Having children is expensive. Don’t get me wrong, they are worth every penny but as with everything in life, there are always ways of saving some money along the way. I’ve picked up some fab tips on how to save money whilst keeping your kids (and yourselves) happy and healthy whilst living on a budget.
Once there are kids involved – a night out automatically becomes a lot more expensive due to the added cost of a babysitter. My top tip for this is to start a “Babysitting circle” with fellow parents – maybe from your ante-natal group or even nursery or school. You take it in turn to babysit for each other and at no cost. Most parents are so grateful for the free childcare that they don’t take advantage of it, plus your child or children are being looked after by another (supposedly) responsible adult so it’s a win win!
Half term, Easter Holidays, Summer Holidays, these can be long periods of time when you feel that you need to entertain your kids all day every day. Google free activities in your city or town and you will find a whole load of things to do that you might not have thought of. Some of them will be seasonal (fetes and carnivals etc) but some (like some of the great museums in London are open and free all year round).
I know that parents want the very best for their children – and that’s understandable, but buying your children second hand clothes, toys or books doesn’t mean you love them less, it’s better for the environment and your finances. Wouldn’t you rather they had a few second hand things than one brand new one for the same price? I love seeing bargains in charity shops, on Facebook selling groups or even eBay for my niece. She is growing so fast that she’s not in clothes for long, and I’m sure she will soon be getting bored of the toys and books she has, so it’s nice to be able to get her little bits and pieces when I see them. My sister has asked that I stop buying so many big things though – I am filling up their nice new house!
A lot of attractions suitable for children are really expensive, but if you think you’d like to go more than a couple of times in a year, then an annual pass might be worth considering. You can then use it as much as you like, so if you are at a loss as to something to do or somewhere to go, you can use your pass and have a free day out! It also means that you can pop along to the attraction for just a few hours and you don’t feel you have to stay there all day. I have an English Heritage annual pass and one for Longleat.
Vouchers and coupons
Always be on the eye out for vouchers or discount codes – there are usually loads around if you know where to look. Sometimes you might have to collect coupons or save receipts but if you are clever and plan ahead you can get great deals on goods and days out – sometimes even holidays! I know many mums who save their Tesco Clubcard vouchers and put them towards deals. Even now the rules have changed slightly, they are really really good value.
Invest in a good coat and boots and get outside! Whether it’s playing in the garden, or going for a walk, the great outdoors is fascinating to kids and it’s usually totally free! You can’t really go wrong! Picnics are so much fun too – whether it’s in the garden, or at the park. It’s something a bit different and