One of the most important things to learn when becoming a parent is how to graciously say goodbye to your money. You are simply the middle man between your employer’s deposit and the bill collector’s debits. You can feign more control, but eventually you will come to realize the truth. Let’s try to soften that blow by working out how to save some money in the parenting world. It can be done, but it takes a real, “It’s so crazy it just might work” attitude.
1) Reuse Tooth Fairy Money
Look, I get that this might seem unethical. Then again, how ethical is lying to our children about a tiny winged creature that covets their teeth? It’s all a matter of perspective. Children are pretty careless. They find the money and then leave it somewhere and walk away. Grab that money and pocket it. They will forget that they ever received it and then when the next tooth gets lost, bam! You have the funds.
2) Ask To Write A Check For School Fundraisers
The fundraisers for school are bonkers. A good way to save money is to just ask how much they need. This way you save the money you will need to spend on crap in order to get the child to the top tier for a “prize,” you save time (which we know is money), and you save good will from your family, coworkers, and neighbors.
3) Paper Shredder
STOP! Don’t buy that top-of-the-line paper shredder to keep your credit card a secret. There is no need. You have children. Children love cutting paper into confetti. Save money on toys and on identity protection by letting them loose. They will love getting the go-ahead to destroy things, and you can rest at night knowing no one is going to find the credit card number now that part of it was tracked across the living room and there are still pieces hiding under the couch.
4) Rewards Are Experiences, Not “Things”
Kids like to hang with you. At least for now. Don’t get too big headed—it’s probably going to change. For now, instead of buying them a Cabbage Patch Kid (because I’m assuming you have a time machine and are going back to the 80’s when those were “the thing”), have a squirt gun fight with them as a reward. Allow them to pick the music on the car ride. Find small things that make them feel proud and also provide a reward. It’s cheap and it’s a confidence builder when they get to be the boss.
5) Tell Them “No”
This one is hard. They don’t need those Shopkins right now. They can wait until their birthday. Christmas is coming up. They will survive. If they have a hard time with that, go to the store, but buy googly eyes instead. Place them on random household objects and tell them they are life-sized Shopkins.
6) Ask Daycare To Offset Costs With Work Credits Earned By Child
Obviously, do not ask this when your child is an infant and unable to do any real work. That would be ridiculous. This is something you need to wait at least until the 6 month mark for, when your child is a little more mobile. I’m not saying that any reputable daycares will agree to this, but you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
These are a good start for saving. Keep at them, and in no time, you will have a college fund saved up to give away. #SquadGoals. That is how the kids use those hashtags, right? Ah well, back to super-gluing googly eyes on the kitchen appliances.