7 Ways Mothers Can Save Money
For Mother’s Day America Saves wants to help mothers spend less, save more and teach your children about saving.
- Children’s clothing:
It doesn’t pay to spend a lot of money on children’s clothing. Shop at discount stores, create clothing swaps with other mothers, and welcome hand me downs. Children are more likely to outgrow clothing than wear it out. Think buying clothes with room to grow will help them last more than one year? Often, children don’t grow as expected.
- Birthday parties:
Teach your children the value of having an experience versus receiving a gift. Suggest children coming to a birthday party simply bring themselves to enjoy time together. Other parents may follow suit, saving you from having to purchase a present for every birthday party.
- Warehouse stores:
Exercise caution when shopping at warehouse stores. Children are fickle. One day they may love the crackers you bought in an extra-large container and the next day they may refuse them.
- One-income families:
If you want to change from a two-income family to a family with one income and a stay-at-home parent, live off of one income for a period of time before giving up that second income to see what adjustments you will need to make. You can save your paycheck during this experiment, which can then become a financial cushion if you do make the change. Also:
- Continue saving automatically through split deposit for the working parent even at a reduced rate.
- Don’t neglect saving for retirement for the nonworking spouse. Check with a financial advisor for eligibility requirements for IRA contributions.
- When your child is born, open a 529 account to save for college and make regular deposits no matter how small. Like retirement savings, time is on your side.
- Try not to fall into the “keeping up with the neighbors” trap. Without specific knowledge, you have no idea how another family seemingly spends money freely. Do what is best for your family to stay within your budget.
- Teach children about money and saving:
- Open a custodial savings account for young children and take them to the bank to deposit cash or checks they receive as gifts. When older children get a smart phone, encourage them to make deposits easily via a mobile app.
- Use allowances to teach about spending and saving.
- Encourage tweens and teenagers to earn money through babysitting, lawn mowing, snow shoveling, pet sitting, and part-time jobs when they become old enough. Open a custodial checking account for them with a debit card that gives them control and you access in case of problems.
- Talk with and read children’s books to your children about money. Show children how to pay for items at the store using cash. When they are older show them how to make a purchase with a credit card and then show them the bill.
- Explain that when non-planned purchases are made another purchase may have to wait in order to stay within your budget. Help them see that money is not unlimited.
- Teach children to live on a budget:
When your children enter middle school, track the money spent buying their clothes and toiletries to calculate monthly expenses. When your children enter high school give them a monthly allotment of money they will need to make purchase decisions for these two categories. Tell them whatever money isn’t spent in a given month can be saved or used for nonessential items.
- When life happens:
If you have a life event that significantly affects your family finances, such as a job loss, be honest with older children about how finances will need to change until the situation is resolved. If they understand why you are saying no to spending that previously was allowed, it can serve as an example of how to be financially responsible.
Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Saving,
The America Saves Team
- Written by Carolyn Pemberton
- Category: Blog
- Published: 10 May 2019