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

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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!

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.

79 Fun Free and Cheap Spring Activities for Families

free and cheap spring activities for families

Find a list of 79 fun free and cheap spring activities that you can do with your kids!

The days are getting longer and warmer, the trees are getting greener, the plants are starting to grow, and spring is in the air! Now that the cold winter is (mostly) behind us, there are lots of fun things you can do to celebrate the warmer weather!

 

 

 

Free and Cheap Spring Activities for Kids That You Can Do at Home

Plant flowers or a fruit tree.

Go on an Easter egg hunt.

Decorate hard-boiled eggs.

Plant a small garden.

Play dolls or superheroes.

Play pirates or ships.

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.

Read an Easter story.

Reenact the Easter story.

Write and act out a simple play.

Color or marker together.

Draw rainbows.

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 :)).

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.

Choreograph a simple dance routine.

Do aerobics or other exercises together.

Do simple (maybe edible) crafts together. You can find ideas for fun spring kids crafts here.

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.

Write a silly poem or story.

Use a flashlight in a darkened room to make shadow puppets.

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.

Play hide and seek.

Let your kids help you garden.

Play catch.

Play Frisbees.

Play kickball or football.

Go camping as a family in the backyard if it is warm enough.

Make indoor s’mores.

Have a hot dog or marshmallow roast in the backyard.

Go “camping” in your family room for the night (my kids love this one!).

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

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

Free and Cheap Spring Activities for Kids That You Can Do on the Go

Go for a bike ride, or ride scooters.

Visit cousins or set up a play date with friends.

Visit grandma or grandpa.

Go to a free or inexpensive Easter concert or pageant.

Go to a free or inexpensive music concert.

Go for a drive up the canyon.

Visit a state or national park.

Go puddle jumping.

Head to a warmer area of the state (or a nearby state) to go camping.

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.

Ride skateboards or inline skates.

Go to the park.

Fly kites.

Go on a picnic.

Go to the community rec center (consider getting an annual pass).

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

There are so many free and inexpensive things you can do to help keep your children entertained this spring! They definitely don’t need to be sitting in front of the TV or an electronic device all afternoon or evening long when there are so many fun free or cheap options.

 

What activities do you do with your kids for fun during the spring? What inexpensive spring activities does your family participate in? I would love to hear what your family does as well, 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!

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.

69 Fun, Free Family Activities for Spring!

fun activities for spring

Free, Fun Activities for Spring to Do with Your Family

Find 69 free, fun activities for spring that you can do with your kids! These fun, free activities are perfect for your family!

Even though there is still a little snow on the ground outside, the last couple of days have been warmer, and I have hope that spring is on its way! These free, fun spring activities will give you hours of good times with your family!

 

 

 

