There’s no getting away from the fact that raising children is expensive! However with a little creativity you can raise children just as well on a budget as if you had lots of money to spend. As the saying goes “the best things in life are free!”
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You may then have a little money leftover to spend on little luxuries when the occasions arise.
Live within your means
Learn to live within your budget, no matter how little. If you go over budget you will then eat into next month's money or even borrow on credit cards and loans. Try to have the mindset that you will only buy things that you need, rather than what you want. This may sound very boring and you may feel that you will sacrifice a lot of experiences for your children, however being frugal can be fun! You will learn how to be creative and you are also teaching your children a much needed skill – budgeting.
Children don’t need expensive toys in order to flourish, they need time and love. Guess what, both these things are free! Go for walks and talk about what you see. Discover the natural world around you and use natures freebies, such as leaves and acorns to inspire activities. Making memories with your children will last so much longer than the latest toy fad.
Frugal eating can also be very healthy. Learn to cook from scratch and try to use produce that is in season. Pasta is cheap to buy and can be made into a delicious healthy meal very easily. Join forums online and share recipes. Including your children in meal preparation will help them to learn to cook and teach them how to choose healthy ingredients. Children are more likely to try new foods if they have been involved in cooking them.
Get into the habit of buying clothes from end of season sales. It’s easy to predict what size your child will take in a year's time and you will save a lot of money. The only exception to this would be footwear as children’s feet grow at different rates. Another good source for children’s clothes is to buy from preloved shops, charity shops and online auctions.
Have fun with your children and create your own magic. Visit attractions off season or on “free days”. Draw up a list of free things to do in your area and you will be surprised when you see how much there is to do. Get into the habit off taking a tasty packed lunch with you when you go out for the day, this will save money spent at cafes and restaurants.
Raising children on a budget may feel quite daunting at the beginning, but it is possible to do it equally as well, if not better than if you had oodles of cash. Try to see time spent with your family as money and your investment will pay off in the future.
This is a contributed post.
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