Raising your kids isn’t exactly cheap. Their expenses, from clothing to toys, take up a massive chunk of your household budget.
You want to trim down their expenses to save money, but you don’t want to do it in a way that spoils their childhood. You still want them to have toys and books and tasty treats once in a while. Read these tips to find out how you can save on these expenses:
1. Use the Library
You’d love to buy your kids all of the books — after all, learning to read is important! But you can’t afford to buy them new paperbacks so often. So, what can you do? Use the local library. Your kids can take out books for free. With the help of library apps, your kids can also access free audiobooks, which can be a real treat for long trips in the car.
2. Don’t Let Toys Be Impulse Purchases
Whenever your kid is shopping with you, they beg you for a new toy. Instead of giving in to their impulses and buying the toy for them, try this: ask them to take a photo of the toy and tell them that you can buy it later. You’re not saying “No.” You’re saying “Not now.” This promise of a future purchase could help you avoid a big tantrum in public and it could save you from an unnecessary expense.
Saying “Not now” isn’t a lie! Keep those toy photos and use them as gift ideas for birthdays, holidays and other special occasions. You can even send them to friends and relatives to let them know what to buy for your kid.
3. Borrow Toys
If your kid is running low on toys, and you can’t afford to buy them a bunch of new ones, then maybe you can try borrowing some with the help of a toy library. Toy libraries are often designed to help low-income parents access toys to play with without hurting their monthly budget.
Your local area might also have a “library of things.” A library of things has objects that people want to borrow temporarily, like tools, bakeware, camping gear and instruments. It will also have board games and toys.
4. Choose the Right Restaurants
Does your family like to go out to eat? You can save money on your final bill by going to a restaurant that allows kids to eat for free (as long as an adult at the table orders an entrée). Denny’s, Chili’s, IHOP, Johnny Rockets, Red Lobster and Ruby Tuesday are just some of the restaurants that allow parents to access this deal.
Be sure to check the location ahead of time to make sure you can access this deal. You don’t want to order dinner and find out that the location doesn’t participate in this offer.
5. Use Coupons and Discount Codes
Stop paying full price at the checkout. Use coupons and discount codes to reduce the costs of purchases like groceries, school supplies, children’s clothing, toys and even family outings. For instance, you can find plenty of deals on classes and event tickets through Groupon.
What Can You Do with the Savings?
Prioritize a financial essential, like an emergency fund, over non-essential expenses for your kids. The stress that you’ll save yourself with a fully-stocked emergency fund will be well worth it.
Without an emergency fund, you might not have enough to cover an urgent expense right away. You might have to consider an alternative, like a personal line of credit, to pay off the expense in a short amount of time. An approved personal line of credit would let you access credit when you need it, as long you have available credit and your account is in good standing, and make repayments through a regular billing cycle. And once you’ve made enough repayments and replenished your balance, you’d be free to access the credit again.
Personal lines of credit shouldn’t be considered your first option in an emergency. That’s what an emergency fund is for. So, use your savings to start putting one together.
You can keep your kid happy and save plenty of money at the same time. Follow these money-saving tips now!