This post is in collaboration with ValuedVoice.
According to the most recent data, the USDA estimates it costs $233,610 to raise a child.
To help you save some cash and make your dollars go as far as possible, it’s always a good idea to incorporate some smart budgeting into your daily life. In this guide, you’ll find several ways to stick to a family-friendly budget without feeling like you’re depriving yourself of a good life.
List your monthly expenses.
It’s easy to lose track of your spending habits.
But if you’re serious about cutting back on unnecessary expenditures, it’s essential to know how much money you’re wasting every month.
By writing down all the bills and expenses that are tacked onto your credit card statement each month, you’ll be able to easily see your most frequent expenditures. Once you’re aware of them, it’s much easier to cut back on those extra expenses without feeling like you’re sacrificing essential needs.
Using a budgeting app like Simplifi by Quicken can be fantastic for doing this quickly and conveniently.
Maintain a separate savings account.
It’s always a good idea to have an emergency fund. Because bad things happen on the regular.
Could you afford a higher-than-expected medical bill?
What would you do if your car’s transmission irrevocably died?
To save up for these and other emergencies, try keeping all of your savings in a savings account that’s completely separate from your other funds. Keeping your money in different accounts will encourage you to spend less since you won’t be able to access it as easily.
Swap out brand name for generic.
This is probably one of the easiest ways to save money on groceries and household goods.
Generic products are often made by the same manufacturers who produce your favorite name-brand items. Swapping out generic products for the big brands is a simple way to save money on groceries.
Sometimes get can even get twice as much for less money!
Avoid those late fees.
Paying your bills on time not only reduces the chance of incurring late fees but can also help you to save money on interest payments.
By paying all of your monthly expenses before they’re due, you’ll avoid having to pay extra fees or accruing debt that’s almost impossible to pay off. By paying your bills on time, you could end up saving yourself hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars each year.
Cut unnecessary expenses.
By cutting back on unnecessary expenses, you can save yourself a small fortune.
There are expenses we may rack up without even thinking about the impact it has on our budget.
Perhaps you regularly eat out at restaurants every week. You need food, but could you convince yourself to cook your own meals at home instead?
Consider your housing expenses.
One of the biggest contributors to that huge $233,610 number is housing costs.
Now, if you’re moving house and paying higher rent to ensure your child has safe housing, that’s one thing. It’s an expense that’s totally worth the spend.
But if you find yourself upgrading your space just to have more space, ask yourself if you really need it. American households have shrunk in space while expanding their square footage over the past several decades, but you don’t necessarily have to buy into that trend.
Saving takes discipline, but it’s worth it.
Saving money as a parent isn’t an easy task, but it’s definitely something that’s worth striving towards. If you can implement even a few of the strategies outlined above, you’ll find that your financial situation starts to improve more quickly than you ever thought possible.