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Advice for Parents to Save Money (+ How Your Kids Can Help)

Advice for Parents to Save Money (+ How Your Kids Can Help)

Did you know the average cost of raising a child can balloon up to $300,000? That’s an intimidating number, especially as a family grows. Parents can often be fearful of their ability to provide a well-rounded life experience while providing for the everyday needs of their family.

There are, however, ways to help reduce parents’ financial stress that comes with children. Most of these tips can be easily introduced to the family routine. And children can play a major role in helping a family save money. 

While younger children may not feel like they are making a big impact on the family finances, as a child grows, they can play a big role in saving money. Even something as simple as finding the right car insurance when you’re married with children can have big financial ramifications. 

Ways to Save Money

There are a number of ways to save money when raising a family. Many of these habits and hacks don’t interfere with a family’s ability to spend quality time together. In fact, there are fun ways to save money while still having fun — everything from frugal, low-cost outings to simply having fun at home

#1 – Meal Plan

One of the biggest costs for American families is food. The availability of fast food makes it all too easy for families to grab a burger and fries while on the road between work or school and home. Energy drinks are also handy for a quick boost.

The cost to purchase multiple meals from various restaurants can add up quickly. To offset this, you can cook meals at home. The best way to do this is to meal plan — create a menu for the week, purchase the groceries necessary, and prep as much as possible for those meals in a single day. 

Meal planning and prep helps cut down on food waste, which increases food cost and minimizes the need for a quick meal out. Children can even help in both the meal planning and preparation process. 

#2 – Try Thrifting

Another hefty cost for families comes in the form of clothing and shoes for young children. Active children not only quickly outgrow clothing but can also wear through clothes quickly. If a family buys new clothes for all their children, the cost can add up quickly.

An easy and environmentally friendly way to offset some of that cost is by thrifting. Thrifting allows a family to find most of their clothing needs while spending only a fraction of the cost. It keeps clothes out of landfills and cuts down the need to make brand new clothes.

#3 – Home Cost Hacks

Housing and the associated costs can be a big price tag as well. There are several ways to minimize the amount of money a family spends on their home.

Most energy companies offer programmable thermostats that can automatically adjust the temperature of your home while you are away. This cuts down on the heating and cooling bills with little effort or thought. 

If you’re looking for a way to make an even more drastic change to cost and budget, consider downsizing your home altogether. Moving to a smaller home can cut costs dramatically. This is not a move for all families, but it might be worth considering in a few years. 

Advice for Parents to Save Money (+ How Your Kids Can Help)

Ways Kids Can Help

Kids can have huge impacts on a family’s saving effort. The biggest way to help encourage kids during this time is to involve them in the process as much as possible.

#1 – Talk Budget and Saving

One of the most important life skills for kids to learn is how to budget and save their money. As you work to cut costs and save money, teach your children about budgeting and saving. Highlight the importance of living within your means and creating wealth through saving.

#2 – Earn Their Own Money

Encourage kids to make their own money. It’s easier to have a conversation about budgeting or saving when a child understands the work and effort it takes to earn their own money. This will also help children create sustainable, beneficial, and life-long habits.

#3 – Stay on the Insurance

Children can also help their parents save money when they start driving. You might ask, “Do I have to add my teenager to my car insurance?” Insurance costs for new and young drivers are much higher than at other times in life. One way to lower those costs is to keep children on their parent’s car insurance for as long as possible. This keeps costs low for parents as well as children.

Saving money is not only a good idea, but it’s also a life-changing habit. The benefits of saving even a few dollars a month can have major impacts later on. Don’t wait. Start these habits today and create those habits for your children. 

Laura Gunn writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsurance.org. She is a mother to two young boys and is passionate about parents knowing every possible way to save money while providing for their children.

Advice for Parents to Save Money (+ How Your Kids Can Help)

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