Kids are expensive even when they are young. We want to be able to give them the best opportunities as they grow. Most enterprising children’s companies know this as well and many teach by play experiences cost a good deal of money. Luckily, there are a few ways around the cost of some popular learning tools.
Checking event calendars at stores or online can help fill up a schedule for a child without breaking the bank. There are activities at libraries that help children get into reading, some even give out prizes at the end of summer. Libraries sometimes host fun little activities like teddy bear picnics. Most of these events are free to participate in. Book stores and art centers in some areas also provide story time or mommy and me art classes. These are also usually free or very low cost. If a daddy would like to attend as well many of these events happen on weekends in addition to weekdays. Try not to go twice in one week though, or you may find yourself repeating the same activity.
Just The Toys Please
Some classes for children go all out to supply extras when a child joins up. It could be CDs and instruments if it’s a music class. In an art class it’s free supplies. What most people don’t know is that these items are usually for sale without the class. In most cases they a quite a bit less expensive. With the internet as a tool, plans for age appropriate projects are also readily available. You don’t have to waste gas going to another place and could even invite friends over to work on projects all together.
Just Like Mommy
It’s no secret that our little ones like to mimic what mommy or daddy are doing. That’s why it is equally important to take the time to share our talents with our children. After this article I will be opening up our writing software so my two year old can write his article (just so long as he’s still sitting on my lap). In this time he will, no doubt, tell me he is working and it’s time for me to be quiet. We find time to do some light yoga and meditation. These activities teach my sweet little guy to be calm and gives us time together.
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Good parenting doesn’t just help our children grow into well adjusted adults, it also helps us save money and stress. Here’s how:
Children are still in the learning stages of self control. For the most part they don’t understand the family budget or the concept of waiting. This means that from time to time they will have a melt down on the grocery store because they can’t have a toy or certain candy. I know how embarrassing this can be, but that doesn’t mean that a tantrum should be rewarded. In fact children will only eventually upgrade the price of their silence over time. That candy bar may only be a dollar today, but one day they will want a hockey stick or the latest cell phone. Not giving in to our child now will save your family money and teach our children self control in the future. Trust me! It’s worth enduring the strange looks from strangers as we haul our toddlers out of the store or let the tantrum run its course.
Childproofing the home seems like an exercise in futility sometimes. I have had a child “helpfully” open medicine bottles for me, knock down safety gates, and break into the childproofed medicine cabinets. In fact they often do it while I am having trouble with the device myself. Childproofing may seem futile, but is well worth the effort. It does buy parents time enough to get across the room to the exploring child. Besides this, childproofing items are something that can be bought or passed down used which would cost less money
In addition to keeping our children safe, it sets up a habit making safety a priority. We get proper car seats, make sure our kids wear their bicycle helmets, and keep first aid items handy. Not only does this save us money on medical expenses, it saves us the emotional price of having not made the effort.
I was talking to our nurse at the pediatric center the other day, and was surprised to hear that many parents choose not to have their children immunized. This isn’t because of religious beliefs or lack of money. Instead it is because they fear their child may have an adverse reaction to the shots administered. Others just don’t want their child to feel any discomfort, including getting poked with a needle. While I understand these feelings, it it far better to give a child a vaccine than have them get sick and need a transplant. Vaccines don’t just save money in the long run by stopping illness, they also can save our children from experiencing those illnesses to their full potential.
How do you save money as a parent?
Some families today have figured out that sharing a house with another household would save money and improve both households involved. This could be one of the best decisions to make financially. It could also be one of the most stressful decisions in spite of how much money could be saved.
Things To Consider
If your two families come together under one roof, would it be possible for you all to get along. Can you agree on who will do what chores? Are there ground rules in place on how to deal with the other family’s children? Does one family want more children in the long run? Is there enough room in the home for both families to have alone family time at the same time? It’s important to know the allergies of all those living under one roof, whether regarding pets or perfume. Another question to ask, what parts of the home are shared and which are off limits to the other family? Also consider how long you expect this arrangement to continue. An apartment can be a short term time investment of six months to a year. Buying a house however would be a longer commitment.
The two couples could afford a better home. They can live in a better neighborhood whether it is in an apartment complex or house. Homes could come with perks that without both couples’ incomes they would not be able to afford. These perks could include a two car garage, a fenced back yard, or even something as simple as more room to live. Not only that, the expenses of the house or apartment including bills utilities or getting a new washer and dryer can also be a shared expense. This means that both families can invest in a better quality of living.
Once committed to this course of action, backing out could be extremely expensive. You could lose friends as well as money. All household decisions from cleaning and cooking to whether or not to get a pet has to involve all of the adults in residence. One family may look at an enclosed porch and see a great place to put a patio table and furniture. The other family may look at the same enclosed porch and think it’s a great place for a container garden. Ideas regarding the use of space will need to be compromised between both families.
During tough times, would you consider doing this?
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