Did you know, the cost of raising a child up to the age of 18 can be around £100,000, and with the cost of living on the rise, it's only going in one direction - up!
We know that raising your little one can come with so many problems and worries, and usually money is up there on the list, so we've put together some simple things that you can do in your home to save some money this year.
Children grow out of toys, beds, clothes and just about everything super quickly, so why buy it all brand new? Of course you may want to treat them to a few new pieces, but try to cut down and you'll start to notice that you can save quite a bit of money. Charity shops almost always have a children's section, and most of them include clothes and toys that are in good or new condition. We recommend scouting out the shops in more affluent areas, as this is usually where all the hidden gems are! Some people don't like the thought of buying from a charity shop, but a lot of them only put out their very best donations nowadays, and anything stained or unfit to sell will be ragged and recycled!
Not only are you saving money, but you're also donating money to a charitable cause by shopping there.
Another great place to find goodies is Facebook Marketplace. A lot of unwanted gifts or unused toys go up there for a low price, sometimes even free - you just need to be quick and message the seller first!
You can flip Facebook Marketplace around and use it to sell your child's clothing or toys for a small profit. It's especially great for the bigger items like pushchairs and strollers, as you can usually make back quite a bit of money that you spent on them if they're in good nick!
Your child will quickly outgrow the furniture that they started with as a baby. When you're on the hunt for new furniture or toys, you need to think out of the box if you want to start saving money! Try going to your local car boots or second hand shops, and don't walk past a bookcase just because it's the wrong colour - you can very easily turn this into the perfect piece for your nursery with a lick of paint in an afternoon for a fraction of the price of buying one brand new. Pinterest and Tik Tok are great places to look for inspiration.
Take full advantage of any family ticket vouchers that you might find on cereal boxes or online - you can usually save around 50% on these tickets and can get a day out for a reasonable price (or free!) if you're smart with it. Before you book tickets anywhere, a quick online search for discount codes may be a life saver! There's also a lot of local Facebook groups for savvy mums that may be helpful for these kind of trips.
We would also recommend joining the National Trust - a family ticket will cost you just £10.50 a month and gives you access to over 500 locations nation wide!
This sounds counter intuitive, but giving your child pocket money may be very helpful for you in the long run. When you're out and about and they want to buy a toy or sweet, you can suggest that they use their pocket money to buy it for themselves instead of saying no. This will help them learn the valuable skill of prioritising what they want/need at a young age, and when they grow older they won't pester as much for expensive things that you may not really be able to afford.
Learning these skills/habits may not happen over night, but it's a good start to saving some cash if you need to this year.