family watch any sports on TV? If not, don’t bother buying a package that includes sports channels! You can find cheap cable TV and internet packages without them that will save you loads of money! I say get the cheapest package possible and just add things to it when you need them. These days, with things like Netflix and other streaming services, kids don’t really watch conventional TV as often.
Doing all these things will slash your internet, phone, and TV bills in half. This saves a lot of money every month, and reduces the cost of raising children.
Learn the Art of Repair
Children break things all the time, whether it’s holes in their clothes, a crack in their phone, a chip in their favourite mug, and many more. I simply cannot stress how useful learning to repair is when it comes to saving money. You’ll waste so much money on buying replacements if you don’t!
For every hole you darn and mug you epoxy back together that is a good amount of savings, even if you have to buy some threads or special glues. It all adds up eventually. The biggest savings come from repairing electronics which is a little more difficult but it often means the difference between a double-digit part replacement or a whole replacement in the triple-digits. You can repair TVs, smartphones, cables, you can even repair game consoles – perfect for when your little ones are a bit too rough with them.
Teaching these skills to your children is a must as well. The sooner they understand the basics of repairing the more it helps them later in life. It helps reduce waste in the world and teaches them valuable money-saving skills as well. Who knows, maybe hole darning could be a great activity to do together with your children.
Lowering Your Utility Bills
Your internet and TV bills are always going to be high in this day and age, but you can’t forget about your utilities either. Families will have massive utility bills for their electricity, gas, and water usage. It’s normal; the more people there are in your family, the more you’ll use of all these things. Some parents think it’s impossible to keep these costs down, but there are some ways to do it! You’d be surprised, sometimes all you need to do is Switch Electricity Providers and your bill is suddenly much cheaper!
The first idea is to simply shop around before you buy. This sounds simple, mainly because it is! By shopping around, you can compare all the different utility providers out there. When you factor in ‘new customer offers’ as well as the regular price for your utilities, you may find the savings are staggering when you choose one provider over another. Don’t just do this once, do it every year when your contract is coming to an end. Often, just the threat of a customer leaving for a rival provider will make your current provider offer a cheaper deal.
Next, you should be more vigilant in your home when it comes to saving energy and water. Don’t run the tap when you’re brushing your teeth. Fill your sink up with soapy water instead of running the hot tap for minutes on end when washing dishes. If you have a dishwasher, make sure you wait until it’s completely full before switching it on, and avoid using it daily. When it comes to energy, switch to eco-efficient light bulbs that don’t use as much electricity and last longer. Wrap up warm during winter in appropriate clothing so you can lower your central heating temperature and save energy. There are so many other ideas you can use to save energy and lower your utility costs, as seen over on moneycrashers.com.
By tackling your utility costs, you can take a massive chunk out of your monthly savings. Seriously, you will be amazed at how much money you save by applying these simple tips. Too many of us are guilty of overpaying for utilities as we’re too lazy to see if we have the best deal out there. With comparison sites, there’s really no excuse for not comparing deals. Likewise, too many of us don’t focus on saving energy, and waste a lot of money every year.
Saving Money On Food
Finally, we have your food costs – which will be massive. It’s hard enough to save money when you’re cooking for one or two people, let alone a whole family. The period where your kids are babies and toddlers is probably the hardest. Babies need special food, so it’s hard to avoid spending extra on them. Then, toddlers and young children are still finding their taste buds, so they might not like certain foods, meaning you have to go out of your way to satisfy them. But, don’t fret, you can still save a lot of money.
The easiest idea is to start shopping at cheaper stores and buying non-branded products. There’s a secret with products like this in that they’re almost identical to branded ones, yet a lot cheaper. Sometimes, they follow the same recipes, but stores save money on marketing costs by not branding them, which is why they can sell them for a lower price. You’ll save loads of money buying non-branded food products, so give it a go.
My second idea is to feed everyone the same meals. Sit down as a family and eat the same thing, making life cheaper and easier for you. It means you don’t have to make three different meals and buy ingredients for all these meals. You only buy one set of ingredients, and it will save so much money and time in your home. If you’re worried about kids not eating the food, then you just have to be a bit strict with them. Eventually, they’ll grow to like things, and be less fussy when they’re older too!
I’m not going to lie, after writing this piece it’s made me realize how much money I could be saving! If you’re worried about becoming a parent and raising a family, then I hope this has been beneficial for you. These tips address some of the biggest recurring costs you’ll face, and how to save money. Follow the advice and stop stressing about your bank balance every month.