I was sent some info from LV about how much raising a child costs. It’s not a newsflash that it costs A LOT- the amount has increased by 63% over the last twelve years and at twice the rate of inflation. Which is nice. And kind of interesting, considering that we’re in the run up to an election in which every politician will be clamouring to be the most family friendly…
Anyways, what with the cost of living going up, wages going down, I thought about ways I save money with D. After all, I’m a spendthrift AND a skinflint, not an easy combination. Here are three ways I try to save money with a child in tow.
1. Don’t be fussy about second-hand stuff
I’ve been surprised at how generous friends and family have been with hand-me-downs and I’ve tried to pay it forward, passing things on when I can. Most of D’s early stuff (cot, crib, clothes) were second-hand- I spent a LOT of time on eBay and in charity shops. Even now I buy a lot of D’s books from charity shops. As long as anything bought this way is cleaned before use, you’re good to go. There’s no shame in not having everything brand new- the kid will only puke on it, wipe their nose on it or throw it in some mud.
2. Open a savings account
We did this early on and the main thing is we use it at the moment for is any money D gets for birthdays and Christmas. He’s too young to want anything and I’d just blow the whole lot on cute wellies or something. He can’t touch it until he’s 18 and then he can use it towards uni, a car, travel, whatever he likes. Hopefully we will teach him the importance of money so that he doesn’t just spend it on booze and whatever the 2030 equivalent of a PlayStation will be.
3. Use the library
I’m a huge believer in the libraries and D seems to share my love of our little local library. So much so that he’s taken to charming the librarians to the extent that we left there with a cookie for his lunch the other day. Anyway, he likes to play with the toys there and we regularly rent DVDs and borrow books- although he only ever wants to take books we already have, which kind of defeats the object, no? We use it as a place to go when we need to get out of the house, but don’t want to spend any money.
What are your top tips for saving money with kids?