For Mother’s Day America Saves wants to help mothers spend less, save more and teach your children about saving.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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