One skill that will improve when you become a mum is your ability to budget. You have to fit the price of food, clothes, and toys into the same monthly budget, and you are doing a great job. While these everyday expenses get easier to manage over time, the costs that come with having children never end.
There are times when you have to incorporate a large expense into your budget and this can be difficult, especially if you have multiple children. With that said, what are the big expenses that arise as a parent, and how can you save money for when they arise?
Sports And Extra Curricula
As your child grows, they develop a need for independence. This need will present itself when they try to spend as little time at home as possible. Every after-school activity suddenly becomes appealing, but they are also expensive. You have to fork out induction fees, the cost of a kit, and travel expenses.
It isn’t hard to find the funds to pay for these things, however. Every parent at the school is likely to be in the same boat, so you can always chip in together and share the burden. Your child must socialize outside of the home, and you may make a few friends along the way too.
By far the biggest expense that comes every year is Christmas. It is supposed to be a time of rest and relaxation, a period to reflect on the year that’s been and gear up for the year ahead. Unfortunately, the mums of the world didn’t get this memo.
Presents are not cheap, and your children are all going to have separate interests. Add to this the fact that the prices of objects skyrocket during the festive period and you have a large bill on your hands when December rolls around. The average Brit can end up spending over £600 every year on gifts. However, there are two ways that you can prepare for this eventuality.
One strategy posits that you put money aside each month as a Christmas savings pot. This way you will have both the money that you need and a budget to stick to. The second strategy involves buying gifts throughout the year. You will never have to worry about items running out of stock, and you can dole out your finances in small doses. A downside to this approach is that you will have to keep these gifts hidden for several months. Good luck with that if word gets out about your Christmas plans.
You might not want to think about it right now, but your child is going to be old enough to drive before you know it. Try not to let this event sneak up on you, and you will be better prepared.
Purchasing and insuring a car for your child is a huge expense and a decision that should not be made lightly. It may seem like a good idea to insure them on your car and let them drive that, especially when finances are tight. However, you shouldn’t overlook the benefits of giving your child the freedom that comes with owning a car.
There are plenty of ways to slash the price of a car. Choosing to buy used is always a good option. Furthermore, you can always look to sites like Choose My Car that can help you with this purchase if you have a poor credit score. The important thing to remember is not to despair. There will always be assistance out there should you need it, so look around before writing off your child’s ability to drive their very own car.
One expense that parents are always looking forward to spending is the holiday fund. Getting away from work and your regular schedule can recharge your batteries and provide you with a new outlook on life. There is no shortage of vacation spots for families, but they don’t always come cheap.
It is difficult to save money when you have kids around, which means that it is hard to afford a regular vacation. Fortunately, there are ways you can pay for a holiday without squirreling away chunks of your payslip. Firstly, you can apply for a holiday loan. These loans can give you the money for a holiday up front, but you will have to pay interest on this payment. Secondly, you can search for credit card miles.
This is a scheme set up by companies that reward their customers for spending with their credit cards. This does not mean that you should plunge yourself into debt. Instead, you can make everyday payments with your credit card, and then immediately pay off the expense with your debit card. Therefore, you steadily rack up points without suffering the consequences of lofty credit card fees.
Raising children requires you to be adaptable. Why not use this adaptability to cover some of the large expenses that you face as a parent. There is no one answer for everyone, so be creative and you will be surprised by what you can actually afford.