12 Must-Know Tips to Teach Kids How to Work Hard

how to teach kids to work hard

How to Teach Kids to Work Hard

In this article I am going to share my best tips for how to teach kids to work hard. This is such an important principle, perhaps more important now than it ever has been in the past, when the world is so competitive and yet there are so many distractions that vie for our children’s attention and might make it more difficult for many children to put in as much effort as they could (and probably should :)).

 

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12 Important Tips on How to Teach Your Kids to Work Hard

One of the main ways that you can set your children up for success in life is to teach your kids how to work hard. When we teach kids how to work hard, we prepare them to be more successful at school, in sports and music and other extracurricular activities, and in future jobs and long-term careers.

Something that I’ve been interested in for the last several years and that I have studied some is what the factors or ingredients are for success. And different experts on the subject have different ideas on this, but one thing that many of them mention is the importance of hard work.

One of my all-time favorite books is Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success. In that book he talks about the correlation between hard work and success in life. If you want your children to be productive and really successful adults, then teach them as they grow up to be hard workers. Below I’ll share 9 things you can do to teach your kids how to work hard.

 

1. Teach your kids how to work hard by being a good example.

Three simple words: Lead by example. If you want to teach your kids to learn to work hard, you need to show them the value of hard work by working hard yourself. That doesn’t mean that you should be a workaholic. Not at all. But it means that when there’s a job to be done in the yard or in the garage or around the house, everyone rolls up their sleeves and works on it till it is done. Of course you can also take breaks if needed, but when possible, work till the work is done. That will also teach your children the importance of following things through to the end.

 

 

2. Talk often about the importance of hard work and its relationship to success.

Teach your children that they can do difficult things by saying things like “It’s true that picking up all of your toys can feel hard to do, but you can do hard things” or “I know that practicing the piano every day might seem difficult, but you can do hard things.” or “I know that doing your homework is hard sometimes, but you can do hard things.” or “I know this hike might seem long, but you can do hard things.” And then also let them know that being willing to stick with difficult tasks and see them through till they’re completed is one thing that leads to success in different areas of life.

Doing well in high school can lead to scholarships that save thousands of dollars in college tuition. Doing well in college can lead to knowledge that helps you gain better-paying job prospects. Doing well at your job can lead to opportunities on higher-profile or more interesting, challenging, and rewarding projects and ultimately can lead to more frequent raises and promotions or bonuses. Working hard at your marriage or at being a better parent can lead to more happiness in the home and stronger, closer family relationships.

Teach your kids to work hard. Teach them that in many, many aspects of life, you are proportionately rewarded for working hard and giving the best effort that you can.

 

3. Teach your children the importance of diligent practice in music and sports.

Another way you can help to instill a strong work ethic in your children is to encourage them so that they are diligent in practicing for their team sports that they are involved in and that they also diligently practice any musical instruments you or they have decided they will learn. As they consistently practice, they will get better, and their being able to play effectively will be its own reward.

One of the things that Malcom Gladwell talks about in his book Outlers is the 10,000-hour rule and how it takes about 10,000 hours—research has shown—to truly master a skill. And he gives as examples The Beatles and Bill Gates and other household names to make his point.

Though your children may never give that many hours to the sports they play or maybe even the instruments they learn, that’s OK—the point is that they will get better as they practice, and practicing their sport or instrument is another way to strengthen their hard-work muscle.

 

4. Require your children to do chores, keep their rooms clean, and clean up after themselves.

Another way to teach your kids to work hard is by giving them chores. Of course you have to make sure they are old enough to reasonably do what you ask of them, but you can start assigning simple chores to your children at a pretty young age, such as helping to pick up their own toys after play as early as two years old.

As they get older, allow them the opportunity to take on more of the responsibility of helping to keep the home clean (and especially their bedrooms) and well maintained (such as helping to do yard work). This is pretty easy to do if you tie it to the opportunities they want to have. For example, you can make a rule that they have to tidy up their room and do their assigned chores every evening before bed if they want to play at their friends’ house the next day or use any electronics.

5. Don’t do everything for your children.

As you strive to teach your kids to work hard, be sure to not do everything for them. It surprises me sometimes how much some parents are willing to do for their kids. I mean, not the good sacrifices that you willingly make as a parent (so then are they even sacrifices?), but the over-the-top or perhaps even unethical things, like doing the bulk of their homework for their children or just going above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that their children never have any challenges or difficulties.

Like baby birds in a nest who have to break out of their shell and are strengthened because of that experience, children need regular opportunities to grow, as well. And they can’t grow if everything is taken care of for them. If they face a dilemma, let them work through it themselves instead of always jumping in to fix it.

When they have a big or difficult project to complete, let them do it themselves. Even if it doesn’t go as they had hoped or they don’t do as well as they (or you) would have liked, don’t bail them out. Let them learn from the experience. That is what helps them prepare for even bigger challenges and tasks and opportunities later in life.

 

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6. Let your children make mistakes and fail sometimes.

Going along with what I said above, as long as they are not in any physical danger and there won’t be catastrophic consequences, just let your kids do things their own way, and if something goes wrong or even flops completely, just support them and encourage them and tell them to try again. Fortunately, the things they are working on and the problems they are solving aren’t (probably :)) world-changing, so if something goes awry, they can learn from the experience and do better next time.

 

7. Consider paying your children for some of their efforts so that they can see the connection between work and monetary rewards.

Another way that you can encourage your kids to work hard, if you choose to, is by paying them a modest wage for the chores that they do. I know that the topic of paying your children for doing chores or getting good grades is one of considerable debate. We haven’t started paying commissions (the term we like to use instead of allowance—taken from Dave Ramsey) yet, but I think there’s a good chance that we will once our children are a little older.

I definitely like the idea of teaching the correlation between work and monetary compensation, and I don’t want our children to think they’re on the family dole by just getting money for toys and things because they breathe, so it feels like a good approach. But we’ll see how it goes when we get to that bridge. And same with paying children for earning good grades.

My parents did do that some of the time with us, and I think for some of my siblings it probably did encourage them to put in more effort than they otherwise would have. I’m the type that worked to get straight A’s regardless, so for me I don’t know that it made much of a difference—but the extra money was nice. 🙂

If you’re on the fence, maybe give it a try and see how it goes. You can always change your mind or adjust your approach later—nothing is set in stone. But whether you do or don’t pay commissions, do teach your children the very real connection between hard work and dedicated effort and financial compensation.

