No one ever promised you that parenting would be cheap. Sometimes it seems that no matter how hard we try, we can never get through a month without worrying about which bill didn’t get paid or whose birthday is coming up next. Money woes are one of the most common complaints among today’s parents, but with a few well-placed tips, it really is possible to make that budget stretch. Check out the following tips to see how you can stretch that paycheck month after month, season after season.
1. It’s Never Too Early to Begin Planning Christmas
You may be wondering why this is listed first but if you are honest with yourself, you will see that this is the number one way most parents fall into debt each year. What parent doesn’t want to give their children a magical Christmas like they experienced as a child? It is suggested that instead of waiting until fall to begin ordering presents and purchasing decorations, you begin early in the year every time you come across a really great deal. Always check those late-season sales because you can often find items priced as much as 75% to 90% off! It’s amazing what those dollar days have to offer at end-of-season clothing sales!
2. Always Read the Reviews
Altogether too often we fall into the Madison Avenue advertising trap. We see things featured on television or read those online banner ads and that’s where it ends. We just have to have that for our kids. If you truly want to save money, sometimes it pays to spend a few cents more! Just because you have found something advertised cheaply online or on an infomercial doesn’t mean it’s going to live up to your expectations – or even work! Yes, start buying drastically reduced items for the next birthday on your list or next year’s Christmas, but always read the reviews. One of the best places to find authentic reviews is on the Better Business Bureau’s website. Sometimes it costs more to return a product than if you’d spent more in the beginning on a higher ticket item!
3. It’s Never Too Late to Recycle
You’d be amazed at just how much money you can save by learning to recycle! Not only can you earn back several dollars each time you visit a recycling center in your area but there are some things you needn’t cast aside! For example, kids clothes can be repurposed for other younger children or for the next season. Do you know how easy it is to take a pair of jeans and add a few sparkles and studs to them? Try shredding the fabric on the legs to make the most of that tear. Whey throw them away when every kid on earth is wearing jeans pre-shredded at the factory? What about that old T-shirt that is still in good repair but no longer worn. Try adding a bit of fabric art and you’ve just created a one-of-a-kind T-shirt which can be worn by that child or younger kids as they grow into that size.
No, parenting isn’t cheap, but it really is so worth every penny you spend. The point is to make better use of the money you ‘do’ have so that you can stretch a little a very long way.