Raising kids can be expensive. It’s even more costly for larger families.
Getting your finances in order can feel like an impossible task when your kids need shoes and it’s time to buy school supplies.
If you’re worried about affording everything your children needs, then you may appreciate these clever little budgeting tips.
Save for High Annual Expenses Monthly
If your kids are in sports and school, then you know how certain annual expenses can sneak up on you. From uniforms to private school tuition, there’s a lot you don’t expect, but wind up paying for.
Make a list of those expenses dividing them over 12 months. Be sure to include things like back-to-school wardrobes and school supplies.
Set this money aside in a savings account every month. You’ll be ready to handle the expense when the time comes.
Thrifty Habits Start Young
Kids clothes are expensive. Use this time to teach your children about things like clearance racks and thrift stores.
Rather paying full mall prices, head to the local thrift store and let them dig through the racks for their own treasures. Find out where your favorite department store has the clearance racks and start there when it’s time for back-to-school shopping. You’ll save money and you’ll teach the kids how to be thrifty.
Even if you want to get your kids cute new tops and shoes, you can still save a ton of money by getting the jeans and shorts out of the discount areas. You can also hand gently-used clothes down from one child to another to take some of the burden off your budget.
Let it Go
Check your house regularly for things no longer being used, have value and can be sold. This includes bikes that are outgrown and knickknacks you’ve grown tired of.
If anyone in the family has gold fillings needing replacement, then be sure to tell the dentist you want the gold back. You can sell dental gold and put that money back in your pocket.
You could also host a neighborhood garage sale to help cut down on extra items in the house and put at little extra cash back in the family budget.
If you’ve got a large family, then meal planning should be at the top of your list. Scrambling for food at the last minute can have you reaching for the take-out menu. That’s hard on your budget when you’re feeding a crowd.
Take the time to sit down and assemble a menu for the week. Buy all the supplies at once so they’ll be on hand.
If you have leftovers one night, then look for creative ways to use them in another dish. Chili can easily be worked into spaghetti. The leftover baked chicken can be used to extend your fajitas the next night.
Embrace Reusable Items
Paper towels and napkins get expensive, but you can save with cloth. Whenever possible, choose reusable items that just need to be washed for another day.
Instead of plastic water bottles, get reusable sports bottle you can just fill with water when needed. Run sponges through the dishwasher regularly so they’ll last longer.
Before you buy a disposable convenience item, see if there’s a viable reusable option available.
There are many ways to save money with your large family. It may take some creativity, but you’ll improve your finances and get things on better footing. Planning and preparation will go a long way towards helping you avoid surprises and ensure you’re ready for those unexpected expenses.
If you ever feel bad you’re not able to give your children the world, then remind yourself they learn from everything you do. By being frugal, you’re teaching them valuable skills that will serve them well when they’re trying to support themselves and their own children.
Click here to get tips on how to save money online when buying clothes for your teen.