No matter what you earn in a year, if you’re raising a child, then saving money is going to be a huge part of your life. You’ll save for diapers, school supplies, soccer cleats, and college. To help in your frugal efforts, here is a master list of how to save money.
Many of these tips came from real parents discussing this important topic via SavingAdvice.com.
How to Save Money – 35 Top Ways for Parents to Save Money
This is one of those articles that can be a useful resource for you, time and time again. As you read through, there will be things you can apply to your life today, but some tips may not apply til later. I suggest you bookmark or pin this post to ensure you have access to you it later.
- Switch to bank accounts with no fees.
- Cancel unused memberships.
- Cancel subscriptions. Examples include magazines, newspapers, online entertainment, dating, or networking memberships.
- Skip the cafe and bring home brewed coffee to work.
- Eat out less; cook at home more.
- Save money on your electricity bill. Install a smart meter (some libraries loan them out for free) to measure how much electricity your appliances are using. You could be saving more by simply unplugging what you can.
- Contact your cell phone provider to ask how to save money on your bill. They may have a discount plan to offer.
- When other phone companies cold call you, ask if they can beat your current company’s price.
- Are you looking at a phone for your child that’s only to be used for emergencies? Try buying a prepaid phone rather than something on contract.
- Comparison shop. This is huge for every major purchase in your life – from cribs to colleges.
- Don’t buy “convenient foods” when you can make something from scratch. Frozen meals are quicker to prepare but you pay for the convenience and they’re often much less healthy for you.
- Buy in bulk versus smaller quantities at traditional supermarkets (Costco, Amazon’s Subscribe and Save).
- Batch your meals on the weekends. By preparing a large quantity of breakfast or snack foods during the weekend, you’re setting up your week to be more frugal and freeing up a considerable amount of time.
- Save those pennies and dimes. Designate a family piggy bank for all your coins. When it’s full, go do something fun together.
- Don’t balk at used items. Yard sales, thrift stores, and online garage sales may have just the items you’re looking for at a fraction of the price. Children’s clothing is a prime example, especially when they’re very young. They grow so fast!
- Whenever you can, shut off your heat or air conditioning and throw open those windows. You’ll save a considerable amount on your utility bill in the long run.
- Get creative with transportation. Can you carpool, ride a bike, or even walk to work? These may seem like extremes, but they’re also fantastic ways to save money on gas as well as preserve the life of your vehicle.
- Reconsider that credit card “deal.” As popular as it is to accumulate airline miles or to snag that 30% savings at Kohl’s consider the long-term drawback your experiencing.
- Be mindful of your spending habits. If you’re bringing home a paycheck, but there’s nothing left at the end of the week to drop into savings, then it’s time to dig in and evaluate what you’re really spending.
- Clip or download coupons. Apps like Cartwheel or Paribus or RetailMeNot can give you convenient methods for saving on weekly expenses.
- Wait at least 24 hours before making a large purchase. Give yourself a chance to come down from your “fever” to make a more thought-out decision.
- Check your wallet. By knowing how much money you have before you walk out the door, you’ll be aware of what you can and cannot spend throughout that day.
- Pack your lunch.
- Find some free hobbies.
- Identify wants versus needs.
- Lower your car insurance by combining policies or paying it annually instead of monthly.
- Learn how to save money on child-related taxes. See a full run-through of your options here.
- Launch a “No-Spend Challenge”. Choose a spending category (i.e. fast food) and set a time for not spending any money in that category.
- Try the 52-Week Money Challenge. Learn how to save over $1,300 a year here.
- Use a monthly budget. I know from experience that this will help you conquer debt more quickly and save money before you ever spend money elsewhere.
- Find deep discounts on Amazon merchandise through SnagShout.com.
- Don’t spend your tax return; save it.
- Automate a monthly transfer into savings. You’re much more likely to stick with it!
- Pay $100 extra on your mortgage each month. This doesn’t save money in the short-term, obviously, but you’ll save thousands in interest over time.
- Get accountability. However you’re saving money for your family, one of your most powerful tools is support. Not only does my spouse hold me accountable on a continual basis, but I love feeding off the positive energy in a supportive Facebook group of like-minded savers called “Your Debt Freedom Family.” We only discuss things related to our families and our finances – no spam or marketing. If you’d like to join, you can do so here!
The biggest progress I made when I was trying to figure out how to save money as a parent was remembering my “Why.” In my case, it was the little one growing rapidly in my tummy. She didn’t know it at the time, but my first child gave me strength, every day, to cut back, live on the budget, and save. It was worth it for her.