If you do pay your children for their work, make sure you teach them how to budget (well, either way, you need to teach them how to budget!) so that they will learn how to spend their money wisely and save up for larger purchases and just overall manage their money well.

 

8. Work together with your children on bigger projects that require a lot of effort to complete.

When they are old enough, another great effort you can make to teach your kids to work hard is to find projects that you can work on together that will take several hours or even days or weeks to complete.

Maybe that’s cleaning and reorganizing the garage. Maybe it’s building a clubhouse in the backyard. Maybe it’s finishing or remodeling the basement. Maybe it’s working on a fixer-upper car or boat or motorcycle. Maybe it’s cleaning out Grandma and Grandpa’s house, or remodeling it. It could be planting and harvesting a garden. It doesn’t really matter what it is—what matters is that it takes dedicated, consistent effort for long periods of time.

 

9. Work together on service projects as another way to teach your kids to work hard.

Similarly, teach your children the importance of working hard not only for themselves and for more perhaps self-serving reasons but also teach your kids to work hard as they help other people and give back to the community in small and even big ways.

Especially as your children get older, consider volunteering as a family once a week or once a month at a soup kitchen or in a community garden or at a hospital or care facility for the elderly. If you have the ability, consider volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and helping to build homes, or volunteer at a local pet shelter. The opportunities to serve are endless.

 

10. Find ways to make work fun.

As you are doing all of these wonderful things to help grow your children’s character, don’t forget that kids are still kids, and especially when they are younger (though aren’t most of us still kids at heart?), find ways to make work fun.

It could mean singing as you work, if your family enjoys doing that—or telling each other stories. It might mean finding ways to play little games or do little competitions while you work, with a possible reward at the end. So it might be offering a reward to whoever fills up the most bags with trash or grows the biggest pile of clutter.

So you could reward everyone by going to ice cream after the activity, but then the winner of the competition might get a shake instead of an ice cream cone or sundae, for example. Or maybe after finishing a project that takes several hours you go out for dessert or an inexpensive movie together. Or maybe you go to the park and have a picnic or go to a splash pad after a Saturday morning of hard work.

 

11. Praise and appropriately reward their efforts to encourage more diligence in the future.

If you want to teach your kids to work hard, then praise them when they do! Children (and adults too!) love honest, sincere praise and encouragement. I regularly tell my children how amazing they are for just being them—but I also slather on compliments for the things they are able to accomplish. I don’t think this will cause an ego problem at all or hurt them in the least.

There are enough things in the world that try to drag our children down that we need to consistently work to build them up. As long as you teach them the importance of being humble through example and through coaching them and guiding them during teachable moments, you won’t have to worry that that praise will give them a big head when they’re older. And by giving them praise, they will have the incentive to continue to try and to do their best to succeed and to act in the ways that you would like them to.

 

12. Limit the amount of media time that your children have.

Another important aspect of teaching kids to work hard is to limit their screen time (both TV screens and phone screens). You’ve probably heard the scary statistic that most people watch seven or more hours of TV a day. And maybe you’ve heard the correlation between time spent watching TV and violent behavior in children.  The same goes for playing video games—especially violent ones.

Our general rule is that if our children pick up their toys and help straighten up and get their preschool work done, then they can watch one animated move or group of shows (since we often get the DVDs we watch from the library, they generally have a set of four or five short episodes together on the same disc) a day. And every once in a while we let them watch two. But I can’t really imagine letting your children consistently watch four or six or more hours of TV a day. There are so many better things to do in life—even in their young lives! 🙂

 

Conclusion

Teaching children to work hard is so important. It’s one of our most important tasks as parents if we want our children to really be successful in life and not just kind of drift through life or, worse yet, be a drag on society.

And there are so many ways that we can teach our children the importance of hard work—through being good examples to them of hard work, giving them chores and projects to do at home, teaching them to be diligent in their studies and practice hard at sports or with musical instruments, helping them to serve others, and more.

Don’t let them be lazy and don’t let them give up. Don’t let them just play video games or watch TV all day. Life is so much better than that and there are so many more meaningful things that they could be doing with their precious time. So help them do them!

 

What have you tried to do to teach your children how to work hard? What methods or motivations or rewards have worked best for you? Leave a comment below and let me know! I would love to hear your ideas!

 

Invitation to Share

Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!

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12 Best Tips for How to Teach Your Kids about Money

how to teach kids about money

How to Teach Kids about Money

In this article I am going to share my best advice for how to teach kids about money. Financial literacy for kids is such an important lesson for them to learn!

 

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12 Important Tips for How to Teach Your Kids about Money

Teaching kids about money is one of the most important things we can do as parents to help them to be successful in life. Money touches nearly every aspect of our lives, and learning to manage money well is an essential life skill.

Being a parent is awesome—for a lot of reasons. But one of the reasons that being a parent is awesome is that you have these wonderful little sponges. (At least until they become teenagers, or so I’ve heard—but even then I think they listen to and take in a lot more than most parents probably think they do.) And you can influence and teach and raise these wonderful children to be the amazing people you know they can be. And that is your responsibility as a parent!

It is your job to be an influencer while you have the ability to influence—before it (potentially) becomes too late! So here are 12 principles of financial literacy for kids that will help your children to be successful with money.

1. Teach your children the financial values that you want to pass on to them.

If you have strong financial values that have helped you to begin to be successful financially, pass them on to your kids! If you don’t yet, first study and identify your own core financial values, and then teach them to your children. Here are several that we plan to teach to our children (by word and example) as they grow up (click the links below for information on each topic):

 

2. Teach your kids sound money principles by example.

A second important way to promote financial literacy for kids is to teach by example. Even more than talking about your financial values with your children, you need to teach them good financial principles by example. As you teach your children about money, practice what you teach. For instance, don’t talk to them about the dangers of credit card debt, and then cave in and buy a new living room set (on credit that you didn’t budget for to go with the new carpet that you had saved up for.

Kids are smart, and not only will they generally notice the inconsistency between what you teach and what you do, but they’ll often call you on it! Like my kids call me out when I do something wrong—and they’re kindergarten and preschool age!

 

3. Be as transparent as you can about money.

Of course you don’t want to worry your children unnecessarily if you are currently in financial dire straits or anything like that, but don’t be afraid to talk about money often. If things are financially tight, explain the situation to your older children—in a way that won’t freak them out—so that they understand the situation and have realistic expectations.