Free, Fun Activities for Spring Perfect for Kids and Families

  1. Go on an Easter egg hunt.
  2. Decorate hard-boiled eggs.
  3. Play dolls or superheroes.
  4. Play pirates or ships.
  5. Build a simple race track and have a race.
  6. Make chocolate milk or hot cocoa and make and decorate homemade donuts.
  7. Make and decorate cookies.
  8. Make banana splits or hot fudge sundaes.
  9. Make caramel popcorn.
  10. Read together.
  11. Read an Easter story.
  12. Reenact the Easter story.
  13. Write and act out a simple play.
  14. Color or marker together.
  15. Draw rainbows.
  16. 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 :)).
  17. Go on a scavenger hunt.
  18. Draw a map and go on a treasure hunt (my kids love this one!).
  19. Paint together.
  20. Do finger painting.
  21. 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.
  22. Have a tea party.
  23. Play dress-up.
  24. Form a band (create or gather simple musical instruments to play together as a family or with friends).
  25. Dance together.
  26. Choreograph a simple dance routine.
  27. Do aerobics or other exercises together.
  28. Do simple (maybe edible!) crafts together. Find ideas for spring kids crafts here.
  29. Give the kids a bubble bath.
  30. Play age-appropriate board games and card games together.
  31. Play with wooden blocks.
  32. Play with marble tube games.
  33. Play with plastic building blocks.
  34. Do puzzles together.
  35. Do chalk art.
  36. Blow bubbles.
  37. Write a silly poem or story.
  38. Use a flashlight in a darkened room to make shadow puppets.
  39. Build a fort out of chairs or sectional furniture and large sheets or blankets.
  40. Let the kids help to make a simple meal.
  41. Play on your swing set.
  42. Jump on the trampoline.
  43. Color with chalk on the sidewalk.
  44. Play tag in the backyard.
  45. Play hide and seek.
  46. Let your kids help you garden.
  47. Play catch.
  48. Play Frisbees.
  49. Play kickball or football.
  50. Go camping as a family in the backyard if it is warm enough.
  51. Make indoor s’mores.
  52. Have a hot dog or marshmallow roast in the backyard.
  53. Go “camping” in your family room for the night (my kids love this one!).
  54. Watch a movie together (let your kids pick it).
  55. Go for a bike ride, or ride scooters.
  56. Visit cousins or set up a play date with friends.
  57. Go to a free Easter concert or pageant.
  58. Listen to fun kids’ music together.
  59. Go to a free music concert.
  60. Go for a drive up the canyon.
  61. Go puddle jumping.
  62. Go for a walk or hike.
  63. Ride skateboards or inline skates.
  64. Go to the park.
  65. Fly kites.
  66. Go on a picnic.
  67. Visit free museums or aquariums (or go on a day when admission is free or reduced).
  68. Go to activities or to read at the library.
  69. Ask your children what they want to do, and then do it! 🙂

 

Conclusion

There are so many free things you can do to keep your kids entertained this spring! Enjoy the warmer weather and the sunshine by doing free, fun activities for spring with your children outside! Or for those rainy spring days, find tons of ideas for things to do inside, as well! Whether inside or out, you will find ideas for hours of fun activities for spring for your kiddos or for the whole family!

What free, fun activities do you love to do with your family during the spring? I would love to hear what you and your kiddos do as well, 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!

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.

7 Must-Know Steps to Get on the Same Page with Your Spouse about Money

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

Get on the Same Page with Your Spouse about Money

One of the most important things you can do as a married couple is to see eye to eye financially. If you currently are engaged or talking about marriage, you need to have open and honest conversations—lots of them—about your beliefs about money. And seek good pre-marriage counseling to talk about your views on money, in-laws, kids, religion, and more.  

If you are already married, then it’s time to combine your finances and be one. If you still have separate checking accounts and savings accounts and things like that, as long as you intend the marriage to last, then you should combine them. The reason is simple: if you are sharing a life together, you need to share your money. Because money affects virtually everything that we do. When you agree on how you spend and save and invest your money, you agree on your personal and family priorities and goals and values. So here are 7 steps you can take to get on the same page with your spouse about money.  

 

1. Plan a time to sit down and talk about your finances. 

If you are having challenges in your relationship because of money differences, plan a time when you can sit down together without distractions to talk about your financial situation. As you talk with your spouse or sweetheart, listen more than you talk. Ask questions to find out where your spouse is coming from and why he or she feels that way. Work to really understand his or her perspective. 

As you talk, don’t beat each other up for past money mistakes. Focus instead on the present and the future and on what you can do together to overcome both any differences that you might have and any financial struggles you are facing. 

Continue to sit down together and talk about your money as often as you need to. As you do, remember to attack issues, not each other. Commit to being kind and respectful, and give each other the benefit of the doubt. Keep in mind each other’s best traits, and remember why you decided to get married in the first place. Give your very best to each other. 

2. Focus on writing out and accomplishing shared short- and long-term 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? Pick at least one goal that is a top priority, and write out a plan to accomplish it. Remember to make your plan specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (SMART). 

