Life is expensive enough when going solo but when you add kids to the equation it can be daunting wondering how you’ll ever make ends meet. Thankfully when you enter into the world of parenthood you get more advice than you can often ever really process. All your friends and family have found ways to cut costs and make ends meet, too. Granted, some well-meaning tips will end up working for you, while others will take a backseat to your own tried-and-true solutions. But no matter how well you navigate those cost-cutting waters, these are a few tips that all could benefit from…
It is astounding how many parents miss out on help and free stuff simply because of pride. Are you exhausted because the newborn won’t sleep and a trusted friend has offered to take the oldest to a movie? Say yes and thank you! Don’t forget free clothes, too. Kids grow so quickly that those too-long jeans will soon be too short before you know it. If your friends offer you hand-me-downs that are still in good shape and won’t have your child mocked, then accept the gift.
Another helpful tip is one you doubtless already practice but it bears reminding: look at the expenditures in your life and see what things are worth the money. And this works both ways because you may become so focused on pinching pennies that you lose sight of the fact that some things of quality are worth the money. Only you can decide if something like bedding that will grow with your child is worth the expense or if you’d be better served by cheaper bedding that you can trade out as your child outgrows it. But with all expenditures, great and small, see which continue to fit with your idea of value and savings because they will most likely change as time goes on.
And along the idea of accepting help, don’t be afraid to look for discounts and deals. Maybe you’re already the Coupon King or Queen, or maybe you could stand to be a little more organized in that realm; or maybe you could join forces with other friends by splitting that huge bag of apples or other produce. One of the best ways to keep costs down is to find and follow through on deals. And if you find something great out there it’s also terrific to share your deals with loved-ones because it’s not only a nice thing to do, it also spurs conversations about additional deals.
But more than anything, know you’re not alone in this venture; whether you’re a solo parent, a busy working couple, or what have you. Help is often out there in the form of swapping babysitting services, discounts and coupons, and friends jumping into the fray when you need them most. So if you’re overwhelmed and need a break, ask for help. A friend may hear the call and provide you with a few days of planned meals, or they may snatch you away for some much needed adult conversation; whatever you need to enjoy parenthood, don’t be afraid to seek it and find it.