The arrival of the newborn heralds immense joy and a new beginning for all parents. It also brings with it, its share of responsibilities and worries. As the baby grows, your expenses increase in the same proportion. If you are a parent of a preschooler (3-5 years), you would be experiencing all the travails that every parent with a young child faces, especially in terms of expenditure.
Toys, clothes, essential child care, personal products, preschool -- these are some of the things that most parents have to shell out money on, to ensure a happy and comfortable life for their little one. Here we empower you with a few tips and tricks you can use to save money while raising a preschooler. Read on…
Learn To Say 'No'
You love your child a lot and want to provide them with everything they ask for. But, there are times when a child will put forth irrational demands. It is very important, then, to learn to say ‘no’ every now and then. Spending money on every new toy may seem like an expression of love for your child. But, in terms of learning, it can have a negative impact on the little one, apart from the fact that it will make a dent in your monthly budget. When you learn to say ‘no’ to your toddler, you must also be able to say it to yourself while overspending.
This is something that cannot be avoided. But you have to be smart while planning you preschooler’s education. Look for a preschool close to your house, to save on travel costs. Choose one which is within your budget and not exorbitantly priced. There are also a lot of free workshops and learning opportunities for children, which can be beneficial for your child’s development. Keep a look out for such experiences.
Buy limited clothing
Be diligent while buying clothes for toddlers. Your little one is at an age where she is rapidly growing. What you buy today for her may last only for a few months. Buy mostly essential clothing items, which are not high-end and make the most of discounts and sales. Remember, you may buy clothes on sale during summers for winters, only to realise that your toddler has outgrown the clothes. Avoid buying clothes that are too oversized -- it may seem like a good option at first but may not be comfortable for your child.
Pre-plan Grocery Shopping
It is not such a great idea to take along little children when you go grocery shopping -- especially toddlers and preschoolers. It will be a stretch to keep track of them and even more difficult to fend off their repeated demands for goodies. If it is unvoidable, make sure you stick to your shopping list. Which brings us to the most important point -- always shop with a list. This will help you from getting distracted by your preschooler’s demands and also to focus on only the things that you need for your consumption.
Buy Multipurpose Furniture
When you have small children, it is always clever to buy furniture that adapts to their ‘growing’ needs. When your little one is small, it makes sense to buy an oversized crib which can later be used as a separate bed until your child grows too tall for it. A crib which is easy to dismantle partially works great and can be converted into a couch later on. Keep in mind that your preschooler is growing fast, so don’t invest in kiddy's furniture, which he will quickly outgrow.
If you have an older child or a sibling with an older child, hand-me-downs can actually prove to be your best friends. When your older child outgrows his clothes, wash them and keep them neatly for your little one. You can also accept hand-me-down toys from close relatives or even better, create a toy bank which can be shared by the children in the family. This not only curbs spending on new clothing and toys but also teaches children the concept of sharing and caring.
Find Free, Fun Stuff
You need not got to the movies or theme parks every weekend to entertain your preschooler. Try to teach your kids how to have fun without spending a lot of money in one weekend. You can always go to the nearby parks and play all sorts of outdoor games. There are a lot of parks which have free entry and are equipped with a lot of swing sets. You can also plan to watch their favourite cartoon movie at the comfort of your home. Another great idea is to plan play dates with friends, so that they can have lots of fun within the confines of the home and this won’t break your bank.
Plan Effective Monthly Budget
It is advisable to plan your monthly budget on the very 1st day of every month. Setting a target for saving and a limit for spending money, especially on your preschooler, will help you filter luxury items from the ones that are necessary for your child.
Planning smartly can help you spend less money on your preschooler while giving him all the comfort that he needs. Explain to your child the importance of saving money and they will also learn to be responsible with their spending when they grow up.