Despite the many joys of being a parent, there is one thing we can all admit. It can put a strain on our finances, especially if we are already dealing with a limited income. Raising a family can be expensive – whether that’s the practical necessities that are needed on a daily basis or the occasional demands that our children place on us. “I want one” is a common phrase all parents surely dread.
If you’re strapped for cash, there are ways you can raise your kids on a budget. You just need to think outside of the box a little. Take the following as examples of how this is possible
Remember: money does not equal love
Children are demanding, and when they eventually learn to think for themselves, they will tell you what they want in no uncertain terms. As the parent, you will be tempted to spend money on their wants, as well as emptying your bank balance to make the most of school holidays and those rainy nights in. The more you spend, the more you love your child, right? Wrong, even though your kids will try and convince you otherwise. Instead, practice these two things:
1. The power of the word ‘no.’ Your children will become spoiled if you try and give them everything they want, so practice a little bit of tough love. Eventually, they will learn that you aren’t made of money, especially if you take the time to explain to them where your hard-earned cash goes to each month.
2. The power of your time. This is what children crave more than material things, especially when they are younger. Instead of spending money to keep them entertained (and out of your hair), try doing a jigsaw with your child, playing video games with them, and finding other ways to take an interest in their lives. These are small but significant ways that show your child how much you love them.
Make the effort to learn new skills
There are times when you won’t have the money to spend on the latest toys for your kids, clothes for them to wear, or fancy meals for them to eat. This is where learning a few new skills will come in useful. For example:
1. Learn to play. When it comes to play activities, your child doesn’t need to have the latest toy to have fun. Games of dress-up or hide and seek cost little or no money, and if you’re playing too, then that’s a bonus for them, too. So, get back to your inner child, pick up a few play ideas online, and teach your children some games that won’t cost you a dime.
2. Learn to sew. If you are struggling to replace old clothes with new ones – kids do grow up fast – perhaps learn a few sewing skills. You can extend the lifespan of shirts, pullovers, etc. with a little bit of savvy needlecraft. It’s a misnomer that sewing craft is a woman’s work so pick up this handy skill, and check out this handily titled Guide To Picking The Best Serger For You to get you started.
3. Learn to cook. Children are fussy, but you can easily pick up a few recipes online for foods they will love. You can even make larger meals, and freeze leftovers to use for the rest of the week. A little can go a long way, so be creative in your cooking.
If you’re a little cash-strapped at the moment, we hope you found our ideas useful. You do need to prioritise your family’s needs, but hopefully, you have seen that you don’t need to bankrupt yourself by doing so. Let us know if you have other useful ideas.
This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.