Caring for Your Kids without Breaking the Bank

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Ah, kids. Many of us have them. And most of us know what a joy they truly are.

We also know what they cost (the answer is basically "a lot"). It can seem more than enough just to care for ourselves without adding in one or two or three children to the mix. We choose to have kids ourselves, but the responsibility of paying for everything can seem daunting anyway.

And for that reason, new parents everywhere, and even the more seasoned ones, are always looking for ways to save money on raising kids. If it seems impossible, it isn't. It just takes some common sense and determination.

Here are some tips for caring for your kids without breaking the bank.

Go for Second-Hand Stuff

Look, kids always need things, but no one said they need new things. Kids grow out of their stuff pretty fast. So, instead of heading to the regular old clothing store to bulk up on the wardrobe, why not go for some used children's clothes online?

There are plenty of second-hand shops online that will sell you quality clothing at reduced prices. And the clothing isn't junky or questionable. Most are gently used articles that would otherwise be fully priced and honestly out of your budget. Because kids always need the next size up as they get older, it just makes sense to spring for used clothing over new.

Start Investing

They say the only way to make money is to spend money, and it hasn't been proven wrong yet. This one is more of a long-term play, but try investing now for your children's future. It will only help all of you as a family at a later point.

You can open a 529 college savings investment plan or just start your basic mutual fund for your kids. Throw in a few hundred or a few thousand to start and then let it accrue interest over time. While you folks are busy just living your lives, you'll be making money in the background. And that's plain smart if we don't say so ourselves.

Enlist Family to Help Babysit

And now for a point regarding the here and now: childcare costs a lot, so you need to save on that where you are able.

Not everyone will have this option available to them, but see who in your family might have the time and willingness to do this for you while you're away at work during the day.

Grandparents often want to help because they get to spend time with their grandkids while also saving you on daycare. If you have to rearrange your normal schedule to make this happen, don't be afraid to do it. If you need to go 5 extra minutes out of your way to drop off your child at a grandparent's house before work, that's worth it.

Just get smart about money when you have kids, and you might be surprised at the frugal plans you can come up with.

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