Ten ways to save money on children's expenses
There are no two ways about it — raising a child can be expensive and the numbers are always staggering. It’s estimated the average Australian family pays around $300,000 in expenses for a child by the time they are 18 years old.
But it doesn’t have to be that high for you as there are some smart ways you can reduce some of these expenses. In fact, small changes which become habits, can save you a lot of money while your child is growing up. Here are ten helpful tips to cut down on children’s expenses and save you money:
- Try second hand options for children’s clothes and toys. Scout the op-shops, buy online at eBay, Gumtree and Facebook marketplace, or shop at your local Vinnies as well as the occasional garage sale. You could save up to 90% compared to buying new items.
- Be strategic about the other clothes you buy them. Just like grown ups, kids can end up with an over-full wardrobe of mismatched items they don’t wear.
- Label your child’s belongings. A small outlay on nametags could save a large outlay on lost items!
- Buy as many school books as possible second-hand, either from school sales or online.
- Be strategic about the number of extra-curricular activities the kids do. It’s possible to have too much of a good thing! Even children like a break and don’t need to do the same activities after school every term.
- With regards to extra-curricular activities, try to organise cost-effective group sessions rather than one-on-one coaching.
- Say no sometimes. Children don’t need every new toy and gadget that comes on the market – not even if everyone in the class has it. Encourage them to save their own pocket money to buy that new plaything. Teaching your kids the responsibility and value of money is a great life skill and necessary so they understand that money doesn’t grow on trees!
- Use council libraries to borrow books and toys rather than buying a whole lot of new ones that they will likely soon tire of.
- Budget for children’s birthdays – both your children and their friends. Shop for gifts in advance and store in a cupboard until they are needed.
- Limit tuckshop purchases to once a week or a special occasion.
So there you have our 10 tips to save money on children’s expenses. It takes a bit of effort but it’s a great feeling ending the week with more money in your pocket. With a simple savings plan you can more easily save towards a goal for fun activities such as a trip to the theme park, a weekend getaway or a family holiday. And it’s always a good idea to set up an emergency fund to save for those unplanned expenses too!
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