ME/CFS/FM can wreak havoc on one's finances. Kristin Louis, the creator of "Parenting at Home", provides some tips for saving some money while supporting your kids at the same time.
When it comes to raising children, even the most financially adept parent may find it difficult to maintain a budget. In order to make affordable choices while raising your child into adulthood, it usually means taking advantage of money-saving resources wherever possible. Let’s look at a few ideas that can serve you and your child well throughout their life stages.
Coupons Are Your Friend
Whether you’re taking care of a young child or a teenager, there are so many needs you’ll need to meet. Fortunately, using coupons or promo codes can make quite a difference from infancy until they leave home.
When shopping for baby items like diapers, clothing, and food, you should research deal sites that can get you good discounts. Your older children will have a greater variety of needs, but you can still save on them by using online coupons. These can be useful for shopping online as well as in the store.
According to Yahoo! Financing, you can stack coupons at great stores like Target and Walgreens, and you’ll likely find coupons for local restaurants from time to time. While you’ll always want to plan healthy meals for your children, it’s nice to know that you can get discounts on pizzas and other meals when you decide to treat them.
Moms and dads hear a lot about teachable moments, and grocery runs are a prime time to teach kids valuable lessons. It’s a chance to talk with kids about meal planning and nutrition, for starters. In fact, you can work on your picky eaters by suggesting they choose one new fruit or vegetable on every trip. They will look forward to eating something they selected more than something recommended to them, even if they decide later it wasn’t all they hoped it would be.
The grocery store is also a terrific place to teach about money and finance. When you’re stacking coupons, have an appropriately-aged youngster crunch the numbers for you. Kids can also learn about unit pricing, serving sizes, and bulk foods—all candidates for math and finance lessons, too.
Beyond those basics, grocery runs are also a place to inspire budding entrepreneurs. Suggest ventures like cake pop sales, the classic lemonade stand, or a farmer’s market stand with seeds gleaned and raised from some of the veggies you buy. There are learning opportunities everywhere, if you start really looking for them!
Check Out Financial Assistance
If you’re interested in saving money, then one of the ways you can keep cash in your pocket is by looking for government assistance programs that apply to you. According to the Office of Child Care, some of these programs are temporary and provide general assistance while others focus on meeting your family’s nutrition needs. If you’re eligible, there are even programs that can help you pay your energy bills or carry out energy-related repairs on your home.
Don’t forget about your tax credit either. This is applicable to any child under the age of 17 and all children must have a valid social security number. There may be limitations up to a certain amount so make sure you familiarize yourself with them.
Buy Tools for Their Education
It’s never too early to start helping your child with their education, and you’ll be giving them the tools they need for as long as they’re shy of adulthood. According to LearningRx, as children develop, their problem-solving, memory, and reading skills increase—all essential for their academics. What’s more, play in particular is an integral part of teaching children basic independence. They aren’t just entertaining themselves—they are learning to solve problems, make decisions, use their imaginations, communicate and be self-sufficient.
If you’re interested in saving money on educational toys for young children, how about shopping sale items at stores like KiwiCo? They have some terrific options that encourage all forms of innovation, from artistically inclined to budding geologists, and you can stretch your dollars with a KiwiCo coupon code.
You can also buy second-hand toys or plan your shopping around post-holiday sales. For older children, you’ll be looking for devices that can help them with their schoolwork. At some point, kids need a tablet, so look for discounts from online suppliers or see if your provider is offering discounted options. Just make sure you do price comparisons when you’re shopping and don’t spring for expensive devices that have features you don’t need.
Transition Through Stages Affordably
As your children get older, you’ll find yourself changing not just their clothing and diets but their bedrooms as well. This can mean shifting how their rooms are designed and what kind of furniture or linens you use. When you’re looking for deals on kids’ furniture, you can shop around for transitional pieces: cribs that convert into beds, changing tables that become desks or shelving units, and even bunk beds that become single beds are out there to grow with your child.
And of course, used furniture is always a great way to go, and you can snag deals at auctions, yard sales and thrift stores. As they grow and start handling money, you can even encourage them to pick out pieces and purchase them on their own. It’s a great way to empower their independence and teach them basics about math and finance.
Your children will go through many changes over the years, and it’s up to you to meet their needs as best as you can without crashing your budget. Make sure to take advantage of assistance programs as well as discounts from your favorite stores.
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