As any seasoned parent can attest, childrearing is a costly undertaking. With the average cost of raising a child until the age of 18 rising to $233,610, budgeting can seem like an uphill battle for new parents, especially those who live paycheck-to-paycheck. However, while saving money on childcare-related expenses may seem daunting, it’s well within the abilities of cost-conscious moms and dads. Parents who want to give their children the very best without leaving a sizable dent in their bank account would be wise to heed the following tips.
Find a Good Consignment Shop
Watching children grow up before your eyes is one of the most rewarding aspects of parenthood. However, the rapid growth most kids display throughout their formative years can make short work of even the most generous clothing budget. In fact, parents of babies and toddlers often have to purchase entirely new wardrobes for their little ones every few months. For parents who love to dress their babies in high-end name-brand clothing, this can be a considerable expense.
Since children in the aforementioned age bracket have to change up their wardrobes on a regular basis, there’s no sense in paying top-dollar for designer clothes. This is where consignment shops enter the equation. These secondhand stores are awash in affordable children’s clothing and home to fantastic deals. Since consignment shops pay people for their secondhand clothing, the clothes they stock tend to be of higher quality than those found at thrift stores. As an added bonus, once your child has outgrown certain clothing items, you’ll be able to sell them right back to the store.
If there aren’t any consignment shops in your city or township, simply fire up your favorite search engine to find an abundance of online options. With the help of the right consignment shop, you can find toddler girl shoes, onesies, pants, shirts and other clothing items at unbeatable prices.
Invest in Season Passes
If there’s one thing a child can’t stand, it’s boredom. Children’s minds yearn for constant stimulation, which can make hammering out a workable entertainment budget difficult for many parents. The larger the family, the more expensive the day outing. So if outside-the-house activities are what your children crave, season passes may be a worthwhile investment. While these passes may seem expensive, they can actually save you a considerable sum of money in the long-run. Most zoos, family fun centers and museums offer reasonably priced season passes, so if there’s a local hotspot your little ones enjoy visiting, don’t hesitate to ask about season pass options.
Make the Jump to Cloth Diapers
Diapers and diaper-related expenses can eat up a lot of money, with most parents spending at least 50 dollars a week on them. Understandably, many parents see no way around this. After all, dependable diapers are an absolute necessity for babies and toddlers. However, making the jump from disposable diapers to cloth diapers can be a boon to every parent’s finances. Unlike traditional diapers, which are thrown away whenever a baby needs changing, cloth diapers can be washed and reused, thereby eliminating the need to constantly purchase new ones.
Consider Online Grocery Shopping
The more mouths you have to feed, the farther you’ll need to stretch your food budget. With an exorbitant abundance of food at customers’ fingertips, grocery stores are designed for impulse buying. While there’s generally nothing wrong with occasionally going over budget, doing so on a regular basis can slowly eat away at your finances. With this in mind, consider doing your grocery shopping online. These days, many grocery stores allow customers to stock their carts through their websites. Once you’ve paid for your order, the store will bag the items you purchased and have them waiting for you at your preferred pickup time. This will reduce your odds of falling prey to impulse buys and ensure that your kids aren’t able to wear you down with requests for goodies.
Childrearing isn’t exactly easy on the old bank account. Between food, clothing and leisure items, raising children costs most parents a minimum of hundreds of dollars per month. However, this isn’t to say that parents should simply throw up their arms and accept every expense as inevitable. Provided you know where to look, there are ample bargains to be found on childcare-related items. As many cost-conscious parents have discovered, raising a family doesn’t have to be untenably expensive.