Tell your children how much you can afford or are willing to contribute to their college ESAs or 529 plans or to their college tuition and other expenses. Let them know if you’re willing to help pay for a car for them, and why or why not. All of these things are excellent insights or lessons for them for later in life.

 

4. Teach your children the value of money.

As you teach principles of financial literacy for your kids, help them to understand the value of money and how much things really cost—appropriate to their age, of course. Show your children your monthly budge when they are old enough to understand it. Take them grocery shopping and clothes shopping with you sometimes so that they get a feel for how much things cost. (My sweet five-year-old thinks we can buy a new-to-us van with the money in the coin cubby in the car. :))

Explain the amazing power of compound interest when they are old enough to understand the concept, and also explain the idea of delayed gratification. Help them to understand why it’s often good to pass on something now in order to get something even better later. Instill in them a to-the-core understanding of what it means to be content with what you have and not always want more.

 

5. Teach your children how to do a simple budget.

Another crucial skill to teach your kids about money is how to budget. Teach your children the importance of a spending plan, and explain to them how to use one. Help them to understand that a budget is simply a document where you decide how you are going to spend your money each month.

When creating your spending plan, make it a zero-based budget. That means that you figure out what you income is going to be for the month, and then before that month begins, you plan how every dollar will be spent so that there is no money left over. You don’t want money left over in your budget because it will fly away like feathers in the wind.

As part of teaching your children to budget, also teach them the importance of comparison shopping (doing price as well as product comparisons) to find not only good deals but good value. For example, they might find a toy at the dollar store for $1, but it might break after a few hours of use. Or they could spend $10 for a new toy at Target that could last a year or more. Or, they could spend $2 at a thrift store or on eBay for the same toy, gently used, that was $10 new at Target, and get the best value of all.

Learn more about creating a budget.

 

6. Teach your children the connection between work and rewards.

I know it is a sometimes hotly debated topic, but consider giving your children the opportunity to do chores to earn money. We haven’t started paying commissions (the term we like to use instead of allowance—taken from Dave Ramsey) yet, but I there’s a good chance that we will once our children are a little older. I definitely like the idea of teaching the correlation between work and monetary compensation, and I don’t want our children to think they’re on the family dole by just getting money for toys and things because they breathe, so it feels like a good approach. But we’ll see how it goes when we get to that bridge.

And same with paying children for earning good grades. My parents did do that some of the time with us, and I think for some of my siblings it probably did encourage them to put in more effort than they otherwise would have. I’m the type that strived for straight A’s regardless, so for me I don’t know that it made much of a difference—but the extra money was nice. 🙂

If you’re on the fence, maybe give it a try and see how it goes. You can always change your mind or adjust your approach later—nothing has to be set in stone. But whether you do or don’t pay commissions, do teach your children the very really connection between hard work and dedicated effort and financial compensation.

If you do pay your children for their work, make sure you teach them how to budget (well, either way, you need to teach them how to budget) so that they will learn how to spend their money wisely and save up for larger purchases and just overall manage their money well (and ideally not be still living in your basement when they’re 30 :)).

 

7. Teach them to be generous givers.

Another important thing to teach your kids about money is the importance of giving—not just money, but time and energy and kindness as well. And teach this to them by example. If you attend a church, let them see you paying tithing and giving offerings. When you donate to your favorite causes, tell them that you are doing it and why you are doing it.

If you choose to give directly to those in need in your community (perhaps by giving items they need rather than money), ask your children to go with you when possible. When they start to earn a little money for themselves through chores, lemonade stands, or their first pet-walking or grass-cutting business, show them how to pay tithing themselves and ask them to give a portion of what they earn to a cause that they care about.

Also find opportunities to serve together in the community as a family—by volunteering at care centers, hospitals, soup kitchens, shelters, and so on.

 

8. Make learning fun as you teach your kids about money.

As you teach principles of financial literacy for your kids, make it fun! There are a lot of things about money that are just fun and interesting all on their own—such as the amazing power of compound interest. But even the subjects that you think might be a little dry, such as learning how to do a budget (unless you’re kind of a nerd like me), can be fun if you get a little creative with it.

For example, let’s say you’re working go get out of debt. In addition to teaching your children why they should avoid debt and the challenges that being in debt brings (having to pay interest, potential loss of your possessions, and so on), you could put a big thermometer on the wall that they can color in as you get closer to reaching your goal.

Or you could use construction-paper loops that they could tear off each time you pay money toward your debts. This will help drive home to them and help teach them how important it is to you to get out of debt. And then when you reach your goal of getting out of debt, you could celebrate by going to dinner or going on a vacation or something like that.

Or let’s say you want to teach your children the importance of saving money. You could work with them to choose an appropriate goal to save toward, such as purchasing a new scooter or bike. And you could agree to match them for whatever they earn from doing chores, for example. So if they earn $30 from doing chores (and maybe even do some extra chores around the house that you agree to pay them for), then you could go to the store and buy a $60 bike.

 

9. Use praise and rewards and give lots of encouragement toward desired behaviors.

As you teach your kids about money, give a lot of praise and sincere encouragement. Children (and adults too!) love honest, sincere praise. I regularly tell my children how amazing they are for just being them—but I also slather on compliments for the things they are able to accomplish. I don’t think this will cause an ego problem at all or hurt them in the least.

There are enough things in the world that try to drag our children down that we need to consistently work to build them up. As long as you teach them the importance of being humble through example and through coaching them and guiding them during teachable moments, you won’t have to worry that that praise will give them a big head when they’re older.

And by giving them praise, they will have the incentive to continue to try and to do their best to succeed and to act in the ways that you would like them to.

10. Help your children set financial goals and work toward them as you teach your kids about money.

Setting and working toward goals is an important factor in success. Those who make written goals are far more likely to achieve them. So as another important way to promote financial literacy for your kids, help your children to develop the habit of setting financial goals when they are fairly young (and definitely by high school).

And when it comes to financial goals, you might help them in setting goals to save for a car, college, a mission or service trip, a high school trip, or other worthwhile expenses. And again, you might match them with your own money to support them in these efforts and help them reach their worthy goals. And remember to encourage them along the way to help them stay motivated and on track!

11. Help your children to get their first job and start saving money for college.

Another important aspect of teaching your kids about money is to guide them in getting their first job. Once I started going to high school, I would work after school at my dad’s office that was within a couple of miles of the high school. Until I could drive, I would walk there every day after school.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was an amazing opportunity that I had, because my dad was the owner of the company, to spend additional time with him that most kids don’t get to. And much of the time, I was working on the other side of his very large desk—or later, in an office just down the hall.

