Having kids changes a lot of things, especially your finances. I’m not sure how much I’ve spent as a parent since those first newborn days, but I can tell you, and my checking account will agree, that there are definitely things I would do differently.
If you’re going to be a new parent soon, I hope you find these tips on how to handle your finances and kids helpful.
With my first, I had about 20-30 outfits for each size, 20 different bottles, and a lot of other items. Having so much stuff did not make parenting easier. The clutter made things more stressful!
With my second baby, I only have a handful of outfits in her size and five bottles. Yes, I am constantly cleaning them, but in my opinion, taking 20 seconds to clean a bottle is much easier than tackling a sink full of gross bottles at the end of two days.
Even now when the house gets in a state of disorganization, and I have a hard time getting it back to where it needs to be, I realize it’s because we have too much stuff. A toy and clothes purge restores order in the house. Buy less, stress less!
I buy about 50-70 percent of my baby and children items used (or new from another person). There’s less guilt if a $2 outfit gets ruined (because kids are messy) or if a $3 toy breaks (because kids are kids).
Buying used toys and baby items allows me to try out what works best for my family, and not have any guilt about getting rid of it quickly if my kids don’t like it.
For example, I bought an Ergo carrier new in the box from a mom who never used it for $60. I tried it out, and I didn’t really like it. I was then able to sell it for about $75. I made a little bit of money, and I had no guilt about not using my expensive carrier.
Don’t Waste Your Money on Gifts
For the first 2-3 years of your child’s life, you can avoid getting them any gifts. They’ll never know.
Family members and friends get your child so many things for holidays and birthdays anyway. It’s hard to resist giving your little one gifts, but trust me, the money saved will be put to better use in a savings account.
Your Kids Want You More Than Money
There’s no doubt about it, some mom’s don’t have the luxury to stay at home. I’ve also met a lot of mom’s that didn’t realize they had the potential to stay home. If you really want to stay home, crunch the numbers to find out how possible it is.
You might be surprised to discover that living on a tight budget will make your dream of staying home part-time or full-time a reality. Obviously, it’s hard to live on a tight budget and sacrifice in some areas financially. However, you’ll always have the opportunity to make money – you won’t always have the opportunity to spend more time with your kids when they’re little.
These are my top four money lessons I have learned in my short time as a parent. Every family is different, and everyone needs to find what works best for them. For me, I had to cut back my hours drastically as a freelancer and be more intentional about my budgeting (goodbye Starbucks!). While it’s difficult to earn less and have less money in our bank account from my work, I’m a much happier person and my family is much happier.
What do you wish you knew about finances and kids before becoming a parent?