Parenting is often expensive, and if you aren’t prepared, expenses like car seats, cribs, clothing, and diapers can quickly add up. Luckily, you can make parenting more affordable by carefully tracking your expenses and reducing costs where possible.
Get a Better Paying Job
There’s nothing wrong with having a lower-paying job, but it isn’t always feasible when you have a family. It’s no secret that some jobs, like ones in technical or medical fields, tend to pay better. But it’s also well-known that they require a degree. While making more money isn’t the only reason to get a college degree, it can certainly be a big factor. Do your research and look for a job that will allow you to comfortably support your family. Taking out private student loans is one way to finance your education when you’re on a budget. That way, you don’t have to worry about maxing out your available federal loans.
Look for Gently Used Items
This can be somewhat controversial among parents, but if you’re comfortable with it, ask your friends for things for your kids that they don’t need anymore. For example, bouncy chairs and many toys are not used for long. You could even ask your friends if you can borrow them for a few months. Look for garage sales in your area or check out local thrift stores. Plastic dishes, utensils, and toys can all be sanitized in the dishwasher. Or use hot, soapy water and rinse them well. For soft toys, clothes, or blankets, toss them in the washing machine with detergent and put them in the freezer to kill any bedbugs or ticks. You can also place items in the sun to further sanitize them.
Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses
Take some time to sit down and look at your monthly expenses. Even if it’s just a bit here and there, try to cut out what you can. For instance, let’s say you get a $4 cup of coffee each morning on your way to work. That might cost you as much as $1,040 each year. You might consider cutting out cable television and relying on the internet for your news and entertainment needs. It can also simplify your life and make it easier to track what your kids are watching.
DIY What You Can
If you can breastfeed your infant, you may save at least $1,000 each year. Once your child is a little older, you may consider making your own baby food. Cook vegetables and purée them in a food processor. Then you can freeze it in ice cube trays and put it in plastic freezer bags. When your child is ready to eat, you can defrost each cube in the microwave. This lets you experiment with different flavors. That also makes it easy to measure out how much your child is eating. Plus, they won’t be ingesting as many preservatives, and you can easily feed your child organic food if you want. Some kids like the taste of homemade baby food more than the store-bought.