By Becky Goddard-Hill of babybudgeting.co.uk
If you ever read any of those surveys about the cost of parenting before you had a baby, you probably wouldn’t ever start a family. But while there’s no doubt that kids can be expensive, there are lots of ways to save money if you’re a savvy mum. Here are some top baby budgeting tips to make your life as a mum fabulous as well as frugal.
- Use the skills you have to make trades. I swapped one of my books for a beautiful bag for my daughter at Christmas, I have a friend who cuts hair in return for babysitting, my husband mends friend’s computers and we get our house painted.
SAVVY TIP: Skill sharing has been around for years. Don’t think you don’t have options if you’re short of cash.
- Use the results of your kids’ creativity. Have your children make cards or if they’re tots, cut their scribbles into star shapes and paste to blank postcards.
SAVVY TIP: This will keep them busy, help them develop their creativity and save you around £100 a year in card buying. Everyone loves homemade stuff!
- Be resourceful when cooking. Cook a cupful of extra pasta and knock together a quick pasta salad for tomorrow.
SAVVY TIP: If you need ideas on how to turn leftovers into meals, try lovefoodhatewaste.
- Sell things you no longer need. If you have an old cot, get it sold through your local newspaper or on eBay or Gumtree and put the money towards the new cot bed you need.
SAVVY TIP: Don’t see things you no longer need as waste – there’s always something you can do with items once you’ve finished with them.
- Organise a swap party. Choose a theme, for example, books – and ask your friends over with all their unwanted adult and children’s books. Spread them out in your lounge, grab a drink and you can all go shopping free!
- Give yourself a treat, but do it differently. A big hot bath, a pile of new library books, an evening walk by the river, a cuddle, giving a massage, setting up a treasure hunt for your kids.
SAVVY TIP: Nice things don’t have to involve money and treats just need a bit of thought.
- Make smart choices. If you want to go the gym, do you really need to go to a slimming class as well? Your local gym will weigh you and probably offer a nutrition program.
- Bring it back to basics. Have friends to yours for tea and get everyone to bring a dish instead of going out for a fancy meal, socialise through a book club or start power walking with friends.
- Save money on your child’s birthday. Have a huge picnic in your garden and get out all your toys. Kids know how to entertain themselves but an entertainer can set you back £100.
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