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 facilitated 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 about the course here 

And if you want help to manage your money and keep up with your finances, I also recommend 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 often! Sign up for your free Personal Capital account here. 

Check out these articles for more information on money and marriage.

3. Compromise on and prioritize your individual goals and dreams as needed. 

Where you have individual (but ideally complementary!) goals, figure out how you can work together to make those happen, as well. For example, if one of you wants to go back to school to earn a higher income, that should probably be a shared priority. (Just make sure that you’re going to school to learn a marketable skill that will lead to a great income!) List the goals that you both have, and then determine which goals to work on first and how best to accomplish them. Then revisit your list from time to time and as you accomplish each goal so that you can set new priorities and figure out how to best work on the next goals you want to achieve.

4. Create your family budget together, and make sure you both take an active part in creating the budget. 

If you haven’t been following a spending plan, sit down together and create a budget. This is one of the most important things that you can do to ensure that you are working together in the best way possible to reach your financial goals. Fill out the information below to have a simple budget sent to you today so you can start really making progress! 

 

5. If your finances are tight, work on ways to reduce spending and increase income. 

There really are only two sides to the financial equation: earning more and spending less. And they are equally important. But increasing your income can have the overall biggest impact on your finances. That is because there is a limit to how much you can reduce your expenses (although there are ton of ways that you can reduce your expenses!), but there is no limit to how much you can potentially earn. That being said, learning to reduce your spending so that you do not spend more than you earn is the more important of the two factors, because no matter how much you earn, you can always outspend it. There is no end—fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it—to the amount of stuff we can buy! You can find ways to reduce your spending here and ways to increase your income here. 

 

6. Have weekly family finance (budget) meetings to make sure you stay on the same page. 

As you work to get on the same page with your spouse about your finances, commit to sitting down together each week (or eventually every two weeks or month, if that is really often enough) to talk about your finances and go over your budget and expenses. Talk about what you have accomplished (your successes) and what you hope to accomplish, and review and reevaluate your financial priorities and goals and your progress toward them. Make sure to plan for upcoming purchases and expenses so that you can save up for them. 

 

7. Seek marriage counseling if you aren’t able to get on the same page without help. 

If you can’t seem to get on the same page about your finances and 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 just 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. 

Don’t give up. Realize that bringing about real change might not be easy. Especially if you’ve been having money problems or 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. 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! 

Check out these articles for more information on money and marriage. 

 

Conclusion 

I know that life is really difficult when you’re not on the same page with your spouse—about whatever it is you’re disagreeing about. Maybe you’ve been feeling helpless—or even hopeless. I’m not going to sugarcoat things and say that it will be easy to turn things around. It probably won’t be. But it is possible, if you’re willing to consistently work at it. Keep in mind your spouse’s best traits. Remember why you got married in the first place. Focus on his or her strengths rather than weaknesses. Ask for God’s help, and then live so that you can receive His guidance. Seek counseling if you need it, and again, don’t give up. If you’ll hold on and keep trying and give the best that you can, things will undoubtedly be very different five years from now. They will be much better. Hold on to each other and to your faith, and you can make it through. 

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 get on the same page with your spouse about money

13 Best Tips for How to Save Money Raising Kids

how to save money raising kids | raise kids without going broke

 

How to Save Money Raising Kids

There are many things that you can do as a parent to raise kids without going broke. I am a firm believer in the principle that it’s not kids that are expensive—it’s parents. Kids are completely happy (unless you train them otherwise by your own behavior) to play with sticks and dirt and rocks for hours. They’ll enjoy the box the toys come in as much (and sometimes even more) than the toys themselves. They’ll have endless fun playing with household items like pots and pans and plates. Most kids are quite content with whatever toys or clothes or art supplies or whatever they have—unless you teach them not to be. Or unless you allow the TV and commercials to teach them to always want new and more stuff.

