Do you want to be a money saving mom? Do you WANT to save money?
Here are 30 money-saving tips specifically for parents who want to keep more cash in their pockets
Here in this post you will find 30 money-savings tips and hacks for parents (an excerpt from my book SAVINGS HACKS – 365 TIPS TO HELP YOU KEEP MORE MONEY IN YOUR POCKET).
Many of these tips will sound great in theory but obviously you will only benefit from the advice you take action on.
Ask yourself now: how many tips are you willing to commit the time and energy to put it into practice?
If you choose to ignore everything you read, then that won’t help you in any way because in the realm of savings, knowledge isn’t power – ACTION IS!
And do you want to know the best saving tip of all?
STOP SPENDING YOUR MONEY ON THINGS YOU DON’T REALLY NEED!
This post will offer you 30 simple and creative parenting ideas, with the aim of keeping your money where it belongs – with you!
A savings hack is defined as any strategy, technique trick, shortcut or tool adopted to manage your money in a more efficient way.
Start small or big, that’s up to you, but at least start somewhere.
1 Keep entertainment simple for children
I know the toy stores would have you believe otherwise but you really don’t need to spend big bucks on entertaining your children.
Most children, especially young ones, can be kept quite busy without requiring expensive toys or gadgets from the store.
Give them a plain box to decorate with coloring pens.
Give them an empty paper roll to play with.
Give them a ball.
Get them to be creative and use their own imagination.
Realize that what your children deep down want most of all is your time and your presence, not more distractions and presents.
2 Make play-dough
Play dough is a classic childhood toy that everyone (even adults) love to play with but the store bought ones are rather costly and this money adds up over time.
So why not make your own?
Not only is it super cheap, but it will give your children a much larger quantity to play and have fun with.
Remember playdough is nothing more than flour, warm water, salt, oil, and a bit of food coloring.
Look online for a recipe that suits you and make sure to store it in an airtight container between uses.
3 Arrange reciprocal babysitting
Childcare costs can be a killer so consider reciprocating babysitting with friends and enjoy some time off every now and then.
4 Save on nappies
One of the best things you can do to minimize the cost of raising a baby is to choose your nappies wisely.
You can buy cheaper nappy brands instead of the expensive ones to save money every month and buy in bulk whenever they are on special.
You can also use buy cloth nappies or try to toilet train your child to go without nappies sooner rather than later.
5 Save on children’s clothes too
Whenever you buy your child a piece of clothing, think about the fact they will probably not fit the item in a year’s time.
Will you be getting real value for the money you spend?
Is it worth the price if he or she only wears the item a handful of times?
Try to buy a bigger size so that it lasts longer and explore second-hand clothing options.
Alternatively you can borrow items that are only used for a few months.
Same applies for non-clothing items like a cradle, bassinet, bouncer etc.
6 Buy unisex clothes, items and toys
Unisex items can easily be reused by younger siblings.
Neutral colours like yellow and green are always the safest option for both boys and girls.
Everyone also loves building blocks, Lego and books so you can’t go wrong with these purchases.
7 Make your own baby food
If you think buying foods filled with preservatives adds up then the same can be said for baby food!
You can easily make your own baby food as those little jars are sometimes more expensive than some adult foods!
Puree freshly cooked veggies like pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots and zucchini.
Do the same for fruits like apple and pears.
Not only will you save a ton of money, you will ensure that your child gets the healthiest options possible all for a fraction of the cost.
8 Make your own baby wipes
Worried that baby wipes contain too many chemicals for your baby or that it may irritate their skin?
Then wipe them down with just water and a cotton ball or cotton cosmetic pad.
You can also use Sorbolene cream with some water on kitchen wipes to soothe their skin.
These wipes are not only washable and reusable but much cheaper than commercial wipes.
9 Keep toilet training cost to a minimum
Tired of having your child wet the bed?