I learned a lot of character-defining things from my dad—among them, a strong work ethic, a positive attitude and outlook on life, and a determination to keep trying and not give up. And in addition to that, I was able to earn money to help pay for school, the mission that I later served for my church, my gas and fun money, and more.

Don’t think having a job during high school will hurt your kids and make them miss out on too many opportunities. It won’t. Rather, they will be learning important work and life skills that will benefit them throughout their life. (And as an added benefit, having a job will give your children less time to get into trouble—seriously!)

Teach your children that you expect them to help pay for their college (which I think they should, so that they will appreciate it more)—even if it’s just their housing, food, and vehicle expenses if you’re able and willing to pay for everything else. Go with them to the bank to open a savings account, and decide with them how much of their monthly earnings they should be contributing to that account to help pay for college.

 

12. Teach your kids financial principles often so that they will remember them.

A final important principle of financial literacy for kids is that anything that you really want your children to learn well you are going to have to repeat often. And that is as true for good financial principles as it is for anything else.

Since you will want good money habits to be ingrained in their psyches, be sure to regularly talk with your children about the money values that are important to you and that you want to pass on to them. And if you feel like you have talked about them too much, you might just have talked about them enough.

 

Conclusion

As they say, more is caught than taught. So if you want your children to make good financial decisions and to be successful with their money, then make good financial decisions yourselves so that they will have a model to follow. But then also consciously teach your kids all that you can about money, such as good financial habits—don’t leave it to the schools (if they even teach financial literacy) or to chance that your children will just figure out how to be good with their money. Look around you—chances are, they won’t just figure it out. If you want them to be financially successful in life, you’re going to need to teach your kids how to budget, how to save their money, how to invest, how to work hard, how to spend less than they earn and avoid debt, how to give, and more. It’s a big responsibility—but it’s also an awesome opportunity.

 

What are your best tips for how to teach kids about money? What methods do you use? What have you found works particularly well? I would love to hear your tips and advice! Leave a comment below and share your thoughts so we can all learn together!

 

Invitation to Share

Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!

Join Our Facebook Group!

Join our new, closed Families for Financial Freedom Facebook group to get support and share ideas for how we can all improve our financial well-being by earning more, spending less, saving more, and investing more and reach our financial goals. You can do this! And we are here to help.

51 Fun and Free Outdoor Activities for Kids

outdoor activities for kids

 

Outdoor Activities for Kids

In this article you will find more than 50 free and fun outdoor activities for kids! Find hours of fun with these awesome, free outdoor activities for kids of any age!

No matter the season, there are always plenty of fun things that you can do outside as a family to spend wonderful time together!



 

50+ Free and Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids!

  1. Go for a bike ride.
  2. Ride scooters.
  3. Visit cousins or set up a play date with friends to play outside.
  4. Go to a free or outdoor music concert.
  5. Go for a drive up the canyon.
  6. Visit a state or national park on a free day.
  7. Go camping somewhere free—even if it’s just in your backyard some of the time.
  8. Swim in an outdoor pool.
  9. Go swimming in a pond, lake, or river.
  10. Go tubing in the river.
  11. Go for a walk or hike.
  12. Skip rocks at a pond or lake.
  13. Play water games such as a balloon toss or water balloon volleyball or water balloon relays.
  14. Have a water party with the neighborhood kids where you play water games.
  15. Go canoeing or kayaking.
  16. Catch tadpoles or frogs.
  17. Go on a nature scavenger hunt.
  18. Ride skateboards or inline skates.
  19. Play soccer, kickball, or Frisbee.
  20. Go to the park to play on the playground.
  21. Play a game of family tag at the park.
  22. Play hide the button at the park (the hider lets the other children know when they are getting warmer or cooler as they look for the button).
  23. Find a grassy hill to roll down.
  24. Find puddles to jump in.
  25. Fly kites.
  26. Jump on a trampoline.
  27. Go for a short run together as a family. (And if you like it, work up to doing a 5k, 10k, half marathon, or even marathon together! #familyrun #familyfun)
  28. Go on a picnic.
  29. Go to the zoo on a day when they have free admission.
  30. Go to outdoor activities at the local library.
  31. Hunt for shells on the beach.
  32. Jump the waves at the beach.
  33. Watch fireworks.
  34. Go for a nature walk.
  35. Perform a short skit at a park with an amphitheater.
  36. Choreograph a short dance routine.
  37. Gather wildflowers.
  38. Play games like Red Rover, Red Rover.
  39. Go stargazing.
  40. Play in a sandbox.
  41. Build sandcastles.
  42. Walk along the beach.
  43. Find shapes in the clouds.
  44. Watch a pretty sunrise or sunset.
  45. Make a simple scarecrow.
  46. Jump in a pile of leaves.
  47. Build a snowman.
  48. Make snow angels (or sand angels, during the summer!).
  49. Go sledding.
  50. Go snowshoeing.
  51. Use food coloring in spray bottles to pain the snow.

Conclusion

There are so many free and inexpensive things you can do to help keep your children entertained! With all of the fun and free outdoor activities for kids that are available, your family will have plenty to do outside all year long!

 

What are your family’s favorite free outdoor activities for kids? I would love to hear what your family does as well, so leave a comment below!

 

Invitation to Share

Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!

Join Our Facebook Group!

Join our new, closed Families for Financial Freedom Facebook group to get support and share ideas for how we can all improve our financial well-being by earning more, spending less, saving more, and investing more and reach our financial goals. You can do this! And we are here to help.

How to Stop Fighting with Your Spouse about Money

how to stop fighting about money

How to Stop Fighting about Money

In this article I am going to discuss 9 simple steps on how to stop fighting about money. Learn important skills that will help you to stop fighting about money with your spouse.

 

9 Simple Steps for How to Stop Fighting about Money

Finances touch nearly every aspect of our lives, so money can cause a lot of contention if we’re not careful. Because what we spend our money on reflects to a large extent our core values, money often exposes differences that we may not have even been aware of before marrying.

Money disagreements are the number one cause of divorce in the U.S., but don’t let your marriage become another casualty! You can turn the situation around if you will work together with your spouse to bring about meaningful change. Here are 9 points that can help you stop fighting and begin to heal your marriage.

