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How to Budget When Planning a Family

family budgeting tipsRaising children is a great joy, but many people hesitate to start families because of the expense. However, children do not have to cost you a fortune. Here are some commonsense, practical tips for raising kids in a frugal way.

Take Steps to Stay Healthy

It is essential that you remain healthy pre and post pregnancy in order to provide the best care for your child. Make an appointment with your OBGYN before getting pregnant, if possible, and attend all of your prenatal checkups. Let your OBGYN know if you have a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, or have had miscarriages in the past as they may refer you to a high risk obstetrician for specialized care.

Make Friends with Other New Parents

Get to know the other moms and dads at the park and at school. Other parents are one of the best sources of information for saving money with children. They’ll tell you which clothing stores have great sales or where to get piano lessons for the lowest price. Best of all, they may even offer you hand-me-downs.

Stay Close to Family

Relatives can be a wonderful, free source of help to new parents. Your mom may be dying to babysit, or your cousin with adult kids may give you an old swing-set or basketball hoop. Your handy uncle might help you set it up. A supportive family can be a priceless treasure when you’re raising kids. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when it’s needed most.

Keep Clothes Simple

Babies and small children outgrow their clothes very quickly. You’ll probably get plenty of cute outfits as gifts, so don’t purchase too many new clothes before the baby shower. If you are on an extremely tight budget, consider purchasing your child’s clothes at thrift stores, yard sales or on the clearance rack. You’ll find plenty of great items at a fraction of the cost. This works especially well for babies and young children, who are too young to know or care where their clothes come from.

Don’t believe the conventional wisdom that children have to be expensive. Instead, keep things simple and simply enjoy the time you have with your child. Having fun together does not need to drain your wallet.

Guest Blog by Anita Ginsburg

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO and often writes about home, family, health and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.

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