Times are tough, and parents have been hit hard in the pocket book. As a dad who blogs, I figured I am in a unique position to offer my insight on how to tighten the family budget.
My reasons for presenting this advice are twofold:
- If there’s one thing the Internet needs more of, it’s parenting advice. If there are two things, the second would be pictures of cats. But there are other places you can get that.
- Only people who have an expert-level knowledge in a subject matter write about it on the Internet. Therefore it stands to reason that any advice you read on the Internet must be good advice.
Full disclosure, I haven’t been able to convince my lovely wife to implement any of these cost saving measures (WHAT THE HELL?) but I figured the thrifty and ambitious among you could give them a try and report back.
Without further ado, here is my list of 5 totally legitimate tips for parents to save money:
Ditch Daycare and Babysitting – You know how people are constantly comparing the intelligence levels of dogs and toddlers? It’s time to find out which is smarter for the sake of science. You leave your dog home alone all day while you’re at work, so why not leave your kid? If you’re having some reservations about this at first, it’s OK. That’s normal. You can sign them up for one of those babysitter CPR courses. Kids are resilient. Trust me, they’ll be fine.
This one simple tip can save you a TON of money. If you have one kid, daycare is a significant expense. If you have two or more, daycare is closer to a second mortgage. Also, marriages undergo a lot of stress when children are involved. This advice can be applied for date night as well. Ditch the babysitter and do date night on a budget!
Reusable Diapers – I know there are the purists out there who might still use cloth diapers to save a little money. But those need to be washed, and that’s just gross. I have an alternate solution. If your little one does a number two, simply empty his disposable diaper into the toilet and put it back on! BAM! Money saved!
The Gift of Boxes – Toys are downright expensive. Luckily when they are exploring the world around them it doesn’t take much to capture their interest. Why not take advantage of this? Put a box in the room and they could be entertained for hours. No more toys necessary. Instead of buying them a toy kitchen for their birthday, find them a box. The best part is you typically don’t have to buy them. Stores are giving boxes away. Money saved!
The Ramen Switch-a-Roo – My kid LOVES spaghetti. He loves it so much, he has a hard time finding his mouth when sauce is involved. That sauce ends up in his hair, behind his ears, and on his shirt or pants. He’s a messy eater. Cooking spaghetti might not feel like much of a financial impact, but consider the baths and laundry involved. Clothes might need to be replaced due to your child’s accuracy issues.
Why not wean our kids off the good stuff and slowly replace it with Ramen noodles? Ramen noodles are cheaper. There’s no cooking involved. The laundry and bath implications are much simpler. Money saved!
Buy a Bag O’ Glass – You know who knew more about kids than any of these so-called “experts” today? Dan Aykroyd’s toy salesman character on Saturday Night Live. That guy knew what kids were interested in! Want to tear your kid away from boxes for a bit? Need a change of pace? How about buying them a Bag ‘O Glass? Kids love little shiny things, and it just sounds so fun to play with. Come to think of it, if I ever get around to monetizing Spiraling Upwards, maybe I’ll do it with some of these fun toy ideas.
If implemented correctly, these ideas should be able to save parents a significant amount of money. You’re welcome!