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How Parents Can Save Money
It can be expensive to have kids, but you may not realize the full cost until you are raising your own children. But no matter what the age of your kids, you can make some small lifestyle changes to save a lot of money.
Consider Refinancing Parent PLUS Loans
If you have older children who have gone to college, you might have taken out Parent PLUS Loans for them. Consider refinancing them with a private lender. You might be able to get a lower rate if you have good credit. Or you may be able to extend the repayment terms, so each payment isn’t as high. That’ll help you reduce your monthly expenses, which you can then put into savings or an investment account.
Look for Reusable Items
It can be convenient to use paper towels and other disposable products, but in the long run, the cost can add up. Instead, consider using as many reusable items as possible, such as kitchen towels. Once you are used to using them, they won’t be any less convenient. For instance, instead of using paper towels to wipe the stove and kitchen counters, consider using a reusable dish rag and drying off using a washable towel. If you have young kids and don’t mind some experimentation, you may want to look into cloth diapers. Reusable diapers might not be as convenient as disposable ones and they do take some organization, but they can be more cost-effective since you will only purchase one set of diapers. They can also reduce your carbon footprint.
Invest in Your Home
While it might seem counterintuitive to spend money instead of saving it, you may find it pays to create entertainment opportunities at home. It’s important to have family time, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay for entertainment to have fun. Instead, save money by investing in items like TV sets, board games, or other things you enjoy. For example, if you like to cook, consider getting a fondue set. Enjoying each other’s company doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money.
Take Part in Meal Planning
If you’ve had a long day, you might be tempted to order food for everyone. However, while this might be fun to do for a treat, it can quickly add up. Instead, try to plan your meals ahead of time. If you know what’s for dinner and have the ingredients already, you are much less likely to order food. Since you will know what you are eating for dinner each night that week, you will know just what to put on the grocery list. Consider looking at flyers from grocery stores to see what’s on sale for that week and plan your meals around those ingredients. It’s a good idea to plan about a week’s worth of meals at once. That will help you plan far enough ahead of time while avoiding being overwhelmed. Remember, when you plan your meals ahead of time, you might be able to eat healthier.
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