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Let’s face it - having kids is expensive. Diapers, food, clothes that are outgrown in a few months, not to mention daycare and babysitting - all come with large price tags attached. There’s no need to despair, though - you can still have a relatively luxurious life without the spectre of debt hanging around. All you have to do is pay attention, and do a little extra legwork.
Get Loads of Stuff For Free
Clothing, cooking gear, baby gear - you name it - all can be had for free in a number of places, if you know the right groups to join. A growing number of people are finding it necessary to declutter their homes, and the resulting loot is often offloaded to groups like The Freecycle Network, Buy Nothing Project, or local Facebook groups. When using these groups, it’s often best to take a bit of caution - don’t take bedding, which can come with bedbugs, and make sure that you are getting only what you need, and not taking up all offers just because they’re free. In the meantime, use the groups to do your own decluttering as the kids grow older and out of their gear and clothes, and pass the savings on to other parents as well.
Use Social Discount Sites For Kids Clothes and Family Activities
There are a zillion social discount sites geared towards shopaholics, but did you know that the majority of them also offer family-friendly discounts? Sites like Gilt City and Living Social offer discounts on everything from educational toys, designer kids’ clothing, extracurricular classes, and memberships to local museums. Want more savings on top of these discounts? Stalk these sites’ social media pages such as Facebook and Twitter for exclusive promo codes. Hint: Friday’s a good date for them.
In our eyes, cable is only good for two things: premium channels like HBO or Showtime, and live sporting events. If you’re not a sports fan, it’s not really an essential. A Netflix and/or Hulu subscription will give you plenty of options, and bonus: the kids shows available on both Netflix and Hulu are blissfully free of commercials. You could even get away with just watching stuff on YouTube or borrowing from the media collection at the library (just remember to return stuff on time). Use a cheap streaming device like the Chromecast or the Roku, and you’ll be all set for at-home entertainment.
Amazon It Up
Amazon provides amazing discounts for parents. Pony up the $99 for a yearly membership, and you’ll get: free two-day shipping, 15% off subscribe & save items from the Amazon mom program (20% off diapers and 15% off the baby registry), and access to Prime TV, which includes HBO shows that are at least three years old. (Never got around to watching Game of Thrones? Now’s your chance.)
Teach Your Kids To Do Chores and Save
As your kids get older, teach them the value of a dollar. Have them earn their own money - whether it’s through an allowance, a set amount of tasks that they have to complete, or birthday money that’s saved up - and only allow them to spend money from the pool that they control. This way, your kids are responsible for the clothes and extras they want to purchase for themselves, and if they come to you asking for more, just say no. It’ll be a hard lesson to learn the first time around, but it’s an essential one to saving their sanity later on in life.
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