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If you ask any working parent, they will confirm that kids are expensive. While they are worth every penny, and they will give you loads of joy and happiness, they can cost a bit. From days out to football training, birthday parties, mobile phones, laptops, and fuel to take them around to their friends, the costs will soon add up. Below you will find a few tips on how to save money and still be the best parent you can be for your kids.
Arrange Family Vacations Early
Holidays abroad and in the UK can be expensive during the school holidays. Take advantage of your child’s inset days, so you might book one day earlier than other people and get a better price. If this is not possible, book the flights at least one year early, once you find out more about the dates, so you can save on the tickets, and have enough time to book your hotel when you have the rest of the money saved up. Once you have a destination in mind, and flight tickets are released, you can start your planning.
Team Up with Other Parents for Childcare
Instead of having a babysitter and paying a huge proportion of your wages for childcare providers, you can team up with parents in your neighbourhood or school, and take turns. You can get their kids from school and drop them off at night one day of the week, and they can return the favour. You will have less trouble keeping your child entertained, and have one day when you can visit the shops without “Can I have” every two minutes.
Take Turns Being the Taxi Driver
If your child goes to regular after school clubs or sport training, you can offer to take other kids with you one week, and the next week your child will be picked up by the other parent. If you have space, there is no point making two individual journeys, and you can save fuel and time. Discuss your plan with fellow parents, and you will see that they will welcome the suggestion.
Capped Mobile Contracts
One of the things that parents often struggle with is the amount of responsibility they give their children. While you want them to be able to connect with their friends and have a phone, you don’t want to end up with gigantic bills. You are likely to be better off if you buy the device used first, as they are not likely to look after it as you would. Get SIM Only Contracts from UK Networks that allow you to access the account information and add a cap on the spending, instead of having to pay for the extra megabytes of mobile data your child builds up every month.
Use Rewards Instead of Giving them Money
If you want your kids to grow up to be responsible adults, you might want to trust them with chores around the house, according to their age. Instead of getting money for nothing, they will only get their pocket money if they pass their room inspection and help out with different jobs. This mindset might look like you are paying your kids, but you are just encouraging them to contribute.
Teach them How to Cook and Tidy Up
Once your child is old enough, you can show them how to tidy up after themselves. Explain them that if you don’t have to do it or get a housekeeper to clean up, you will save money, and have more time to spend some time with them. The sooner you start introducing room inspections the easier your child will get used to the rules. They might learn how to warm up food, or cook an egg, so you don’t have to wake up early after a night shift.
Borrow Instead of Buying
Next time your child needs special equipment for the school trip, instead of paying hundreds of pounds, ask your friends and family members if they can lend you a tent, a sleeping bag, or a torch. When it comes to school plays, you will only need the costume once, so why not ask around instead of hitting the shops?
Whether your goal is to teach your kids about the value of time and money, or would like to have more left for your holidays, home improvements, and days out, you can use the above tips to save money every day and raise financially responsible kids who will understand how finances work.