We don’t watch TV in our house (not because we’re against it but because it’s just not a priority for us and so we never hooked it up when we moved into our current house—though we do watch videos on YouTube sometimes and shows we get from the library), and I’m sure that that minimizes our kids’ potential discontent and feelings of not having enough because they are not exposed to constant commercials. You might want to consider pulling the plug on TV, as well, and just get shows and movies from the library, like we do. You’ll potentially save money and the kids won’t be able to sit in front of the TV mindlessly for hours on end. You can also have the peace of mind that what they are watching you are aware of and have approved.

Millions of kids throughout history never touched electronics, and I think in general they were likely happier than our kids are overall today—and better off. Sometimes more stuff just causes more problems. So don’t feel that you always have to buy your children new and better stuff or that they have to have the best of everything. If you’ll give them your time and your attention, your love and also your affection, your patience and your kindness, your guidance and your firmness (when needed), along with an awesome (but not perfect) example of who they can become, they will be rich in all the ways that really matter.

You don’t have to go broke or break the bank to raise healthy, happy, well-rounded kids. There are lots of ways you can save money as you raise them in order to use that money for things that will ultimately bless their lives much more than another shiny toy—things like helping to pay for their college education, saving for your own retirement so that you won’t be a burden on them later in life, and saving for emergencies and for larger purchases so that they won’t feel the effects of undue financial stress. And you can bless their lives by teaching them sound financial principles by example so that they can be financially successful adults.

Here are 9 strategies that will help you spend less so that you can raise your kids without going broke.

 

1. Keep your grocery bill down.

One of the main things that you can do to raise kids without going broke is to save money on food. Food is one of the biggest expenses for a family. It can often eat up (pun intended :)) 10 percent or even more of a family’s budget. But food is also one of the areas where it’ the easiest to cut back because there are so many options available and the difference between what you can spend and what you have to spend is so vast. Here are just a few ideas for ways you can save money when feeding your brood (but see this article for many more ideas on how to trim your grocery bill):

Make your own baby food. When you think about it, baby food is really not a good way to spend your food dollars. And that’s why we probably bought only 10 jars maybe of baby food in the time we were raising our three little ones. Because baby food is so easy to make yourself, and so much cheaper when you do it yourself! Because I breastfed our three children we didn’t introduce them to solid foods until they were six months old, but even if you introduce your children as early as four months old to big people food, there are many things you can easily prepare that you don’t have to even blend up, like giving them wedges (not bite-sized pieces—that’s what causes a choking hazard) of banana, (soft) tomatoes, avocado, cheese, strawberries, peaches, soft pears, apricots, cantaloupe, mangoes, watermelon, cooked carrots, hard-boiled eggs, and more. And you can feed them lots of other food you already eat, like applesauce, guacamole, salsa, yogurt, hummus, refried beans with cheese, oatmeal, and hot wheat cereal (such as Cream of Wheat), just as it is. But for the food you do grind up, such as cooked peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and more, one easy way to keep it is to freeze it in ice cube trays for easy-to-make infant-sized portions. After it’s frozen, just pop the squares out of the tray and store them in zip-top bags until your little one eats them all up.

Forget the juice. Most kinds really don’t have much nutritional value. Give your kids whole fruit and water to drink, instead.

Go easy on junk food. Kids may love kisses and candy, but try to go heavy on the kisses and light on the candy. Try to help your children form good eating habits while they’re young.

Don’t take your kids shopping with you. It’s pretty much inevitable that you’ll buy more than you planned that way. Try to leave them at home with the other parent.

For more than 50 additional ideas for how to save big money on your grocery bill, read this article.

 

2. Find ways to reduce your money spent on clothes and shoes.

Another way to raise kids without going broke is to save money on clothing. If you have close friends or family members or fellow church members who have kids around the same age as you, see if you can set up a clothing co-op, where you trade clothes around. I’ve done that with three of my sisters (the other one’s children were older that the rest of ours), and it worked so great. Whatever clothes we bought or received as gifts from baby showers or from doting grandparents we would just use until they were outgrown, and then we would add them to the collective pool, where whoever needed clothes next would just take the appropriate size of clothes and use them as needed and then return them and grab the next size up. It meant we have all had to buy a lot fewer clothes than we would have otherwise!

