Having three kids is a never ending rollercoaster – each day is filled with screams, laughter, joy and tears, and at the end of the evening I am always struck by how lucky we are to have these adventures. I am also often struck by how much it all costs!
I am a savvy budgeter; I enjoy keeping my eye on our finances and I am a hawk when it comes to watching out for my credit score to ensure that it stays healthy and high. There are always the obvious line items on any budget, and the typical savings tips to help mitigate monthly expenses: shop the sales and compare prices online for food shopping; troll the racks at the better charity shops for kids’ (and adult!) clothing and shoes; keep the utility bills to a minimum by shutting off lights and not running the taps.
But in addition to these mundane, everyday costs there are always unexpected financial surprises when you have three kids. That’s why it’s important to keep to on top of things like your credit score, managing your credit file is something we often overlook until it’s too late – find out your credit score here, before it’s too late.
Here is a brief run down of how I save money and avoid debt when my kids announce they have a birthday party/ class trip/ extra curricular activity that they neglected to tell me about until the last minute.
- Stockpile great kids’ gifts – Giving economical gifts does not have to mean a cheap off-brand doll or an outdated board game – I save heaps of money by shopping the sales all year round and stockpiling cool gifts when I see them on sale. I have a cupboard that is filled with kid-pleasing games, art sets, crafts kits and books that I have picked up throughout the year. When one of my kids announces that they have a birthday party to go to, we head to the cupboard and choose something suitable. My kids then make a homemade card and voila! No unexpected wallet pinch.
- Latest and greatest toys/ gadgets – My kids are always coming to me and moaning about how they simply must have the newest ______. I don’t want to cater to their every whim, but I also want them to enjoy the fruits of our ever-changing pop culture world. Again, I shop the sales (always remember to check online), but I also ask them to work for their booty. Chores around the house, yard work, even cleaning my car – it all saves me time and money, and they can learn the value of hard work in exchange for a treat.
This is a contributed post
Image courtesy of Dan | Free Digital Photos