1. Listen more than you talk.

Sometimes we get so caught up in being right that we forget to work on doing right. Even if you feel that your spouse is the one to blame for your money problems and for the resulting arguments and fights, you can still be the one to start to make simple changes to make things better.

And one of the things you can start to change is to listen more and ask questions more. Not passive-aggressive questions, but true “I want to understand what you’re really thinking and feeling and where you’re coming from” questions. I love the saying that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.

And don’t get me wrong—I know it’s hard. I’m not perfect, and my husband and I argue sometimes too (and even sometimes about money, although—very—fortunately, we are both savers at heart). So I don’t mean to be a hypocrite and have you think that my husband and I never argue. But often people think they understand a problem or an issue, when we really don’t understand the complete picture.

By asking the right questions, and really listening to the answersand by listening to both what’s said and what’s not saidwe can come to better understand each other and better work toward shared solutions.

2. Commit to being a team.

When you are upset about your spouse’s money behavior, remember his or her great qualities. Remember why you got married in the first place. And recommit to fighting together for what’s most important, not fighting against each other. Hold tight to your faith and your family. Work to compromise, to think outside the box, to prioritize, and to sacrifice to find solutions that will work for your family. Selfishness kills marriages, so even if you are the one who feels wronged, find small ways to serve and to give. This doesn’t mean that you’re a martyr or a wimp or a pushover, but from your strength find ways to help and to lift and to love.

And remember that being part of a team is being honest with each other. If there are things that you are avoiding talking about, find appropriate ways and times to bring them up. Let your spouse know you’ve got some things on your mind, put the kids to bed, and then sit down and talk about what’s on your mind—without accusations or blame and if possible without anger. Practice good communication skills by using “I” statements (“I feel frustrated/discouraged/overwhelmed when …”), looking your spouse kindly in the eyes, and reframing your spouse’s statements and answers.

 

3. Discuss your overall philosophies about money.

As you communicate about your finances, revisit your overall views on money. What financial values are important to you? Do you believe it’s important to save up for what you want? Do you believe in lending money to people? What are your feelings on saving for retirement? As you talk about your views on money, it’s helpful to discuss your feelings on these topics:

 

4. Work to be kind and respectful, no matter what.

As you work through your differences when it comes to your views about money or your financial habits, commit to being kind and considerate. I know there may be a lot of resentment built up from past fights and potential misunderstandings. Work very hard to let the past go and focus on the present and the future. As mentioned briefly above, practice new ways to phrase things that don’t point fingers. For example, instead of saying, “I hate it when you …” say instead “I feel anxious (hurt, overwhelmed, frustrated, and so on) when you …” or “It concerns me when we spend more than we have available for …” Work on compromising and coming up with realistic solutions rather than placing blame.

 

5. Focus on your shared goals and dreams.

Start to talk about what you hope to be able to accomplish in your life as you save, spend, and invest wisely. What similar and shared goals and dreams do you have? What do you want your finances to look like in 5, 10, 20, and 40 years? Would you love to be completely out of debt? What can you do to get there? Do you want to own a vacation home on the beach someday? What will it take to get there?

Would you like to help pay for or completely pay for your children’s college educations? How can you make that happen? Are you planning to retire in comfort? How much do you need to save and how long do you plan to work to reach that goal? Do you have a goal to give very generously to the causes you support? What steps can you take now to put you on the path to make that dream a reality?

For an excellent resource to help you reach your money goals and dreams (and solve your money problems), I highly recommend Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. It’s an awesome course that my husband and I went through and that I have also taught as an FPU coordinator.

It’s effective in helping you change your money habits because it gives simple, actionable steps you can take to reach your financial goals. Dave is a fun and charismatic teacher! But more important, this course has helped hundreds of thousands of families to get their finances in order, and it has strengthened countless couples as they have been able to work together to improve their financial situations. You can find out more and purchase the course here. 

And if you want help to manage your money and keep up with your finances, you should check out the free app Personal Capital. With Personal Capital, you can see not only all of your bank checking and savings accounts and even your credit cards and other finance accounts, but you can also link your retirement and other brokerage accounts. This allows you to have a complete, overall picture of your current financial situation. And you can also view your account history to see how your accounts and overall portfolio have done over time. I love this very helpful tool and use it all the time! Sign up for your free Personal Capital account here.

 

6. Start with working to overcome simpler obstacles before moving on to tackle bigger ones.

If you have big financial hurdles you need to overcome, such as one spouse being a chronic overspender, it might help to start with smaller, bite-sized goals. For example, you might talk about and commit to cutting expenses in just one area—the easiest one. And then you could talk about reducing expenses in another area.

As you talk about your finances and your spending, create a spending plan to help you get organized with your money. Consider if you might be paying too much in car payments or rent, and what you can do to work together to solve that. You might talk about what you can do to earn more income. If one of you has committed to being a stay-at-home parent, you might look into work-from-home options to help make ends meet.

Read how to get on the same page with your spouse about money.

 

7. Don’t give up.

Realize that bringing about real change might not be easy—it’s probably not going to be easy. Especially if you’ve been having the same types of money fights for months (or even years), it’s going to take some time to reverse that. Be patient with yourself and with your spouse. Take baby steps. Keep moving forward, even when you backslide. Give yourself and your spouse grace. Remember that your (intact) family is the most important thing you have on this earth—and your marriage is the core of that family. So treat it that way. Don’t give up!

 

8. Pray for help, and read God’s Word together.

If you haven’t been praying together as a couple, start. If your spouse isn’t willing to pray, ask if he or she will join you while you do. And do the same for reading the scriptures together. Seek God’s guidance in your life—He wants to give it to you! He wants your family to succeed as much as you do. And He doesn’t want you to be hurting—He doesn’t want fighting and contention in your relationship. So ask Him to help you to heal your marriage and find solutions to your money problems. And then read your scriptures to find answers, and listen for promptings from His Holy Spirit to help you know what to do. He will help you know what to do—I promise!

 

9. Seek marriage counseling.

If your marriage is in severe trouble, seek counseling. Don’t be ashamed—if you had a physical heart problem, you wouldn’t hesitate to seek medical help. And you should feel ust as able to get help with an emotional heart problem. If your spouse won’t go with you, go yourself, and ask for advice on how to talk to your spouse and advice on things you can do to work on the problem from your end. In time, hopefully your spouse will come with you, or you will learn the communication or other skills you need to start resolving issues even if your spouse won’t attend counseling.

