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Every mother wants to give her children a great life, but not everyone has extra cash lying around. Many parents have to know how to stretch a dollar to make ends meet for their families. Thankfully, there are quite a few ways moms on a budget can save a bit more money. Here are 20 must-know tips for moms on a budget:
If you have friends or family who are also moms, don’t be shy to ask for hand-me-downs. Most moms have more than enough stuff that they’re willing to give away. This includes clothes, toys, and even cribs and strollers. Most moms are happy to make more room in their house for things just taking up space!
If you don’t know any other moms on a budget willing to lend their hand-me-downs. Thrift stores can be a great place to score children’s clothes for cheap.
Moms on a budget with young children have to have a bigger emergency fund than single individual households. You have to ensure that both you and your children can be covered in an emergency.
Your workplace might have benefits like paid time off (PTO) or health insurance with dependents. You should know what benefits your company provides, and if you don’t, you can always talk to HR.
Multiple subscription services may take a toll on your budget. Try to limit yourself to the subscription services you and your family use the most. Subscribing to multiple streaming services isn’t worth it if you’re only watching one or two shows.
Coupons are a mom’s best friend. You could save so much money by redeeming them, and in many cases, you can get them for free. I’d probably be able to buy a new phone with the money I’ve saved with coupons over the years.
Don’t know where to get your coupons, discount codes, and price matching apps and browser extensions? Check out my article on the 20 best coupon code sites.
Eating out alone can already get pretty expensive, let alone eating out with the family. If you’re on a tight budget, you should consider limiting your family outings.
That isn’t to say that you should stop eating out entirely. Dining with the family can be a great way to bond, even if it can get pricey. You want to eat good food while still saving some money.
You can feed a whole family for a day for less than $10 if you know what meals to cook. Homemade spaghetti, pizza, and sandwiches can be filling while not costing too much money to make.
Check out my article on the most cost-efficient dishes for some inspiration for your next homecooked meal.
Being a stay-at-home mom is a full-time job until your kids hit their teen years. You’ll have more free time. Why not use that time to start a side-hustle?
When you go to the grocery, you’re spending more money than what you see on the receipt. You’re also spending money on transportation expenses like gas, which feels more valuable than gold right now.
Buying in bulk means you have to make fewer trips to the grocery store. It’s also more cost-efficient to buy certain items in bulk because you get more value per dollar. This is especially true if your grocery is running a BOGO deal or sale that week.
There are dozens of activities moms on a budget can use to keep their kids occupied. Have your kids finish their homework or help with household chores. These will keep your kids productive and teach valuable life lessons like time management and prioritizing tasks.
As much as moms on a budget want to spoil their kids, you might not want to do so. Money for a toy that your child might get bored of could be going to necessities.
Instead, give your kid an allowance to teach them the value of delayed gratification and saving up. Maybe even give it as a reward for them doing household chores.
This is a rather obvious tip that most moms on a budget tend to forget. Even if it’s still April, you can buy something as a Christmas gift and save it for the holidays. Off-season items like winter jackets tend to go on sale, and you could even save a bit more money.
That being said, you don’t want to buy certain gifts, like clothes, too early. If your kid has a growth spurt between spring and next winter, your gift might not fit them anymore.
Instead, buy off-season gifts for adults, like yourself, your friends, or other family members. It’s never too soon to start thinking about holiday gifts, so check out my guide to holiday savings.
That’s why you should hire a babysitter when you need a break. It might cost a bit more, but your sanity is more important. Some family members might be willing to babysit for free.
Plugged-in appliances can still consume energy, even when not in use. Make it a habit to unplug them to save money on the electricity bill. You may also want to teach your kids to do this too.
Kids who grow up financially savvy usually have parents who prepare them to be that way. Start teaching your kids to be financially conscious, and they’ll develop good money habits.
Just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you can’t have money for yourself. Moms on a budget deserve fun! Set aside 10% of your income for your wants. This will keep you sane while leaving enough money for essentials.
One of the biggest mistakes that moms on a budget make is that they deprioritize their long-term goals. Being a mom requires a lot of sacrifices, but you should still set and work towards your financial goals.
One of the dreams for many families is to have a space to call home. If homeownership is one of your long-term goals, check out my article on saving money to buy a house.
Moms on a budget should always be learning new ways to save money. That’s why you should sign up for the financial fam! You’ll receive personal finance tips and insider information from me. Occasionally, I’ll send freebies, too!
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Dollars Makes Cents by Shaquana, Financial Coach and Wealth Expert, resources helps professional millennial women of color with the tools and skills they need to eliminate their debt, amplify their savings, and build generational wealth — without having to compromise their lifestyle.
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