Raise your hand if you agree that having a baby can be the most rewarding time of your life, yet adjusting to the additional costs can be stressful.
While talking about parenting, we seldom talk about financial responsibilities that come along with and ways of saving money. It’s still a very hush hush topic that one doesn’t discuss openly with friends or relatives and ends up taking suboptimal financial decisions.
But as a parent, one can’t deny the fact that financial planning is an imperative part of parenting. Every parent wants the best for their baby. It’s a life you have created so the responsibility of building a strong foundation is also yours, after all.
But in today’s times, financial goals aren’t limited to saving for higher education or child’s marriage only. There are several expenditures that crop up in the short run itself. From 1st birthday celebration to dance or music classes to annual family vacations to what not!
So financial planning also has to happen by taking small steps. And a few saving hacks can definitely help in the long run.
So here are a few Tips For Moms To Save Money across the board, from groceries to travel to lifestyle.
Tips For Moms To Save Money
Groceries & Staples
A big chunk of monthly expenditure comprises money spent on groceries and other basic essentials. Baby items like diapers, wipes, formula etc takes over new parents’ expenditures like anything. And trust me, it is an expensive affair. So what can we do to save a few bucks here?
- Buy in advance and in bulk– This way not only will you pay less per item but also you won’t be spending a bomb buying at last minute from a convenience or medical store at midnight!
- Stay organised- This is a real problem for me. I’ll get home with a bunch of juices and realise I still have five cans. Keep your pantry, grocery cabinet, fridge organised so you don’t over buy and avoid wastage.
- Make a menu plan– Start with weekly menu and then gradually move to fortnightly. This one is really a game changer not in saving money but also time in the long run. When you don’t have to wonder what to eat, you aren’t as tempted to order in or go out to eat. Simple.
There’s so much scope of tweaking our lifestyle that you will see how just small changes can make a big difference to your monthly savings.
1. Be Resourceful
- Learn basic skills that can save you lots of money like baking, cooking etc to avoid depending on buying these from outside. Or even things related to personal care. For example, I do my own manicures and pedicures.
- Make your own baby food instead of buying packaged food.
- Use cloth (non-disposable) diapers. A baby goes through about 60 diapers per week; using cloth ones is not only environmentally friendly, it also saves money that can be used for other baby essentials.There are so many brands these days that promote zero waste re-suable nappies and diapers.
- Breastfeeding (if your body permits) is natural and eliminates spending on formula.
2. Drop the Unnecessary Stuff
Consider the things you don’t really “need” and drop them. Focus on simplifying your life. Get rid of the clutter and make a commitment not to purchase extra stuff you don’t really need. I follow the rule of ‘5 in 5 out’- in case I buy 5 new clothes, I ensure 5 are moved out of my cupboard and donated.
3. Shop the No-Frills Brands instead of going for fancy brands that usually don’t mean much. So shop generic and save.
4. Unsubscribe to Certain Emails
All of those promotional emails can make you want to shop, shop, and shop. Unsubscribe to most of those mailing lists, or at the very least, delete them. Don’t make yourself anymore tempted to spend money than you already are.
5. Don’t be a hoarder
This is relevant more so while shopping for kids. Instead of buying clothes and shoes in bulk, buy on a monthly or need-basis. I restock kids’ clothes every 3 months now. That way the real need with respect to weather, festivals, occasions, size etc are also met.
6. Upscale yourself in terms of DIY projects
There are several videos and tutorials available that can help you do makeover of your room, garden, decoration etc. This way you will see less need to spend money in buying new things every time. You can involve kids also in this and make it more like a family project. My kids have been involved in making handmade cards, invitations, gift wrapping using DIY ideas since the age of 4. Trust me, your wallet will appreciate the added savings.
Toys & Books
- Use a Toy Library– I have made my life simpler. I do not mind when my kids get bored with last week’s toys. I know I can just run out and get “new” ones. No, I am not spoiling my children by buying them the hottest action figures or the newest board games. Instead, I have subscribed to a toy-lending library, one of dozens across the country that allow members to borrow from a large collection of playthings. The annual subscription fee is very reasonable. Borrowing toys has also taught our kids about responsibility. They have started respecting toys as they understand that they belong to someone else. And as long as they take care of them, we can go back and try something new.
- Baby Gear & Nursery essentials– Borrow/exchange all of these items as they can become fairly expensive. Plus the shelf life of these items is hardly over 6 months. Your child will quickly grow out of them, leaving you to likely dispose of the purchases. A better idea is to find family and friends to pass them on to you. There are several Facebook groups for up-cycling and more often than not, the deals are quite attractive. This is a great way to find gently used and even new toy items at a great price. Plus, you can even sell your own toys you no longer use and get cash for new ones! Remember, everyone’s old is someone else’s new, which makes for some great baby bargains.
- Try Book library rentals– Just like toys, online book libraries are very common these days and come with either free or very low deposit. This is a great way to try new puzzles, story books & much more. So easy and cheap!
Use Technology to Help You Save Money
Be honest with yourself and admit if you’re an impulse shopper. If you are, it might be wise to get your groceries delivered. This reduces impulse buying to a large extent because you exactly know what you need to buy. Same holds true for other essentials like clothes, baby care items etc. Plus the prices and deals are mostly much better than physical store prices.
Go Back to Basics- Budget. Budget. Budget
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But most importantly, start talking about saving money with kids. It is an essential life skill and this learning will help children throughout their life. Let them understand how money is earned and why it is important to save.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to save with minimal effort. What are some of the hacks your family uses to save money throughout the year? Share in the comments!