 

Conclusion

If you’re in a marriage that is struggling because of financial problems, there is hope. You can do small things every day to help your relationship and your money move in a better direction. See where your spouse is willing to compromise. Consider what you yourself can do better to help improve the situation. Don’t try to solve multiple issues at once. Take things one step at a time, and just do your best. Seek help from loved ones, counselors, and your all-knowing and all-loving Heavenly Father.

 

Do you have specific questions about how to stop fighting about money? What methods have you found that have worked for you and your spouse to talk about money without fighting? Let me know in the comments below! I would love to hear your best ideas and tips!

Invitation to Share

Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!

Join Our Facebook Group!

Join our closed Families for Financial Freedom Facebook group to get support and share ideas for how we can all improve our financial well-being by earning more, spending less, saving more, and investing more and reach our financial goals. You can do this! And we are here to help.

97 Fun and Frugal Summer Activities for Kids!

summer activities for kids

Summer Activities for Kids

Summertime! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! So many fun hours with the kiddos await! In this article I am going to share 97 ideas for summer activities for kids!

 

Free and Cheap Summer Activities for Kids

I don’t know about you, but I look forward to the summer like flowers look forward to the sunshine! And I love this time of year especially because there are so many fun free and cheap things you can do with your family during the summer to stay entertained. Here I mention 97 fun, free, and cheap summer activities for kids!

 

 

Summer Activities for Kids That You Can Do at Home

Run through the sprinklers.

Play in a backyard (plastic, inflatable, built-in) swimming pool.

Eat popsicles, ice pops, or ice cream bars or sandwiches.

Make popsicles.

Create your own slip’n’slide with a long sheet of plastic (such as painter’s plastic) and a garden hose.

Have your children invite a handful of friends over for a water activities day. Blow up the pool, turn on the sprinklers, get out the water table, play water balloon games, and more.

Have a water balloon toss with your kids.

Play dolls or superheroes.

Play pirates or ships outside.

Build a race track and have a race.

Make chocolate milk or hot cocoa and make and decorate homemade donuts.

Make and decorate cookies.

Make banana splits or hot fudge sundaes.

Make caramel popcorn.

Read together.

Write and act out a simple play.

Color or marker together.

Play house (or family, as my five-year-old daughter likes to call it) or school or bakery (or ice cream shop—you get the idea J).

Go on a scavenger hunt.

Draw a map and go on a treasure hunt.

Paint together.

Do finger painting.

Have your children invite a handful of friends over to play simple games like “Duck, Duck, Goose,” “Musical Chairs,” “Hot Potato,” “London Bridges,” “Follow the Leader,” and so on.

Have a tea party.

Play dress-up.

Form a band (create or gather together simple musical instruments to play together as a family or with friends).

Dance together.

Do aerobics or other exercises together.

Do simple (sometimes edible) crafts together.

Give the kids a bubble bath.

Play age-appropriate board games and card games together.

Play with wooden blocks.

Play with marble tube games.

Play with plastic building blocks.

Do puzzles together.

Do chalk art.

Blow bubbles.

Build a fort out of chairs or sectional furniture and large sheets or blankets.

Let the kids help to make a simple meal.

Play on your swing set.

Jump on the trampoline.

Color with chalk on the sidewalk.

Play tag in the backyard.

Let your kids help you garden.

Play catch.

Play Frisbees.

Play kickball or football.

Play soccer.

Go camping as a family in the backyard.

Have a hot dog or marshmallow roast in the backyard.

Make indoor or outdoor s’mores.

Go “camping” in your family room for the night.

Watch a movie together (let your kids pick it).

For older kids, have them help you build a clubhouse, playhouse, or treehouse.

Ask your children what they want to do, and then do it.

Summer Activities for Kids That You Can Do on the Go

Go for a bike ride, or ride scooters.

Ride skateboards or inline skates.

Go for a drive up the canyon.

Go on a picnic.

Go to a parade.

Go to an outdoor pageant.

Have a barbecue at the park.

Roast hotdogs and marshmallows up the canyon.

Roast marshmallows and make s’mores up the canyon.

Go fishing.

Go to the beach.

Build sand castles.

Create a sand village.

Build sand tunnels and bridges.

Skip rocks in the pond.

Catch frogs or tadpoles (my kids love doing this!).

Go tubing down the river.

Go to (or host) a family get-together or reunion.

Go kayaking or canoeing (if you can rent for cheap or borrow the equipment).

Go to an outdoor movie (many communities have weekly movies in the park during the summer months).

Go see fireworks.

Go to a botanical garden.

Visit an inexpensive bird aviary or a butterfly refuge.

Have the kids take swimming lessons at the community pool (consider getting a season or annual pass).

Visit cousins or set up a play date with friends.

Visit Grandma and Grandpa or aunts and uncles.

Go to a free or inexpensive music concert.

Visit a state or national park.

Go camping—even if it’s just in your backyard some of the time.

Go to an indoor (or outdoor, if it’s warm enough) pool.

Go out for (inexpensive) ice cream.

Go to a kid-friendly restaurant with a play area and buy ice cream or inexpensive food the kids can eat for a snack, and then let them play for an hour (or three).

Go to an inexpensive movie (dollar theater).

Go for a walk or hike.

Go to the park.

Fly kites.

Go to a splash pad.

Go to an inexpensive water park (consider getting season passes).

Visit free or inexpensive museums or aquariums (or go on a day when admission is free or reduced).

Go to the zoo (especially when you can get reduced-price or free admission).

Go to activities or to read at the library.

Go to an inexpensive fun center or jumping gym.

 

Conclusion

The possibilities for summer activities for kids really are limitless! Even though it might be hot outside, there are so many things you can do this summer to have fun with your kids and help keep them entertained (without sitting in front of the TV or other electronic device all day or evening long)!

If you did just one of these fun summer activities for kids each day, you would have a different activity to do all summer long and beyond!

 

What summer activities for kids do you love to do? Please let me know in the comments below other fun activities that you do with your children during the summer months! I would love to hear your ideas!

 

Invitation to Share

Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!

Join Our Facebook Group!

Join our new, closed Families for Financial Freedom Facebook group to get support and share ideas for how we can all improve our financial well-being by earning more, spending less, saving more, and investing more and reach our financial goals. You can do this! And we are here to help.

15 Must-Know Tips to Save Money on Your Baby!

how to save money on baby

How to Save Money on a Baby

In this article I am going to talk about 15 ways that you can save money on your baby.

