Having children can be an expensive business. From the moment they are born (or perhaps even before if you pay for fertility treatment, maternity clothing etc) you will be paying out extra money. Of course, all parents think that their children are worth the money but it is possible to spend less, if you feel that you need to. Below are some tips on how you can keep the costs of having children a bit lower.
Do not buy everything
It can be tempting to buy everything that you possibly can for your children. It is lovely to spoil them and to show your love by buying them lots of things. However, we do need to be careful that we are not spending far too much money than we can afford. Babies and young children have no way of noticing whether they are wearing designer clothing or second hand, as long as they are dry and comfortable they will feel fine. The same goes for their pram, pushchair, car seat, bed and everything else that you buy for them. Obviously it is important to get good value for money as you want to make sure that you do not buy things that are so cheap that you have to keep replacing them. However, there really is no need to buy lots of things and really expensive ones.
Buy second hand
You can buy many things second hand and these can be a lot cheaper. It is therefore well worth considering doing this. There are a few things that you have to be really careful of such as mattresses and car seats. There have been some theories that damp and mould or cigarette smoke in mattresses can possibly be a factor in cot death and so it is wise to buy new ones just in case. There is also a risk with a second hand car seat, that it might be damaged if it has been involved in a car accident and so you may also want to be careful of this and buy new ones. Everything else, though should be find as long as you look over it carefully and give it a good clean before you use it.
Do not get all of the latest things
It can be tempting to buy everything that is in fashion. As your child gets older and goes to school they will see other children with things and they will want to have them as well. This means that you could end up buying all sorts of things. You could end up with a house full of bits and pieces and they may never even use many of them or only enjoy them for a small amount of time. Therefore it is wise to try to be string and avoid buying them everything that they ask for. If you wait for birthdays and Christmas they will appreciate them far more anyway and it will be much more exciting for them if they get things that they have waited a long time for.
Do not buy more than necessary
It can also be tempting to buy more things than they need. Clothing is a good example, when you only need outfits for a few days, as long as you wash regularly. When they are growing really fast, it is waste of time buying lots of different clothes as they may only wear them a few times before they grow out of them. If you get clothing which works for different occasions, so smart casual wear that is good for playing in but can be smartened up for more formal occasions you should be ready for anything without having to pay out lots of money. The same goes for shoes as it can be tempting to buy shoes for school, home, playing in mud and rain, inside, different colours to match different outfits etc. However, children really only need school shoes, wellingtons (while they are young or if they need them for school) PE shoes for school and possibly slippers. You can apply to books and toys and make good use of libraries for these, you may have a local toy library as well as conventional one where you can borrow all sorts of toys.
Do not give too much pocket money
It can be nice to give the children pocket money but giving too much can leave you short of money. Make sure that if you do give them money, that it is a reasonable amount. Also encourage them to save it or spend it wisely. This will mean that they will have some savings for when they are older and need to buy more important things. Encouraging them to spend their money on sweets or toys will make them feel that they always have to spend money they are given, whereas understanding the importance of saving money is really useful. As adults, we do not always have the money to buy everything that we need, but if we have savings to fall back on it will stop us having to borrow. Although not all borrowing is avoidable and not all borrowing is bad, it is still good to understand about the importance of saving money.