Other ways to save money on clothes include buying them from second-hand kid stores (like Kid to Kid) or thrift stores, or buying them from online classifieds. This works especially well when you need a whole season’s worth of clothes that someone else’s kids have outgrown, and you can buy them in bulk and save a ton of money.

Read this article for more ways to save on clothing.

 

3. Buy inexpensive furniture.

When you have young children, it may not make sense to have fancy or expensive furniture. There is a high probability that your furniture will get thrashed or at least worn out while your children are young. (In fact, when we just replaced our 15-year-plus-old furniture with newer used furniture, my five-year-old said she wished we still had the old furniture—I think because my husband doesn’t let the kids eat on the furniture much anymore.) You can save a bunch of money buying used—the three gently used pieces we got were $25 each from a second-hand store (they were having a half-off sale).

 

4. Keep your spending on toys and gadgets in check.

Another thing you can do to raise your kids without going broke is to save money on toys and gadgets. It’s fine to buy your children some of the toys and electronics you think or know that they want—as long as you can afford it. But afford is a funny word. Sometimes people think if they can buy it without going into debt (even if they’re not saving any money at all for emergencies or larger expenses or retirement) or if they can pay their minimum balances on their credit cards, then they can afford it. Don’t fall into that trap—or if you’ve been in it before, don’t fall for it anymore. Reasonable toys and electronics and so on are fine, but don’t let your spending on those things (for your children or for yourself) put what should be more important financial priorities in jeopardy.

 

 

5. Find ways to entertain your children for cheap or for free.

And you can definitely find inexpensive ways to entertain your children that will help you raise your kids without going broke. There are a ton of fun things that you can do with your kids for cheap or for free, from walking to hiking to biking to playing at the park to going to the library to baking and cookie making and more. See this huge list of ideas for fun free and cheap activities to do with your children.

And also check out this article with more ideas on how to save money on entertainment.

 

6. Keep the birthday parties and gift giving reasonable.

I don’t know if the situation with birthday parties and gift giving is the same everywhere in the U.S., but I would guess that it is. Not only has the party throwing for and gift giving to the little birthday guy or gal gotten over the top, but so have the party favors and expectations for the guests. It’s almost like we feel that we have to give those who come to the party a gift for giving a gift. And though that’s a nice sentiment in theory, somewhere the trend of spending and spending has to stop. In our (extended) family, gift giving by the aunts and uncles or cousins to the birthday boy or girl is optional, not required, and when our kids are a little older and start to have parties with more than just a couple of close friends, I think I am going to ask that the kids bring no gifts at all.

That’s not because a heartfelt gift isn’t appreciated. Or that my kids wouldn’t love to have another fun toy to play with. But they already have enough. They already have bins of toys—they don’t need any more. Having kids come to play and have fun spending time together with the birthday person should be the true gift—that should be enough. So though we’re only one family in the sea of humanity, maybe we can start a tiny little ripple against the consumerism that seems to have completely taken over our country.

For more information on this topic, read this article on gift giving.

 

7. Save money on entertainment and vacations.

You can also find ways to raise your kids without going broke by saving on your entertainment and vacation expenses. Family entertainment that provides opportunities for time spent together and also family vacations where children and parents can strengthen relationships are important. And fortunately, they can be done fairly inexpensively. Check out this list of many free and cheap activities you can do with your kids.

