There’s no doubt that kids can come at a cost. The birthing process alone can be expensive. Then there are all the expenses involved in raising a child or children to maturity. However, much is often made about just how expensive having and raising a child can be, when in reality there are a variety of ways to cut costs and keep your overall expenses much lower than those oft-reported averages. And some of the best times to save on kid-costs may come when they’re still quite young.
Does the kid care or do you?
Part of the problem with child-related expenses is not the cost of the items – or even the items themselves that are involved – in properly caring for the child, but the items that parents think they need. Does the child need 50 different stuffed animals or does the parent think he or she should have them? Does a child need brand new, store-bought, retail-priced outfits that might last several months or might only get worn once? Does the child actually care about such items, especially at an early age? Or are such items more for the parents own satisfaction and desire to “show off” their kids.
A few such items might be fine, but many similar items may be purchased at resale or lightly used stores for pennies on the dollar of what they might be bought brand new in a retail setting.
Trial before error
As a parent, you might have noticed as I have that you could have a whole pile of toys laid out for your little one, and the kid goes for what you have in your hand – a cell phone, pen, coffee mug or whatever – or instead finds an empty paper towel roll or shampoo bottle much more interesting. Likewise, while your friend or family member’s child might have loved his or her baby swing or play yard, your child could despise it. And having purchased such items only to use them once or twice could add up to quite a bit of wasted money.
Therefore, trying out certain items first, before buckling down and buying them outright, could save you a lot of time, money, and trouble.
Name brand doesn’t necessarily mean a better brand
Sometimes people get caught up in a brand. And there’s no denying that occasionally certain name brands offer more in the way of quality than their non-name brand counterparts. However, other times the increase in quality doesn’t quite match the increase in price. Whether it’s diapers and wipes or food and clothing, comparing ingredients or testing out comparable non-name brand products could end up making for huge savings when it comes to buying for your kids.
Recoup some cash
Even if you go out and blow some cash on kid stuff, it doesn’t mean that all is said and done with. Should those items – whether they’re clothing, toys, or kid supplies – not come out completely destroyed by the time you and your children are done with them, they might be eligible for resale. At a garage sale, consignment shop, or lightly used resale shop, you might find that you’re kids’ leftovers are ripe for recouping some cash. And while it could be far from what you paid for them, even something may be better than nothing when it comes to making a little cash back on your kid costs.
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The author is not a licensed financial or parenting professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.