Last week, my fellow MoneyNing writer Vered wrote an article exploring the high costs of raising kids. As the mom of five kids, I know first hand just how much kids cost, but it’s not all doom and gloom. In many ways my husband and I spend less now than we did when it was just the two of us. But how? Let me tell you…
- Until the youngest one stopped sticking french fries up his nose, we dared not even attempt to eat at any restaurant that didn’t have a clown in its logo.
- Nights spent sipping the finest champagne in dark, smoky clubs held zero appeal after the first time trying to take care of a baby while nursing our own hangovers.
- Once you realize you are going to have to slipcover anything that comes into your house, why not just do your furniture shopping at the curb?
- When buying clothes I stopped asking “What is new and fabulous at Anthropologie?” and started asking “Can I breastfeed in public in this top without causing a commotion? What color fabric best hides sticky hand-prints?” Turns out navy blue sweatsuits are both cheap and functional. Who knew?
- As for my husband…Out: package deals to Formula One races. In: staying at home with the kids on the weekend so wife can go to the grocery store and maybe, just maybe, get some peace and quiet.
- Once you give in to the idea that they will only eat Cheerios, plain chicken and plain green beans, you can buy pallets direct from the factory for big, big savings.
- No need to pay for a pricey gym membership when you can get your exercise by walking a 15 lb baby around in circles for 2 hours every night. Bonus: if he or she likes to play airplane, you can develop some massive guns in no time.
- Before vacations included jetting off to a foreign country for gourmet meals and power shopping. Now, it’s leaving the kids with grandma so that you can sneak off to the Comfort Inn for a power nap on sheets that don’t have goldfish crumbs ground in them.
- Entertainment costs drastically reduced as they are not only happy with watching the same Dora video over and over again, they downright insist upon it.
- Once the kids start hitting preschool, you will no longer need to buy any jewelry or home decor items as they will make them for you. Pier One can’t hold a candle to a frame made out of cardboard and buttons!
Of course, this is all very much tongue in cheek. Children are a huge financial responsibility and it should be taken seriously. However, it’s also important to realize that as your life changes, you are more than capable of making adjustments and finding a way to make things work out.
It’s true that even with choosing less expensive alternatives like thrift store clothes and public schools, raising a child will cost tens of thousands of dollars but parents manage to do it by making sacrifices and keeping focused on their goal. Now, imagine what could happen if you took the same approach to any of your financial goals.
We are all capable of achieving so much if we can get in the mindset that our sacrifices are part of a bigger goal. Whether you want to retire early, start your own business or travel around the world, if you can nurture that idea like how a parent nurtures their children, you can achieve what seems to be an impossible goal.
Photo Credit: billydl