If you’re planning to have children, you need to know what to expect. While most parents talk about the reduced sleeping hours – and you will truly have to function on two or three hours a night in the beginning – not everybody is completely honest about the costs inherent to raising a child. Bringing up a child in the UK costs more than the average home, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
Ultimately, as a parent, you need to be prepared for a cost of over £230,000, which includes childcare and education until the age of 21. If you compare in terms of household budget, proportionally a British household will spend nearly 40% of their net incomes on raising a child. Of course, the more children you have, the more expensive it’ll be – although, thankfully, one household with two children spends less than two households with one child each.
Unsurprisingly, the costs vary depending on where you live in the UK. However, you’ll still be paying well over £200,000 to bring up a child everywhere in the country.
In other words, there’s no secret to cut down the expenses. But there are ways to maximise frugal living to make sure that you don’t break the bank!
For a lot of people, frugality is synonymous with depriving yourself of all the little pleasures in life. In reality, a frugal life is synonymous with financial freedom. Don’t confuse getting the best value for your money with buying the cheapest item every single time. As it happens, a frugal life focuses on the value you receive for what you pay, which means that you don’t look forward to accumulating the pennies pointlessly in the piggy bank but to the result of your expense. Nevertheless, this isn’t to say that there is no saving plan in a frugal budget. Indeed, a frugal budget holder is focused on purposefulness, whether it is to feed a family with nutritious and healthy options or giving your child the chance to superior education. Consequently, there is room for both a mindful saving strategy and a value-centred spending approach.
SAVING HABITS TO DEVELOP WITH YOUR FIRST CHILD
Becoming a parent changes your life dramatically and forces you to adjust your budgeting skills.
Learn about reusable products
Most parents will tell you that they need to pack at least two fresh set of clothes when they go anywhere with a baby. And that is without mentioning the nappies, milk bottles, and cleaning wipes. Yes, if you’re new to the parenting world, babies are as dirty and demanding as they are cute. That’s precisely why it’s essential to consider reusable items, such as reusable nappies. From an environmental perspective, reusable nappies are up to 40% better for the planet. When it comes to the budget, they can save you up to £700. The main problem with these products if that they are expensive to buy, although a quick calculation should show you that they’re the best frugal item for your baby.
Yes, you can buy used items
Not all baby items need to be brand new. You can save a lot of money by relying on second-hand items. As babies grow constantly, you will soon find that buying second-hand clothes and shoes is a great money saver. Similarly, plastic toys, hanging pram items and playpens don’t have to be brand new, although they need to be clean and safe. You can also buy most of your nursery furniture on sites such as eBay, with the exception of the baby mattress which needs to be new to avoid risks of dirt and mould.
Don’t waste money on things you don’t need
Finally, you can forget the days of excessive and emotional shopping. As a parent, you need to ensure that you’re not wasting money on things you don’t need, from buying bottled water to buying too much food. The same argument is valid for baby items. A changing table, for instance, is likely to be a single-use item. You could easily replace it with a dresser or a table that has the right height and that you can repurpose later. In short, don’t buy unless it is indispensable!
LONG-TERM FAMILY FRUGAL LIVING
Managing your expenses to cater to a baby is the first step. You also need to change your lifestyle to create a frugal family friendly environment.
Make the most of the garden
If you’ve got a garden, you need to consider ways to integrate it into your family life. For a lot of parents, this means to put out a seesaw and a small dollhouse bought at the local B&Q. While there’s nothing wrong with these, you need to keep in mind the first rule of a frugal lifestyle, namely getting the best value for purposeful expenses. In other words, you can create a functional garden area, using aluminium greenhouses and organic compost – in other words, repurposing organic wastes from your kitchen – to grow your own vegetables. As surprising as it might sound, you don’t need to own a professional farm to profit financially from a veg garden. In fact, you don’t need more than a few square metres to save significantly on your grocery shopping, assuming that you focus your attention on expensive and nutritious vegetables for your family.
Don’t throw away what could be used
Additionally, with frugal spending comes also long-term considerations. For instance, there are items that you will need to buy even if you use them only for a limited period, such as baby clothing. If you’re planning to have a second child, you can keep these for the next one. For a lot of parents, re-using baby items can save a lot of money in the long-term. Additionally, items that are still in good condition but remain unused can be sold. eBay enables you to post your product descriptions easily and at a minimum fee.
There’s no big secret in establishing a healthy and happy frugal family life as a parent. It’s not about depriving yourself or your family of necessary items. It’s a matter of looking out for the best possible bargains, saving and expenses to make the most of your money.
In short, don’t ask yourself how you can find £230,000 to raise a child. Ask yourself how you can do better for less.
Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you have got some ideas from this post.
*This is a collaborative post