Nobody said having a family would be easy, and they probably didn’t say it would be cheap, either. When you have kids, you are going to feel the pinch in your pocket. If you’re a parent, you will know exactly what we mean. After all, you need to satisfy your children’s hungry bellies, dress them in something new when they grow out of their old clothes, and pay for anything they need for school. Another school trip on the way? Whatever happened to simple classroom learning? Still, it is possible to raise a family, even on a small budget. We will tell you how.
Don’t cater to all your kid’s demands. Sweets, fancy toys, the latest gadgets, trendy outfits… your kids will always focus your attention on what they ‘need,’ even when they aren’t necessary. Their pleading eyes look up at you, and when you hear the words “please mommy,” you are liable to give in to their demands. Don’t! You are teaching your children a bad lesson if you always relent to their wishes. Teach them the value of money by focussing their attention on the difference between need and want, and while it’s perfectly fine to treat your kids occasionally, explain to them why it isn’t always possible.
Stop buying branded items. Older children will want to fit in with their friends at school, so you may relent and buy them something fashionable occasionally. However, if your child is just beyond walking stage, resist the urge to dress them like a fashion doll. They don’t care what company manufactured their shoes or t-shirts. They aren’t bothered about a fancy label. So dress your kids cheaply, going for generic clothing rather than branded, and don’t turn your nose up at hand me downs. Younger children won’t care, and neither should you.
Learn to eat cheaply. Kids are fussy eaters, and it can be difficult to please everybody at the dinner table. Billy won’t eat his greens and Mary-Jane won’t touch anything that used to be alive. Get the picture? Your partner is probably picky as well, and you will end up making several meals trying to please everybody. Or you will pick something out of the freezer that you know is unhealthy but everybody seems to like. Well, stop. Here are some cheap recipes your family will (probably) love, and they are healthy to boot. Then get your kids involved in cooking. They are more likely to eat something they have a hand in themselves, so despite the mess, benefit from their ‘helping’ hands.
Live frugally. The art of living cheaply on a day-to-day basis. From saving money by using coupon saving sites, to taking advantage of discounted items at the supermarket, there are loads of ways you can save money, without you needing to use cash advance loans when money is tight. And yes, we know you hate the junk mail that comes through your mailbox, but there may be a few money-off vouchers within the pile that could come in useful. You may need to do a little research too, as shopping around can get you money off items that may be more expensive elsewhere. Look online, hit the high street, and ask your mates for advice on any amazing offers they have seen.
Do you have any ideas our readers will benefit from? Have you managed to raise your children on a limited income? Tell us how you did it, so we can all learn from each others advice.