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Before we decided to have kids I was trying to estimate the cost to figure out if we could afford to have a child and provide it the necessities it needs. I was often worried about finances during my pregnancies. I was researching all the time ways to save money as a parent so that is why I am sharing this with you today.
Based on the most recent data from the Consumer Expenditures Survey, in 2015, a family will spend approximately $12,980 annually per child, married-couple family. Middle-income, married-couple parents of a child born in 2015 may expect to spend $233,610 ($284,570 if projected inflation costs are factored in*) for food, shelter, and other necessities to raise a child through age 17. This does not include the cost of a college education.
Crazy right? That is why I am providing you with 21 ways that parents can save money because as you can see it is a huge financial investment raising a child in today’s society.
- Stock up on diapers when you are pregnant so you are able to shop for the best deals. Alternatively, you could use cloth diapers that will save you more.
- Cook more at home instead of going out to eat. You can be creative! Breakfast for dinner is always a hit here in the Irish Twins Momma’s home.
- Go Generic! I have saved so much money going generic on so many items. Just switching toilet paper and cutting out back significantly on paper towels and beauty supplies have been a budget saver! We started using Norwex kitchen towels, body cloths, and window cloths that have allowed us to help make this happen. Yes, they are a bit pricey, but they are an investment that can produce hundreds in savings.
- Meal Planning and save you HUNDREDS! I didn’t do this for a while and a huge mistake. I wasted so much food and now I am so much more conscious of it. I now do a weekly planner to keep us on budget.
- Stop buying bottled water. Seriously! Invest in a filtration system and you will save so much yearly that it is astonishing!
- Consolidate Debt
- Use the library and save on movies and books.
- Watch electricity consumption. If you are not in a room turn off the lights and fans. If a light goes out to opt for LED. They last longer and use less energy consumption.
- Walk or ride your bike whenever possible.
- Avoid bank fees. Sometimes you just have to switch bank so you don’t have to pay the monthly maintenance fees which are continuing to rise yearly.
- Never pay annual credit card fees. Check out CreditCards.com to compare them side by side and find one that best fit your needs or opt to stop using them altogether.
- Cancel any unnecessary memberships. I am prone to this because I love gym memberships and audiobooks, but I have canceled my gym membership to save us hundreds yearly. I can’t cancel my audiobooks membership because it is a form of selfcare for myself.
- Buy in bulk for non-perishable items that you will need. For example, buying in bulk on paper towels, toilet paper, and tissues can save you hundreds. I know I am on the board of if Costco, Bj’s Wholesale, and Sam’s club are worth it because you shouldn’t have to pay to shop somewhere just to save money. However, now online at Walmart or Amazon, you can have the big bulky items shipped to your home and still save.
- Stop using paper and plastic products. Instead, use dishes that are ceramic or glass, as well as, cups. Not only will you be saving your budget since they are reusable, but you will be saving the planet.
- Sign up for customer rewards programs. I love usingIbotta if they don’t have a reward card themselves like Lidl, Cartwheel for Target, or Giant Grocery Story.
- Stop buying individually priced snacks when you can buy a large package and separate into reusable snack bags. If you keep track of how many snack bags you use in a year you would be surprised. I bought these two years ago and we still use them. They come in handy even when traveling because they are dishwasher safe.
- Print coupons or check out Krazy Coupon Lady to print some too. Then go to the store to purchase and save!
- If shopping online I highly recommend Rakuten (Formerly Ebates)! If there are coupon codes Rakuten knows about it and will apply them to your orders when shopping online. It has saved us hundreds yearly. I don’t know why I didn’t start using it earlier. When they don’t off cashback on something I always double-check RetailMeNot to see if I can save anymore.
- Plan in advance for holidays and events.
- Plan for major purchases by building a savings account. Put away just as little as $10 a paycheck and you will be shocked how much you will have saved by the end of the year.
- Overspending on kids and childcare. Your children do not need every toy or electronic item. They only need food, water, a house, clothing, and magnificent parents that are willingly helping them grow and be outstanding citizens in society. Childcare is outrageously priced, but you can save by finding an in-home daycare or looking on Care.com for a nanny. Public daycare will always be more expensive in most cases.
I truly hope all these tips help you as much as they have helped me over the past few years. I still continue to use them daily. Please do not forget to pin this post or share it with others so they can save too.