If you have children, you know how important it is to keep family expenses in check. But let’s be honest—that’s a lot easier said than done.
From clothing to entertainment, controlling costs is a challenge for any household. The good news is that saving money doesn’t have to require painful cutbacks or extreme-couponing.
Here are a few ideas to help you reduce spending:
Most used books, video games and athletic gear are comparable in quality to their new counterparts. Search websites like Amazon and eBay, or shop stores like Play It Again Sports for great used deals.
Set up a clothing exchange
Kids outgrow clothes quicker than Lady Gaga changes outfits. Get together with local families and trade gently-used clothes everyone can use. The bigger your network, the more everyone will save.
Shop thrift stores
And speaking of gently-used, many thrift stores offer kids clothes for a fraction of the retail price.
Visit a library (often)
With special events like story readings, movie screenings and craft classes, a trip to the library can provide free family entertainment. (You can also check out books while you’re at it.)
Enjoy a staycation
You don’t have to travel far to have a great family vacation. Stay close to home and save money on gas, airfare, and hotels.
Bonus tip: many amusement parks, museums and zoos offer discounted passes on certain days or hours of the week. Incorporate the local attractions into your staycation.
Cut back on the birthday extravaganza
It’s easy for birthday party expenses to quickly spiral out of control. Skip the costly-themed venues and have an old-fashioned party at home.