Instead of buying an expensive waterproof mattress protector, you can buy a cheap shower curtain and lay it beneath your fitted sheet.
Just attach each corner to the mattress with a safety pin.
Instead of expensive Pullups you can also buy cloth training pants that can be washed and used again too.
10 School-kid savings
Here are some basic school savings tips:
When it comes to uniforms, buy used whenever you can.
Check out your school clothing pool to get second-hand deals on uniforms.
Label your kid’s belonging as you don’t want to have to replace anything just because it gets lost.
Limit tuckshop purchases to only special occasions, rather than allowing your child to expect a handout each week.
11 Start saving early for college
If you would like your children to go to college, the time to start saving for it is when they are still young.
You know it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg so start squirreling some money every week as soon as you can.
Even $10-$20 a week is enough to make a serious dent in the fees.
12 Let your kids make some decisions
When it comes to money, it’s okay to discuss savings ideas with your children and explain to them the value of a dollar.
They will learn how to save and budget from the opportunity to make their own decisions.
If you give them a set budget for their winter clothes, let them choose and make the most of that money.
If you give them a few dollars for some snacks at the grocery store, let them work out what they can get for that money that will give them the best value.
Allow them to learn these things through EXPERIENCE.
13 Save on birthday parties
Honestly you do not need to spend hundreds of dollars on a kid’s birthday party!
It is crazy to see how over-the-top these events have now become when there is no reason why a celebration can’t be pulled off for minimal money.
Kids don’t need all the fancy stuff.
They just want to have fun with their friends, so who are you really trying to impress?
Host a backyard party at home with a fun theme, do a scavenger hunt, pull out the sprinkler and water bombs, go to the park, host a home disco, do anything that will keep the kids occupied for a few hours without costing you an arm and a leg– the ideas are endless!
If you are after some amazing birthday party ideas, visit Google or Pinterest.
They will show you how to plan the perfect party without spending a lot of cash!
14 Share a birthday party
If your child has a friend with a birthday close to the same date, there is no reason why you can’t consider hosting a party together and splitting the costs, if the children share the same pool of friends.
15 Learn how to make cheap party invitations
Even store-bought invitations are expensive in comparison to homemade ones.
Even better, you can design an invite on the website Canva and print copies out at your local photo printing store for as little as ten cents each.
16 Buy an annual pass
If your kids are still young, you may benefit from purchasing an annual zoo or museum membership.
These passes are usually discounted for families so you get your money’s value following just a few visits, and after that, they continue to provide your family with 365 days of fun.
17 Make your own Halloween or party costumes
You don’t need to buy a ridiculously priced costume to look good!
Not when there are so many cheap, easy-to-make-at-home options available.
Visit Pinterest for lots of fun and cheerful ideas that won’t leave your pockets feeling so empty.
18 Don’t wait until the week before school starts to get supplies
School supplies are frequently on sale throughout the year so whenever you see something you know your child will need for school purchase it ahead of time for use at a later date.
Back to school sales are also a great time to buy those more expensive products like uniforms and school bags.
19 Limit their extracurricular activities
We aren’t trying to be mean but after school activities are expensive and children are known for being fickle and changing their mind quickly about things that interest them.
Limit the amount of activities to a number you can afford.
This has the added bonus of reducing your stress levels about coordinating drop-offs and pickups.
If one or two activities are your limit, make sure your child understands that they need to be committed to the choice they make.
Doing just one or two activities per semester instead of three or four can potentially save you thousands each year.
20 Carpool with other parents
Carpooling isn’t just something that adults can do.
This is even better when it comes to children’s activities where the stress of getting your children to practice and back home can be shared and reduced between a few parents.
Learn to share the love and save money on gas at the same time!
21 Send your kids to a non-private school
In Australia private schools cost approximately $20,000 per year while public schools are free.
If you have two children you can save almost $250,000 just by sending them to your local high school.
So think twice about what else you could do with this money (travel, maybe purchase an investment property?) -and research the good public schools in your area before committing to a private education.
