This is a Sponsored post written by me and brought to you by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC". All opinions are 100% mine.
My baby just turned 6 this week and looking back at when she was born it sure was a challenge and a change for the entire family. I already had two boys that were ready to head to middle school, so a little girl that would scream and cry all day wasn’t something any of us were used to. Of course feeding a family of 4 to feeding a family of 5 with an infant was a big change as well. I decided to put together a few of my favorite tips to share on how we prepare for the future and how we managed living with a red-head that had everyone wrapped around their finger the moment she opened her eyes.
What actually made me think about creating this post was an article that I read online somewhere the other day and it mentioned how much it will cost to raise a child and BOY, the number had shocked me. Of course it all depends on your City/State, but in general most of us will end up spending close to that amount; are you ready to hear it?
I based the calculation on a baby born in 2012, all over the US and with a middle class income… You will have to spend $240,000 to raise this child till he/she turns 18. BOY, that is a number, of course we all know it will not stop the minute they turn 18. Now add a second, a third or maybe a fourth child, the cost is WOW! So check out some tips that helped me keep the kids happy, healthy but that hasn’t broke our bank and I doubt we made it anywhere close to the $240K; BUT I’m not really counting either…LOL.
5 Tips to raise healthy, happy little ones that helped us NOT break the bank
1. As soon as your bundle of joy is born, start a savings account or a College fund of some sort. I know 18 years seems so far out; TRUST me… Do it!! My oldest just turned 18 and I have no idea how that happened, but I’m not ready to send him off to college just yet; with the little one I planed the minute she was born and a little at a time helps me save over a long time instead of coming up with a big junk down the road. Of course it is NEVER too late to start saving, so make that your number one goal to set aside a little at a time.
2. Use coupons! A lot of people shy away from coupons, but they will cut your cost of having to feed, clothes and anything else the kids may need drastically, even as much as 75% in some cases. I started using coupons when my baby girl was born and in general saved a lot of money on food, personal hygiene items and even diapers. Even if you don’t like the food that has coupons offered, the savings on other everyday items like diapers, formula, soap, shampoo will be big enough to let you buy your healthy veggies and groceries without breaking the bank. I don’t buy processed food a lot, so my savings there aren’t the biggest, but I maximize my savings in the other areas and it does it!! Check it out the next time you go to the store.
3. Say No! Don’t be afraid to say no to the kids. Do they really need to have that 20th Barbie? The 6th backpack? It really doesn’t hurt to say not sometimes and that money can be used for other things that are needed or even tucked away into that savings account. They will be mad for a day and then don’t even remember. Stick to it and say NO!
4. Prepare home cooked meals ahead of time. That is a big money saver in our home, we prepare homemade dinners and freeze them; when we get home late no fast food run, we just grab a frozen meal, heat it and sit down on the dinner table. Making me feel good both that I was able to save money (trust me a McD’s run for my family of 5 isn’t cheap!!) and dish up a healthy home cooked dinner that my family can enjoy.
5. Hand me downs aren’t all that bad! I’m not talking about all the outfits the Walton’s wore and handed down to each sibling, but let’s face it, Jeans never go out of style. Buy them used or hold the ones from older siblings for little ones, they will come in handy and you don’t have to spend lots of money on Jeans to dress the kids. Play shirts will get dirty anyways, so grab a few hand me downs and let the kids have fun in the dirt. This will save you a bundle by not buying brand name every time they grow out of a size, trust me, they will grow fast!
There you have it, 5 tips on how to raise happy little ones from baby to Teenagers that will keep you sane and your wallet happy; the best thing. The kids have no clue you are skimping on them. I’m sure I will not spend $240K on each child if I can help it, how about you?
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Are you currently preparing for a new baby? What tips do you have for new Mom’s that are just starting out thinking everything is needed for that precious bundle of joy to grow up? Would love to hear your tips and ideas. Will you spend $240K on your kids through they graduate college…?? Let’s chat