When people become parents for the first time, they always like to do their research. They’ll get a big pile of parenting books and spend their evenings reading through them all so when the big day arrives, they’ll know exactly what they’re doing. Except, it never really works out that way and even though you’ll pick up some tips from parenting books, there’s no real way to fully prepare yourself for having kids. You just have to work it out as you go along and hope that you don’t make too many mistakes.
It’s a steep learning curve and there are going to be a lot of surprises along the way, but the thing that a lot of parents struggle with more than they thought they would is handling their money. Everybody knows kids are expensive but a lot of people don’t realize just how much it costs to raise a family. If you can’t handle your money properly, it can be really tough. Often, new parents make some simple mistakes and spend money where they don’t need to and that can cause problems. But if you can make sure to avoid those same mistakes, it’ll be a lot easier for you. These are some of the most common ways that new parents waste money.
Kids seem to have a magical ability to destroy clothes as soon as they put them on. You get them dressed, turn your back for 2 minutes and all of a sudden they’re covered in mud or ripped, so you’re going to spend a lot on clothes. But a lot of parents spend too much because they don’t follow a few basic rules. First off, buy cheap stuff for playing because it’s going to get ruined and then spend more on their nice clothes so they’ll last longer. You should also ask around for any second hand stuff and keep everything that you buy in case you have more kids in the future. There are also some great places online to get cheap back to school clothes so make sure to shop around before you buy.
You’ll need to upgrade your car so you’ve got space for kids in as well, but a lot of parents waste money here as well. When you’re buying a car, it’s always best to buy new even though it costs more. If you buy an old car, you’ll be spending a lot more money on repairs in the future so you’re not saving yourself any money. You also need to shop around and find the best auto insurance companies every year when your policy is up rather than just renewing it, otherwise, you won’t be getting the cheapest deal. Be realistic about how many cars you need as well and only get one each if you absolutely have to.
Pointless Baby Products
There are so many different baby products out there, some that you need, but a lot that are pretty pointless and a real waste of money. Baby laundry detergent, for example, is exactly the same as normal scent-free detergent, it just costs way more. Expensive bottle warmers are a bit of a waste as well because you can just do it on the stove. Before you go out and start spending loads of money on this stuff, really think about whether you need it or not.
If you can avoid these simple money mistakes, you’ll find it so much easier to handle your finances properly.