Life with young children can be expensive. Sometimes, it seems like the costs pile up and there’s no way out. Luckily, there are ways to save money and make things easier on yourself. Here are some budgeting tips for parents of young children.
Used items can be just as good as their new counterparts, but much cheaper. Consider buying certain things used. Clothing from thrift shops can help you clothe your rapidly-growing children without spending a ton of money. You can also find furniture, toys, and books that are still in good condition. There are some things you should only buy new for safety reasons, but plenty of child essentials can be found for significantly cheaper at your local thrift shop.
If you’re co-parenting, married or not, both of you need to be on the same page when it comes to money. Make sure that you communicate effectively and check in about your budget. If you live together, this can be easy. However, if you don’t live together, you’ll need to put the effort in. After a divorce, the non-custodial parent spends an average of 88 days a year with their children. Consider what both of you think to be priorities when it comes to your children. You should also make sure that you’re taking care of yourselves. If you make plans together and are clear about what you need to do with your money, there will be much fewer arguments and unexpected expenses to deal with.
Prioritize Preventative Care
Medical expenses can get costly. However, there are some expenses that can be avoided if you practice preventative care. Make sure that your children go to the doctor and the dentist regularly. More than 40% of children have dental cavities before they begin kindergarten. These cavities can be expensive to treat. While you might not be able to avoid all medical issues, you can avoid many of them by following healthy habits and going to the doctor regularly. This will save you money in the long run.
Go Energy Efficient
By making your home more energy efficient, you can save money and put it toward your children’s needs. Look into ways you can upgrade your home. Fixing broken fixtures, adding insulation, and replacing your windows can save you a lot of money in the future. In fact, adding new windows can save you $465 in energy costs. That money adds up to a significant amount. When you do your budget after making the house more energy efficient, you’ll find that your energy expenses are lower, freeing up a lot of the stress on your budget.
Embrace Your Library
Your children deserve to have high-quality education and entertainment. However, buying books, movies, and other materials can cost a lot of money. Take advantage of your local library. Your children will love picking out new books and exploring all the topics they are interested in. Check out materials and look into events hosted by the library. Not only are they good for children, but there are options for adults as well. If your budget is tight, a grownups-only library event might be the perfect way for you to recharge! So get a library card and explore what your library has to offer.
Raising young children can be very expensive. While you won’t be able to eliminate all of your costs, there are ways to do everything you need to do for less money. Consider the options listed above and take some time to apply them to your own life. You’ll find that much of your money stress will go away.