With Mother’s Day around the corner, the plight of the modern working mother has come to our attention. With the economic conditions of our country getting tougher by the day and firms laying off hundreds if not thousands of employees, survival becomes essential especially when there is a kid involved. Some women become frustrated and don’t see any light at the other end of their tunnels on how to save money with a baby.
Is it even possible to develop sure ways to save money when you have a baby?
Is it easy?
But like with everything else, you have to make the first tottering steps as you develop the muscles to keep on moving. In the long run, you might find yourself embracing the habit, not out of necessity but rather out of the benefits derived from the experience. Just the same way your baby developed from using the best bassinet to a toddler’s 4-in-1 bed, you also will soon be saving a ton once you understand how to save money for a baby. Consider the following simple tips and hacks to set you well on your way.
7 Hacks on How to Save Money with a Baby
That’s the name of the game. If you’re not really willing to make sacrifices and ready to develop radical changes on how to save money with a baby, then you might as well save yourself some quality time and stop reading this right here and now. We never promised that this would be easy and as such, these hacks are not for the faint and lighthearted. Nonetheless, we can give you one bit of warm assurance – you will eventually love it and it will effectively affect your family’s mentality.
Are you ready to learn the best ways to save money when having a baby? Buckle up as we take you to Utopia Land!
1. It Starts By Understanding Your Budget
What are you spending your money on?
This is the predominant question to not only ask but also answer yourself. Before you can even keep a tight check on your budget, you need to have a clear grasp of your family’s budget. This will necessitate you to conduct a regular audit on all your spending.
Take it easy, that’s not some fancy finance word that only bankers are allowed to chew on. It only requires basic mathematics on whatever and however, you spend your mullah. This is not only a process that you do once you get started on how to save money with a baby but should be a habitual practice to always show you where you are at and your saving progress. If you can’t do it on your own and don’t mind the slightest invasion of privacy, you can embrace budgeting software and money apps that connect with your cards to categorize, track and record your spending.
2. Sacrifices are a Must
What are you willing to lose to gain?
This shouldn’t be a paradox to you. Consider the well-spoken words of Mother Teresa:
“For a sacrifice to be considered real and count, it must not only cost us and hurt us but must also empty ourselves!”
This is the hardest part for stay-at-home working mums to espouse in learning ways to save money when having a baby. It becomes a challenge realizing what can be considered as needs and essentials in the budget vis-à-vis luxuries and wants. If keeping up with your neighbor’s trends and friends’ habits was a part of your daily life, you need to start living your own life. If going to salon four times in a month was ingrained in your blood since you started earning, you won’t get a stroke if you cut that down to once a month. If cable TV was a necessity in your home and you want to know how to save money with a new baby, well, missing out on all your important late-night shows will fasten the bond between you and your tot.
We cannot make those hard decisions for you but once your budget is laid out, you have to prioritize and hence know what to do away with for you to even consider the following ways to save money when you have a baby.
3. Knowledge Equals Power
How much are you willing to invest to learn how to save money with a baby?
Our education system never taught us to differentiate between ‘money’ and ‘currency’. For instance, when they say “time is money,” one may mistake that to mean that your hours are equal to dollars. Whereas that is true, it primarily reflects on the time-value of money.
See, there can never be an end to learning. You might cut up on your daily spending but still end up spending more by the end of the month on more expensive items. Do you know how much money to save before having a baby? Do you even know how and when to start teaching your kids how to save money? There are plenty of written materials that can get you started on how to save money for a baby. These will also assist your kids to develop cautious habits around money as they grow up. You should also instill the habit of working for money in your kids so that they understand nothing comes for free.
4. The Power of Buying Online
How effective are your buying habits?
Ever visited your local store, did your shopping only to find you had insufficient funds during checkout? You are lucky if you haven’t gone through this kind of embarrassment!
Buying online not only saves you of valuable time but also enables you to keep a tight check on your purchases so as not to overdo it. Should you exceed your budget in the process, you can just do away with the least important items in your cart list. You’ll also maximize the advantages of coupons and other rewards as you get to compare different retailers for the best prices and offers.
5. Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication
Do you complicate things to impress people?
Must you buy all new clothes for your kids at Gucci and Fubu or can you simply visit a discount store or even be humble enough to accept hand-me-downs and swaps from local mothers? Do you have to keep up with your Friday night-outs with your girlfriends in House of Yes as you spend your hard-earned savings or can you simply leave your wallet behind, grab a blanket and home-made snacks and go out for a picnic? Do you really have to shop online all the time at these expensive grocery stores or are you creative enough to try out home gardening with your kids for the best natural foods?
Simplicity is the flavor of life as you learn how to save money with a baby!
6. Investments Supersede Savings!
Are you only living for the here and now or do you have a credible plan in mind?
If you are saving for the sake of saving, it is much easier this way to get carried away by events, vacations, occasional pizza treats for your kids and the likes. Having a clear purpose and endgame will make you resolute enough not to abandon your goals. For instance; starting as early as NOW to divert some savings to a 529 college plan for your kid will save you a future of hassles!
7. Give It Some Life
Is saving money for your baby’s future a burden?
Sure thing, you aren’t a robot to be programmed to readily accept and adopt the new changes. Nonetheless, once you have understood your objectives and why you are doing what you are doing, then learning how to save money with a baby becomes not only doable but also fun.
At the end of the day, remember that it is your money and you have the liberty to do whatever you want to do. Nevertheless, you chose to make sacrifices out of your own accord. Thus, even when tempted to be extravagant at times, remember that you aren’t a prisoner of your circumstances and you also have the liberty of doing this. What’s your best strategy to save money when having a baby?
The author is a wife and a mother of four bouncing babies. She is a financial planner who chose to work at home after her second delivery and study everything about best baby bottle warmer. With reduced incomes, she had to learn through experience how to organize a house to be home and still maintain joy, love, and warmth in the family. She shares more experiences with mothers in her blog.