15 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Baby

Congratulations! You’re about to begin an amazing new chapter of your life. I’m sure you’re super excited, but you might also be a little nervous. There’s a lot to worry about as a new parent, including how you’re going to pay the new expenses that will come with your dear little bundle of joy.

But even though there is a lot of gear and clothes and accessories that come with having a baby, it really doesn’t have to cost that much. Below I’m going to share 15 tips for things that we did ourselves with our three little ones to help save money just before or after having a baby.

Here are 15 simple tips to help you save money on your baby!

 

1. Buy second-hand maternity clothes.

Believe me, I know that maternity clothes can be super cute—but they will be just as cute from the thrift store or eBay or the woman you buy them from on the local online classifieds. And they will cost a lot less.

Given the fact that you will wear them for probably only four or five months each pregnancy, and you may be pregnant only one or two or three times, it makes more financial sense to save the money to buy cute outfits after you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight! (Or better yet, to save even more money, buy second-hand clothing then, too! :))

 

 

2. Call to find out beforehand what the hospital will charge extra for.

Unlike some stories that I’ve heard by those at other hospitals in other places, we were fortunate enough to not have a ton of unexpected extra charges from our hospital stays when having our babies. But there were still things that were much more expensive (even with insurance) than they would have been otherwise. For example, with our first daughter I took the pain killers and medicine (like my thyroid medicine) that the hospital gave (sold) us because they said that was their standard practice, but with our twins, I brought my own medicine and let them know I planned to use that instead. Paying $9 for one dose of a medication that normally costs $4 for a 90-day supply is just not OK in my book!

Some other things you will want to be aware of is if they charge extra for a private versus a shared room or for using the television (our hospital, fortunately, did not) or other amenities. Our hospital even included as part of the delivery cost (so of course you’re paying for it one way or the other, but it was still nice to feel not completely nickel-and-dimed) for one meal for one guest, and all meals for the mother were included in the price of the stay.

But again, if you want to save money, find out about the cost of meals beforehand, and if they charge extra for them, you might choose to have someone bring in at least some of them from home or a grocery store or an inexpensive restaurant. Or even bring some simple things from home when you go, such as fruit and fixings for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the like, which we did do to have food on hand.

 

3. Save up for the labor and delivery, and offer to pay your portion in cash for a discounted price.

I never thought to do this because we have good insurance and so our bill wasn’t that high, relatively speaking (we have a 10 percent copay and no deductible), but my brother and his wife called and found out the estimated price of their labor and delivery and arranged to pay it beforehand for a discount, even when they had insurance. I wish I would have thought to do that! So give it a try—you’ve got nothing to lose!

 

4. Breastfeed if possible to save a ton of money on your baby.

Breast is best—for your wallet. If you are able to breastfeed, you could save $80 a month (that’s how much we spent on formula for my son, and that was supplementing what I was able to pump for him) or more by not having to buy formula. With my daughters I was able to breastfeed exclusively, and I breastfed them pretty much exclusively for the first six months (about seven months with my first daughter), including pumping after I returned to work when they were three months old.

With our son he wouldn’t breastfeed, despite meeting with a lactation consultant and trying diligently for over a month to get him to breastfeed, so I pumped for him and supplemented with formula as needed. If I had been able to work exclusively with him and give him more of my sole attention, maybe he would have eventually caught on, but since I had another sweet baby to take care of that divided my time and attention (his twin sister), I gave it my best effort, and eventually let it go.

But my sister-in-law’s sister’s son struggled with breastfeeding for three months, but she just kept being patient and trying and pumping, and eventually he caught on and did great with breastfeeding after that. So if breastfeeding is something you feel is important, don’t give up even when things are rough at the beginning. And don’t be afraid to get the advice and support and counsel of other moms—you’re probably going to need it.

Breastfeeding may be the most natural thing in the world, but it is also very difficult at the beginning for many women. (I was one of them, with my first daughter.) So study up beforehand, but also, like I said, get the help and advice of your mom, sisters, mother-in-law, nurses, lactation consultants, or other supportive and trusted women in your life.  

If you end up using formula, try the generic brands. The law requires that they meet the same nutrition standards as the more expensive name-brand versions, so you’re not losing anything by going with less expensive options, but the savings can be significant.

 

5. Buy a used breast pump, or see if it is covered by your health insurance so you can get it for free.

With my first daughter, I bought a used high-quality breast pump from the friend of a cousin. If that seems odd to you, you can by new phalanges. But as long as you sterilize them after you buy them (though I would imagine the woman you buy them from will do that herself before she sells them), there’s no need to do that.

With our twins, Obamacare was in effect, and so we received a breast pump without having to pay any additional fees, courtesy of our health insurance. So definitely go that route if it’s available to you.

 

6. Make your own baby food to save money when your baby is a little older.

This is a no-brainer, I think. Making baby food is so simple, and it saves a ton of money. We probably used only about maybe 10 or 15 jars of baby food total for our three kids. And that was primarily for a couple of times that we were on the road and it just seemed more convenient. But when you have your blender, use it! (If you don’t have one, buy one for $20 or $30—it will pay for itself in just a couple of months.)

Using the blender you can easily make these baby foods (and many more): carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, zucchini, spinach, and broccoli.

There are also a lot of foods that you can give your little one that don’t require pureeing that you can instead cut into wedges and feed them, such as bananas, avocados, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, cheese, strawberries, cooked (very soft) carrots, soft pears, soft peaches, apricots, soft plums, cooked (very soft) potatoes and sweet potatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, mangoes, oranges, and kiwis.

Other great baby foods include (sugar free) applesauce, salsa, guacamole, hummus, mashed potatoes, refried beans, wheat elbow noodles, oatmeal, and hot wheat cereal (such as Cream of Wheat).

 

7. Use cloth diapers.

I know they require more work, but cloth diapers are so much cheaper than disposable diapers! Even if you only have one child, but especially if you have more than one child and so you reuse them, you will save a ton of money if you use cloth diapers. Don’t believe those articles where they try to say that between water for washing and laundry detergent you spend almost as much for cloth diapers; it’s just not true.

We spent a total of about $150 on cloth diapers between our three children (we used the same ones we had bought for our first daughter when the twins came, but then we bought that many again so that we had twice as many for the two of them), and even if you were able to find very inexpensive disposable diapers in bulk and spent only $20 per month, it still doesn’t take very many months before you break even, and then after that you are saving money every month.

