A few weeks ago, MSN had an interesting article on how to cut the cost of raising kids in half. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the cost of raising a child in 2013 is $241,080, not including the cost of pregnancy or college. That number is staggering, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve rehashed the best tips from the article, so your kids won’t have to sing for their supper.
5 Ways to Cut the Cost of Raising Kids
- Buy Your Home: Property values are on the rise, so purchasing your home is an investment for the future. If your property taxes seem too high, call your county and ask how you can fight them. If you aren’t in a position to buy, negotiate lower rent with your landlord by offering to do work in exchange. Mow the lawn, repaint walls, make small repairs or do other odd jobs that don’t cost you anything but can save the property owner time and hassle.
- Free childcare: In 2011, only 25% of families relied on organized facilities for child care. The rest used stay or work at home parents, relatives, friends, school programs or low-cost babysitters. If you do not have access to free childcare, then pit providers against each other to get the best possible price.
- Baby’s Gotta Eat: Kids eat a lot of food. Save cash by buying generic, price matching, couponing, and buying in bulk. Cooking from scratch is cheaper than buying premade or prepackaged, and is also healthier.
- Getting Around: The best way to save on car buying is to buy used. Buying a car that’s only a year old can save 20%. If you really want the latest model, make dealers negotiate a new car with each other so you can save without hassle.
- Redecorating: According to the article, the higher the income, the more parents spent. Just because you have the money, doesn’t mean you have to spend it. When shopping for furniture, appliances and electronics, consider scratch and dent, refurbished or slightly used options. Kids will spill on, knock over and drop anyway – so why buy brand new? And when it comes to small repairs or maintenance, a little elbow grease can go a long way. Cancel the landscaper and mow or weed yourself, and watch YouTube videos on how to change an A/C filter or snake a drain.