Being a parent, aside from how incredibly rewarding it is, gets very expensive. In today’s culture, it’s become more and more common for parents to shower their children with games consoles, new mobile devices, and so many other things that will punch a major hole in our personal finances. Overspending isn’t good for you or your kids. If you know you’re guilty of this kind of impulsive consumerism, here are a few ways to turn it around…
Go Online for Baby and Toddler Purchases
If you’ve got especially young kids, try to go as cheap as possible, as babies and toddlers outgrow their clothes and toys faster than you’d believe. If you’ve never bought used kids’ items on eBay and similar online platforms, then give it a try.
The web is bursting with gently used clothes, toys and books that can be sourced for a very low price. The pricey electronics and la Perla swimwear can wait until you know your kids are going to get a lot of use out of them. When buying used online, just exercise a little diligence, for example making sure that none of the products you’ve got your eye on have been recalled for safety reasons.
Scale Down the Parties
Forget about the last few parties that you dropped your kids off at, where the parents had gone a tad overboard. Convey your own values through the birthday parties you throw for your children, and don’t break your budget for their birthday party just for the sake of it. Obviously, you want your children to have a great time on their birthday, and you should plan some kind of budget that will allow your children, and everyone in attendance, to have buckets of fun.
However, you shouldn’t make the common mistake of worrying about your children stacking their parties up against their friends’. Kids are usually too caught up in the excitement of their own parties to compare them to others, and even if they do get into this mindset, it’s not something they’re going to hold against you for the rest of their lives!
Keep a Handle on Phone Costs
Here’s a little advice for spending on your older children. Early teens and kids who are approaching their 13th will talk about nothing but phones. They want to be able to download music, play games, connect with their friends, take selfies and play around with the filters. It’s a sad fact that the lack of a smartphone can be socially isolating for a modern kid entering their teenage years, so this is an expense you’re simply going to have to put up with.
Obviously, your kids’ phone use can become extremely expensive after a while, so make a point of sticking to contracts with limited minutes, or the most basic pay-as-you-go plan available for the model they want. When extra minutes and data has to come out of their allowance, they’ll quickly learn to be more frugal!
Take these tips on board, and soon enough you’ll be able to avoid overspending on your children with ease!