And some of my favorite memories of growing up in my own family are our family vacations—even when things didn’t always go exactly as planned. Or maybe especially when they didn’t. 🙂 But you can save money on vacations, too! One of our favorite ways these days to save on vacations is to use Airbnb to book our accommodations. It’s more personal and even more enjoyable than staying in a hotel or even a vacation condo, and it’s less expensive! Triple win! For our last vacation, we stayed in a couple of great places with awesome pools and hot tubs and playgrounds, and we paid about $40 per night. And the places were definitely better than the pretty ghetto (most unfortunately!) hotel rooms in the same price range. Sign up for an Airbnb account here to start saving on your vacations and to receive $40 to go toward your first stay. Pretty awesome!

Learn more about how to save money on entertainment.

 

8. Make good dental hygiene a priority.

For another way to raise your kids without going broke, make sure that you brush your children’s teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. Otherwise, you could be spending big bucks for dental work down the road.

Our son hasn’t had any cavities so far, but our girls have had 10 cavities between them—and our younger daughter just started to go to the dentist this year! And we may have to have an anesthesiologist put her under in order to fix the rest of her cavities (for $400; at the first dentist’s office we went to, they wanted $500!), since the last time the dentist tried to work on her teeth, she got nervous and things didn’t go so well. And the anesthesiologists in the area apparently aren’t covered by insurance (at least with the two pediatric dentists we’ve visited so far—if we have to actually go the route of anesthesia, I’ll definitely do more calling around to see if one is covered at one of the dentists around). All of that to say, avoid the problem of cavities if you can! We brush and floss our kids teeth every day, but when they were younger toddlers I think there were nights where we wouldn’t brush their teeth again if they wanted something else to eat later (because they didn’t eat enough dinner) or if they had fallen asleep before we had a chance to do so. We’re working to be more diligent now because, man, paying several hundred dollars out of pocket on top of dental and health insurance isn’t cool!

*Update: My daughter was able to get her dental work done without anesthesia at her last dentist appointment—but that was one down, and we’ve still got one more to go. Fingers crossed that all will go well!

 

9. Don’t automatically supersize your vehicle (and if you do buy a larger vehicle, buy it used for cash).

Another big step you can take as a parent to raise your kids without going broke is to save money on vehicles and related expenses. I know of a family who, as soon as they had their first little one, went out and bought a minivan. Now I guess if you needed a different vehicle anyway and knew that you wanted to have a few children then this wouldn’t necessarily be a bad idea (and I don’t know if that’s what they were thinking), but if you don’t need another vehicle, stick with your car and keep on driving it! A minivan will generally cost more for gas and insurance, let alone the fact that the price of the actual vehicle itself would often be more.

When you do buy a minivan or other larger car to accommodate a growing (or grown) family, plan to buy it with cash. (Learn here how to never have a car payment again!). And if that means that you swap your car for a van worth the same amount or just a little more, that’s OK—it’s better than getting yourself into a ton of debt to buy a depreciating asset (that may depreciate even more if your sweet little angels are rough on it).

Read this article to learn more ways to save on transportation.

 

10. Let your children pay for their own gas and car insurance—and don’t buy a car for them.

When they get to the point where they are old enough to drive, allow them the opportunity to pay for their own gas and auto insurance. I got in a (literal) scrape or two as a young driver, and I might have been more careful with my driving (and almost certainly would have appreciated the privilege of driving more) if my parents had required me to pay my portion of the insurance premium, which may very well have gone up during my teen years because of said scrapes.

And don’t buy them a car. If you don’t have one that they can use on occasion, buy an inexpensive third family car that everyone can share as needed. And if they have a job where they actually work a lot of hours and “need” a car of their own because of that, give them the opportunity to pay for it. They’ll take care of it so much better when they do.

