There are plus points to being a parent, of course. Children can be a blessing to our lives, and despite the occasional sleepless nights and temper tantrums we all have to put up with, they can bring us a lot of happiness and joy.
However, while we wouldn’t regret having kids, one thing is for sure…
Children can derail our finances!
Forget about that fancy new 4K television you have been eyeing up in the store. Think again about the latest Range Rover Evoque Convertible when you’re looking for a new motor. With kids in the house, you are going to have less money to spend on yourself. And while that’s a fact we all have to live with, we have to take a step back. For very good reasons, our children will eat up our financial resources, as we have to clothe, feed, and pay for their other essentials. However, there are times when our finances take a dent unnecessarily.
Consider the following as examples.
We waste money on certain items. Examples? Well, how many times have you bought your kids birthday or Christmas gifts that they have soon grown bored of? How many times have you bought your kids clothes that they have quickly outgrown? We all do it, and while we shouldn’t not give our kids new clothes or new toys, the least we can do is shop around and make wiser choices. Look for clothing discounts and toy sales, and if your kids are too young to care about brand names, don’t worry about buying them something that costs less. If they already have plenty of clothes, toys and games at home, then other than on special occasions, don’t add to your clutter by buying extra. It’s your money, so don’t waste it on items that a) cost too much, and b) your kids will quickly tire of or outgrow.
We don’t say ‘no’ often enough. When you’re stood in the supermarket, and your kids ask ‘can I have?’, spend more time saying ‘no’ if they don’t need what they’re asking for, or if you don’t have the funds to support their wants. If you get into the habit of giving into their requests (usually after they have thrown a temper tantrum after you have said ‘no’ the first time), they might expect you to give in time and time again. So, no matter how much your children protest when you tell them they can’t have the latest action figure or fancy gadget from the store shelves, dig your heels in. Follow these tips on being a more assertive parent, and then consider our next point to make lighter work of your children’s demands.
We don’t teach our children about the value of money. Our children need to know that we aren’t walking ATM’s. They need to know money doesn’t grow on trees. They need to know the value of money and how the money we have isn’t unlimited. They need to know the importance of saving, and how they sometimes have to wait before they can get what they want. If we don’t start teaching them these valuable lessons at an early stage, we risk not only our financial situation but theirs as well as they become more independent in life. The Money Advice Service has some useful tips so check them out and look online for other ways to teach your children about the value of money. Your bank balance depends upon it!
So, don’t let your kids derail your finances. Make wiser spending choices, learn the art of saying ‘no,’ and educate them on money matters. Consequently, you might then have more money to put into your savings, and that can go towards those ‘need to have’ and ‘want to have’ items for both you and your kids. Let us know what you think!