Parenting is supposed to be a happy time for new mothers and fathers. With child-rearing costs inflating each year, though, it tends to feel like you’re in an endless wrestling match with your finances. You’re not happy. Your spouse is not happy. Your children, too, are throwing more tantrums than usual because they feel your frustration.
If you find yourself in this situation, it may be because of the many small decision you made that could’ve confounded your money problems. Learning exactly what they are and how you can remedy them will doubtless see a decrease in your expenses.
You’re in the Wrong Community
The community you’re in may be great in a lot of ways. It’s a quiet and picturesque suburb with rolling grasslands nearby for a healthy dose of nature. The people are nice and the crime rate is low.
While those are good, they might be adding to your monthly costs. Consider how long the drive is to the nearest supermarket and whether it’s the only accessible store within the vicinity. Do your commercial spaces have the capacity to ensure the safety of their facilities?
Does your community sponsor professional services to clear up the roads during winter, or do you and your neighbors find yourself collaborating on this effort? No matter how picturesque a place is, if businesses can’t afford commercial snow removal services and your community doesn’t have a plan for seasonal troubles like this, you’re in the wrong place.
The environment you need is one where every necessity is within reach and businesses are thriving. When you have options, you can budget better. Where there are a lot of businesses doing well, chances are they have a lot of customers to keep their prices low. If your community has free services, then you won’t have to pay huge sums for minor conveniences. Choose the right community and your expenses will be lower.
Take Advantage of Free Recreation
The fear of missing out is sometimes truer for parents than it is for children, especially toddlers. While it’s normal to want the best experiences for your child, you shouldn’t force a trip to Disneyland if you can’t afford it.
There are plenty of free recreational activities to try in Iowa alone. Take your children biking in the River trail, play catch in the Field of Dreams at Dyersville, or enjoy nature at the Loess Hills State Forest. Sometimes, children also have free access to facilities up to a certain age, and you should take advantage of that. Who says you can’t enjoy vacations on a tight budget?
Buy Quality Products
Because you anticipate that your children will wreak havoc in your home, you buy cheap products that are replaceable. This saves you from feeling bad about broken household items, but it also piles up the costs for your next trip to the hardware store. Going cheap for your necessities is counterproductive. If you buy the right kind of quality products, you’re more likely to save money in the long run.
If your greatest concern is the spills on your sofa, then buy one in leather or vinyl. Accidental cuts and tears? The couch is in good condition, so why not have it re-upholstered? The same applies even to your personal items. Instead of spending on cheap clothes, buy a few quality ones that will last years. It’s these seemingly small choices that amount to a big difference down the road.
With fewer money problems, the more you’ll be able to enjoy raising your children. After all, parenting was never supposed to be about surviving your greatest financial struggles. It’s about loving your children to the best of your abilities and not letting anything get in the way of that.