Ask any seasoned parent and they will tell you that having kids can be incredibly expensive. Let’s look at the winter season as a starting point. During that time of year, we have to cope with Christmas where kids expect Santa to bring all the presents they asked for down the chimney. Now there are a variety of ways to deal with an issue of a tight budget in this case. But if you don’t want to let the little ones down, you’ll need to do your best to make sure the jolly old elf delivers.
Then, there’s the problem of all the items they need for school. Depending on the particular school that your child goes too, this can actually end up adding up to quite a large sum that you’ll need to cover somehow. It’s often best to hit the summer sales when you’re trying to get everything for the start of the new summer season. But even with prices slashed it can still be rather tricky to keep those costs under control.
Beyond Christmas, there’s also birthdays and other special occasions as well as saving for those unbeatable holidays and then let’s not forget about keeping their health in check. It can be a nightmare to find the right insurance coverage that will provide for the needs of your child.
Of course, that’s not to say that you don’t want to spend money on your child. Most likely you do and this means that you need to find ways to save in certain areas so that you can spend in others. We have a few ideas of how to do this and make sure that you keep the costs under control.
The Trouble With Pocket Money
Let’s start by answering a debate around pocket money that parents often have. There are two ways to tackle the issue of money with your kids. Either you can give them an allowance that they can spend or save as they see fit. Or, alternatively, you can commit to paying for many of the things that they ask for. So, which is better? Well, pocket money teaches them financial responsibility but does run the risk of them buying silly things such as, for instance, massive bags of sweets. Alternatively by paying for everything you have a control over what they buy but you also need to handle the pressure this will put on your finances. So, there are certainly issues here.
Overall though pocket money is the best option. The big plus for you is that it’s easy to factor pocket money into your budget each month or year whereas random spending will be a tad trickier. This can cause it to fluctuate.
Deals Are A Delight
Do not forget or neglect the importance of the deals that are run by companies universally throughout the year. There are quite a few running with the main being things like the New Year sales, Black Friday and the End of Summer run. All these times are great chances to get the items you need or want for a lot less than you would typically have to pay. That’s great news if you are struggling with a tighter budget than usual.
The trick here is recognising a truly great deal. The best way to do this is to compare the price you’ll be paying to the cost of what the item was a couple of months ago. Often, a seller will slowly rise the price leading up to the sale so that when they drop it, things seem like a great deal when actually it’s fairly average. You can check this out for yourself by looking at old cached versions of listings online.
What if you miss a deal? You might have bought something recently and then found that the price has been slashed. If that’s the case it might be worth returning the item and then asking for a refund before making a repurchase at the lower price. Some companies will allow you to do this. It’s a great way to make small savings on purchases.
Cutting Energy Costs
If you’re looking for ways to free up your budget so you have more money to spend on the kids, then do think about lower the amount you’re spending on energy. Energy costs can put your finances under a lot of pressure. However, there are various ways to deal with this problem.
First, think about renewable energy. We’re now at the point where private homeowners can start looking towards renewable energy as a viable, potential resource that they can benefit from. How do you do this? Well consider solar panels. An expensive commitment, this investment will pay off in the long term and provide you with fantastic levels of savings in years to come. All you need to do is take that first step and you won’t regret it. Particularly when you see the subsidies and other benefits that the government and environmental groups are offering those who are ready to commit to this idea.
You can also think about saving in little ways around the home as well. For instance, consider switching to LEDs. With LEDs, you’ll quickly notice a change to how much energy you are using through the year. You can make sure that the costs are quite literally sliced in half providing you with more wiggle room in your budget.
Or what about the tech that fills your home? You might want to think about upgrading it. Energy grades drop fast over the years and new devices can help you save a fortune in electricity. Particularly, if you live in a home where everyone is using similar pieces of tech in different rooms at the same time throughout the day.
Buy Second Hand
It might also be worth thinking about purchasing some items second hand. This is a smart idea if you don’t care about the aesthetic look of an item and simply want it for practical purposes. For instance, you might need a new washing machine for your home. Washing machines often fit under the counter top and therefore won’t really be seen. As such, it doesn’t matter if it has a few scratches on the side or some low levels of outer damage. If the machine works well then it’s a great purchase. By picking up one reconditioned rather than brand new you can save a lot on costs. It’s worth considering this whenever you renovate an area of your home with new equipment and appliances.
You can also think about purchasing reconditioned items if you want to purchase technology. Examples including iPhones and laptops, both of which can be restored to a level of quality that looks like they are brand new. While they won’t actually be a fresh item from the factory floor, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference and it’s likely that neither will your kids.
Cutting Medical Costs
You also need to think about cutting costs in areas you often need to spend too such as medicine. You can do this by finding a registered online pharmacy for cheap prescriptions drugs. You should also look at different health insurance provides to find the best deal at the right price for your needs.
Last but not least, we all dream of taking our kids on fantastic holidays around the world. However, there is no denying that this can be expensive and far beyond the limits of your budget. If that’s the case, then you should think about looking at package deals. By putting everything together, you can often cut a hefty amount off the price. Suddenly an expensive trip like Disney becomes far more affordable for the whole family.
Disclosure: This is a featured post.