Not only that, but with cloth diapers you have more of an incentive to do early potty learning (which is amazing!). When our first daughter was six months old I was walking through the library, and it was Earth Month (or at least they were celebrating Earth Day all month long), and I saw the book Diaper Free Baby by Christine Gross-Loh as one of the featured books on the display shelf. And I thought, what in the world? But being the avid reader that I am, and since it really piqued my curiosity and since I was motivated to get our sweet daughter out of diapers, I checked the book out and read it, and it was one of those life-changing experiences for me. (I also then checked out probably half a dozen more books on the topic because I love to get different perspectives on things and really study things that I find helpful, to get a balanced outlook.)

We bought a simple little potty and started helping her to sit on it every time we changed her diaper. And then we would try to put her on it every half an hour or so throughout the day, as well. Sometimes she was more receptive than others to the whole thing, and some periods of time went more smoothly than others, but by the time she was one year old she would go on the potty virtually every time we put her on it, and she was also consistently dry at night by that age. And by about 15 months she was pretty much potty trained, and she was completely out of diapers by 18 months. Did it take diligence and patience and effort? For sure! But so does wiping poopy bums for two or three or more years! Yikes!

With our twins it took a little longer for their potty learning than with our daughter, probably because it was a little more difficult to be diligent and give them quite as many opportunities to potty, but they were both potty trained right around the time they turned two. Now, that doesn’t mean our kids never had a miss (what I call an accident) after that, but it was rare.

And for you dads that are reading this article, you can do the early potty learning thing too! My husband has been our stay-at-home parent since our first daughter was born, and so he has changed even more diapers than me, and he was the one who gave the opportunities to potty while I was at work.

 

8. If you use disposable diapers, buy generic brands and buy them in bulk to save money on your baby.

If cloth diapers just won’t work for you, you can still save a significant amount of money by buying generic disposable diapers in bulk. If you have a scratch and dent store in your area, check it out, as well.

 

9. Buy used baby clothes.

Children go through clothing so quickly in the first year, and then pretty quickly in the second year, that to me it just makes more sense to buy most things that you need used. If you have a baby shower, you will likely get a lot of cute things there, and the rest can be gently used.

 

10. Buy used baby gear.

Same goes for baby gear. You’ll save a ton of money by buying used from thrift stores, yard sales, and online classifieds.

Don’t let your pride get in the way of saving your money! When you are able to use the money you save to instead fund your children’s college ESA or 529 plans, as we did, it will be well worth any initial discomfort you might feel. And when your children have no student loans later in life, they can thank you for your mindful spending. (Some call it being thrifty, but I call it being mindful. :)) Remember—clothing is a necessity. New clothes are not.

 

11. Don’t buy what you don’t need.

You can go completely over the top buying stuff for your new little one if you’re not careful and if you don’t weed through what’s really needed and what’s not. Some of the things that are not: bottle warmers, wipe warmers, changing table, and infant baby shoes.

You can change your baby just as easily on any convenient flat surface by laying down an old towel first (which is what we ended up doing, even though my sister gave us her changing table), and baby shoes may be cute, but until your baby can walk, they can actually impede the process of your baby learning to walk because they make balance more difficult.

 

12. Buy used toys, or let your baby play with odd items from around the house (free!).

Why buy all brand-new toys that will often quickly get lost or broken? Buy gently used instead. Even for birthdays and Christmas, it’s OK to buy most or even all of your toys used. Your young kiddos won’t know or care, and any adults who do (care), shouldn’t. And by the time your children are old enough to care, ideally you will have taught them why it’s important to be mindful in your spending and to reduce spending where possible, so hopefully they will thank you for having their best interests at heart! (OK, maybe they won’t go that far, but really, if you’ve taught them well the principles of contentment and intentional spending, hopefully they really won’t care.) For Christmas and birthdays we buy a few new items, but mostly used. And we don’t buy a ton of gifts for either. We choose to spend our money on things and experiences that will, we believe, have more lasting value.

 

13. Look for coupons to save money on your baby if there are items that you use over and over.

For things such as diapers and wipes and baby food (though, again, making it yourself is so easy and cheap!) that you buy over and over again, search for coupons. You can find a lot of coupons by searching online at the manufacturer’s website or by typing the name of the item and “coupon.” You can also get coupons from your local stores.

 

14. Don’t go out and buy a minivan or big SUV with your first (or even second or possibly third) baby.

Even though having a large vehicle is nice, you actually can fit three (of the narrower) car seats in the backseat of a regular car. When we learned that we were having twins, one of the first things my husband did was to measure the back of the car to see if fitting three car seats would be possible, and I Googled car seats to find narrower models, and it has totally worked for us!

We do eventually plan to move up to a full-size van (which we plan to purchase with cash), but in the meantime we continue to drive our car as our sole vehicle, and it has worked out well. Things are a little snug when we pack in our camping gear, but it is a hatchback, and we’ve been able to make it work. And it’s helped me to pack less stuff, which my husband definitely feels is a good thing!

 

15. Don’t upsize your house.

Similarly, don’t think that when you have a second child you need to immediately go search for a bigger home. Even if you are in a two-bedroom home and have a daughter and a son, they can share a room until the oldest is at least six or seven (and in an apartment they can legally share a bedroom till the oldest is eight, according to what I’ve heard). By staying in a smaller home or apartment—even though it may seem cozy or even cramped at times—and not upsizing, you will likely save thousands of dollars in interest or increased rent payments. That’s why we’re still in our three-bedroom, 1,300-square-foot home. Though it would be nice to have a bigger place, we’re planning to buy our next larger, newer, nicer home with cash (100 percent down plan!) in the next five to eight years, and so the wait and the little bit of what some might consider a sacrifice are worth it.

 

Conclusion

Babies are the best! (And when they get a little older, kiddos are the best!) But they can come with a hefty price tag if you let them. But they really don’t have to! Much of the stuff that they say you need, you really don’t. And all of what you do need you can find ways to save significant amounts of money on by following the tips above. Keep in mind, it’s actually parents who make having children expensive—it’s not the kids themselves.

If I can help you by answering questions you might have, please leave a comment below or ask your question on our new Families for Financial Freedom Facebook group page. I would love to help you navigate these new waters by doing my best to answer your money questions or whatever other questions you might have!

 

What have you done to be able to save money on your baby or your children? What information did I forget to include? I would love to hear what your family does as well to save money on baby, so leave a comment below and let me know!

 

Invitation to Share

Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!

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