10 Smart Ways Real Moms Save Money
Let's be honest: money matters aren't always easy. Between child care, activities, and everything else under the sun, it adds up. And since parents usually want to do everything for their kids, being a frugal mom can seem like an uphill battle. But all hope isn't lost. Here are 10 easy ways you can save money in order to both maximize what you live on week to week and save ahead for a rainy day. And the best part? You'll be a great example to your children on how to handle finances later in life!
Create a Budget
Creating a budget is the first step to getting your finances together. When you create the budget, consider money for emergencies and necessities only first. Then, see what you have left over. Designate a certain percentage of that "leftover" money as savings.
Take a Few Hand-Me-Downs and Swap Clothes
Kids grow way too fast, which is why there's no reason to constantly buy everything new for them. Take some hand-me-downs from friends or family members that are still in great condition, and even swap clothes with a few cousins they're super close in size and age to!
Buy in Bulk
If you can buy in bulk, do it! It's always cheaper in the long run. Just be careful with items like produce, as you don't want them to spoil.
Shop Yard Sales For You and the Kids
While you might steer clear of the car seats and cribs at a yard sale, you should keep a close eye on things like bikes and toys. You don't need to drop serious dough on something your kid might use for six months. And since those bigger items can be very expensive, buying them secondhand saves you cash.
Make Your Own Lattes
OK . . . I know this one is very hard, especially if you're a dedicated coffee drinker, but if you can whip up your own lattes or whatever caffeinated beverage you prefer at home, you'll save big time.
Pack Everyone's Lunches
Making lunches can be an annoying and tedious task, especially when you're crunched for time at night, but making this a habit will only bring you good things. Not only are homemade lunches usually a lot healthier, but the money you save on a weekly basis by not eating out (or by your kids not buying cafeteria food) can also be astounding.
Drop the Unnecessary Stuff
Cable is expensive. Do you really need it? What about that satellite radio in your car? Instead of getting two manicures a month, could you cut back to one? Consider the things you don't really "need" and drop them.
Set a Portion of Your Income to Transfer to Savings
Even if it's only $50 a month, put the money directly into savings the moment you get paid. If you don't want to remind yourself twice a month, you can even set up a percentage of your pay to automatically transfer to savings through direct deposit at work.
Shop the No-Frills Brands
Fancy name brands usually don't mean much, so shop generic and save.
Unsubscribe to Certain Emails
All of those promotional emails can make you want to shop, shop, and shop. Unsubscribe to most of those mailing lists, or at the very least, delete them. Don't make yourself anymore tempted to spend money than you already are.