 

11. Stay in a smaller home.

Here, again, don’t go rushing to buy a bigger house when your kiddos come along. Most families lived in small homes for literally millennia—until the very recent future. Let the kids share a room, and stay put in your 1,500-square-foot starter home to literally potentially save hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s what we’ve decided to do (our house is even smaller than 1,500 square feet), until we can purchase our next home with cash. So unless you’re in a two-bedroom home (which I would not advise buying if you plan to have children, by the way) and your kids are getting old enough where they really shouldn’t be sharing a room if they’re opposite genders (by about age eight), stay put! And invest all of that money you will save either for retirement or to go toward the purchase of you next larger home when you are in a much better position to really afford it (and maybe till you can do the 100 percent down plan, like we’re planning to do!). Yes, it’s possible that your home may feel cramped at times, especially during the winter months when everyone is cooped up inside, but keep your eyes on your bigger financial goals, and you’ll get through it. We have.

 

12. Have a single shared cell phone for the kids (and a cheap one at that).

Maybe it shouldn’t, but it still surprises me when I see tweens or young teens with smartphones. I know that smartphones don’t have to be that expensive (we have an inexpensive plan from Republic Wireless or you can also check out Mint Mobile or Xfinity Mobile), but kids and teens and tweens don’t need smartphones. Put that money toward their college educations instead, and consider buying them a cheap, basic (not smart) phone that your kids can share when they have a true need to use a cell phone (which is very rare because of the fact that their friends and teachers will all have cell phones, so they can use those during school activities and things). The potential to get into trouble is a lot less on a dumb phone than on a smartphone, for example. (Yes, I know there are filters and things that can help prevent that—but you won’t have to even worry about that if you don’t give them a smartphone in the first place.)

Now if they get a job as an older teen then that might be a good reason to let them have a cell phone (I still wouldn’t give them a smartphone, for reasons, like I mentioned above, beyond just the financial ones), but then they can pay for it themselves. Yay!

*Update: We just switched over to Xfinity Mobile because, since we don’t use much data at all, it’s even cheaper than Republic and Mint Mobile! We pay just $3.51 per month per line for our smartphone plan! Awesome! We’ve been with Xfinity just a couple of months now for our internet and cell phone service, and so far things have been great! Currently we pay a 12-month introductory rate of just $40 per month for internet (the same price we were paying before but for internet that is literally 30x faster than our older internet), and then it will go up to $65 per month—but you can bet I’ll try to lower our bill when that time comes. 🙂 If you’re interested in signing up for Xfinity Mobile, use the referral code 1RQ4SP to save $25 to $100 when you sign up.

Find out how to save money on your cell phone service.

13. Start saving for college early, and give your kids the opportunity to help pay for it.

Even though a college education can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be. One more thing you can do to raise your kids without going broke is to save on their college education. Because of the awesome power of compound interest, if you are planning or even hoping to help pay for your kids’ college (let’s turn that hope into reality—you can find ideas here for how to help pay for your children’s college educations), you should start saving as soon as possible. We started saving for our kiddos’ college within a month or two after they were born.

And if you do plan to help them out with college, set up the expectation that your children are going to work and pay for at least some of their college expenses themselves. Again, as with a car, they will appreciate it so much more if they have to help pay for it, and they will take their education more seriously that way and likely get better grades. There was a study done that found that students who worked while in college actually got better grades than those who didn’t—likely because they had to learn to be responsible and manage their time well and do all of the other things that first getting and then keeping down a job require.

Read these articles for more information on how to save for kids’ college and how to pay for kids’ college.

 

Conclusion

It costs money to raise kids. But you can definitely raise your kids without going broke. It doesn’t have to cost as much as many people think—as the studies demonstrate that show a direct correlation between how much you earn and how much it costs to raise a child. Other than food, clothing, shelter, transportation (all of which you’re already paying for to some degree), and love, there’s really not that much that they need. Again, it’s parents that really make raising kids expensive—not the kids themselves.

So keep that in mind next time you’re in Target and feel tempted to buy your kids just one more thing. 🙂 Put the item back, slowly walk away, and invest the saved money in their ESA (education savings account) instead. When their college expenses are all paid for 10 or 15 or 20 years from now and you don’t have to spend any money on it month to month, you’ll be very glad you did!

 

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 save money raising kids | raise kids without going broke
how to save money raising kids | raise kids without going broke