Tomorrow is Friday, December 13th. That means several things, depending on how you look at it. Firstly, it’s Friday the Thirteenth, which means bad luck and potential horror movie villains will abound. (Well, for most people, but more on that in just a moment.) Second, it’s a mere twelve days before Christmas, so if you haven’t completed your Christmas shopping yet, you should probably get on it, as the stores are just going to get more and more crowded with each passing day (to say nothing of the time needed for wrapping, labeling, and potentially shipping).
Finally, and most importantly to me, it’s my beautiful daughter’s first birthday. (Hopefully, you can see how it’s not going to be a unlucky day for me and those in my family as a result.) It’s amazing that a year has managed to go by so quickly, but I’m glad that I was able to spend so much of it caring for my daughter and spending time with my wife.
It might be needless to say, but I’m going to pretty busy tomorrow making sure that my baby has the best first birthday possible. While I spend my day enjoying the company and love of family and friends, I figured I’d share some advice on how to keep the expenses of toddlers under control; goodness knows, I’ll be needing to put them into practice soon. Thus, I share with you these
5 Saving Methods When Raising Toddlers
1. Get Hand-Me-Downs: If you have anyone among your family, friends, or neighbors who has had children in the recent past few years, they probably have plenty of toddler clothing that said children no longer need. You’ll be much better off financially by getting previously-used clothing and using them until your child outgrows them (in a month or two, tops). Borrow from family members or buy from the friends and neighbors, and you’ll be able to cut down on the money you spend and still make your toddler look adorable. (A goodly portion of our daughter’s wardrobe is courtesy of a girl across the street who is one year older, and her parents’ generous yard sale prices.) You can go used with most other things, including when you:
2. Watch the Spending on Toys: It’s easy to spend a lot, easily far too much, on toys for toddlers nowadays; a short walk down the toddler toy aisle should make that point clear. (The fact that many toys and playthings for toddlers are being sold with more processing power than my college computer is certainly a factor, but is hardly the only one.) Rather than spending a small fortune to buy everything new and shiny, it’s better to stick with a small number of simpler toys; remember, this is the time in their life where your child can be as entertained just by the box that the toy comes in or a mere stuffed toy. (I know my girl is becoming more and more entertained by simple items that she has, like her blanket.) It doesn’t hurt to buy used toys, as well.
3. Share Childcare With Fellow Parents: You’re reaching the point where you are probably thinking about going out with your significant other again, ideally without having to have your baby going with you. (I certainly know that my case.) If you want to have some occasional date nights without having to break out a small fortune for babysitters or childcare services, you might want to consult with some of your fellow parents and see if you can create a child-care club; a different group of parents cares for the children each week, allowing the others to have a romantic (or simply relaxing) weekend. You’ll get childcare without any out of the pocket payments, and your children will have a chance to socialize more.
4. Buy In Bulk (Particularly For Diapers and Undies): Buying in bulk is a pretty good option for saving money in most situations, and particularly when it is something that you will use a lot of, such as diapers, it’s definitely worth buying as much as possible, and using coupons where possible. Make sure that you are stocked up on any diapers you could need (and practice undies once you reach that point), and you’ll be much happier along the way. Just be sure that you remember that your child is going to be growing at a pretty impressive pace, so you’ll need to ready to grow with them when it comes to increasing the size of their diapers.
5. Spend Time with Your Child: I shouldn’t need to tell you this, and I’m sure you want to do so anyway. But it’s worth reiterating that spending time with your child is a good way to both keep you and your child happy. Every moment you spend with your child is a moment that you don’t have to get someone else to care for them. Plus, you don’t have to worry about them learning bad habits, money or otherwise, if you are there to supervise them as they learn and grow.