22 Don’t go overboard with birthday and Christmas presents
If you spend $500 on a dozen toys for Christmas one year, you are setting your children up for future disappointment.
You don’t need you to spend ridiculously amounts of money for your children to be happy.
Teach them about the real meaning of the Christmas season.
Help them learn how to appreciate the gifts they receive by giving less.
Yes, give them less!
This way they can enjoy what they have, instead of feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff they receive.
This over-gifting subliminally encourages a greedy “Is that all? I want more!” mentality.
23 Get your teenager to put away his or her earnings
Once your teenager starts working part-time, you need to teach him or her how to save.
The $100 they earned for the week isn’t there to spend on stupid stuff (well technically they can do that but that isn’t the behavior you want them to display!).
There’s nothing wrong with expecting them to contribute to the household by paying a portion of their wage to you or requesting that they save a specific amount instead (saving anything from 20%-50% is perfect).
Put this money directly into a savings account for your child and that way, when they need to purchase a car, house or anything more substantial they already have the money accumulated, thanks to your guidance and help.
24 Don’t buy a pet
As much as animals are great to have, they can be expensive to keep so think twice before purchasing one if you are in serious saving mode.
Between vet bills, food and pet care products, the cost of owning a dog over its lifetime can be up to $25,000.
If you must have a pet…
I won’t lie – there is great joy to be gained from having a pet (I have a dog myself and he is worth his weight in gold).
If you must own an animal, then look at saving money by implementing some of the following ideas:
Buy your pet from a shelter
Get your pet spayed or neutered
Buy food in bulk
25 Go for a park or playground
It’s free and fun. The kids get a chance to play with other children while you can chat to other parents.
They get to enjoy the fresh air and burn off some energy. Need I say more?
26 Take this Challenge: Sell one thing every week
If you are constantly accruing new stuff, you need to either a) ditch your hoarding behavior or b) make room for all your new items by getting rid of some of your old stuff.
How can you do this?
Consider taking on a challenge whereby you aim to sell at least item every week (on eBay, Craigslist, Gumtree, wherever) in an attempt to get rid of clutter, clear space and bring in some extra money too.
Even if you only make $10 on a sale, that’s $520 a year.
Aim higher and a weekly $20 sale = $1040 a year, $30=$1560 a year and so on.
You can stash away this extra money for a rainy day and keep adding to it as long as you remember the golden rule: if something new comes into your home, something old should go out.
27 Sell your expertise
If you already have a job, that’s great.
But there’s no reason why you can’t make some more money on the side.
Think about the skills you have and the way they can be used to earn some extra income.
Do you write well or are you good at proofreading?
Can you potentially tutor students, fix computers or give music, swimming or sports lessons?
Do you know how to sew?
Are you good at taking pictures?
If so, there are plenty of places online that are willing to pay you for your expertise.
Research what’s available or feel free to advertise your freelancing services on any appropriate websites or Facebook groups.
28 Do odds jobs to make extra money
Here’s a list of more ideas on how you can bring in some extra money:
Do a market research focus group
Be a mystery shopper
Answer paid surveys online
Be a human guinea pig
Create a website or blog
Rent a room
Sell your arts and crafts
Compete on 99 designs
Become a virtual assistant
Become a street performer
29 Give your teens options to earn money too
Working for your parent’s business
Be a computer guru
Work in a retail store
Fast food server
30 Have a yard or garage sale
The easiest way to make some fast money is to have a yard or garage sale.
Go through each room in your house and decide what you don’t want or need anymore.
Once you have your stash, plan your sale in advance.
Your odds of making more money increase if you do a little preparation before the event so do your research on how to host a successful yard sale.
Not only do you get to earn extra money, the bonus is you get to declutter your home in the process.
For more savings hacks check out SAVINGS HACKS – 365 Ways To Keep More Money In Your Pocket.
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