Wednesday, August 24, 2011

10 Money Tips for New Parents: 1-5

Hello my blogging lovelies - I'd like to apologize for being so lame... my creativity is apparently affected by entering the third trimester.  My body is just worn our and acting weird lately. And thats all I'm gonna say about that.

I recently read an interesting article on {we're friends.  They send me emails each week telling me how big Madeline is getting, etc} but this particular one I thought applied well to everyone.  They offer 10 Money Tips for New Parents.  For the complete article you can click here, or you can just read my thoughts on them below.  {I think we'll just to 1-5 today}

1. Embrace the hand-me-down 
I've gotten good at this one already.  There's a store in Spokane called Other Mother, and once a month big sale where a room full of thousands of clothes is only a quarter! Woah! It does require some serious digging and sifting through stained clothes and random sizes, but so worth it.  I came home with a garbage bag full of clothes for only $15 - c.r.a.z.y.  And honestly, kids are just going to stain or spit up on their clothes anyways, so why not let them ruin clothes you didn't spend a fortune on.

2. Saving doesn't have to be a chore
All my life I have hated saving money.  As soon as I'm paid it literally starts to burn a hole in my pocket. But luckily I married a guy who realizes the importance of saving, and he's taught me a lot about it through his example.  BUT the article talks about how you can make saving fun with out yelling to your kids about how we can't do this or that because it costs too much.  Take your kids to the park, or free festivals in town - there's a lot of options with our constantly going out to eat and buying them endless toys.  When I was little my dad was in Medical School, so my favorite food was mac-n-cheese and otterpops.  I loved it!  They were affordable and good and I didn't feel like I was being forced to live the life of a poor medical student's daughter. 

3. Teach your children the 10% Rule
I really love this rule.  As part of our religion we give 10% of all we earn to the church.  It's done privately, and you're not kicked out if you don't do it, but as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we love the opportunity to support what we believe.  Teaching our kids to save 10% of each dollar teaches them to save and sets a great habit for the future.  Can you imagine if every American saved 10 cents out of each dollar they earned?  Another idea I've heard of is setting up a family bank where if your kids put their savings in the 'bank' they can earn interest through you and your spouse teaching them to value a savings account when the time comes that they are old enough for that. 

4. Show your kids that wants and needs are two different things
This rule makes me grateful for my husband again - because I'm still learning this rule.  Here's an example from my own current life.  My sister-in-law gave us an old stroller and car seat that she had used with her first two children several years ago.  She's since updated and offered them to us.  We of course said yes, but as we took it home and looked more closely at it, it wasn't new.  Sure it worked, but it wasn't the shining beautiful cute car seat I imagined showing off my baby in on a daily basis.  My hormones got the best of me and before I knew it I was trying to convince Jeremy that we NEEDED a new one, when in fact it would have worked fine.  Until we noticed that on the bottom is says, "Do not use after 2009".  So my want ended up being a need, and that's not always the case.   I guess I'm just trying to say that its ok to make do with what you have.  If its not essential to your survival you should probably pry your fingers off and walk away.  Think about setting aside a little of each pay check to save for it instead of splurging on it.  

5. Save in the fat times to help in the lean
Its true that there are times in our lives when things are financially good.  Our job is going well, there aren't a lot of trips to the ER, and we're able to relax.  But we have to remember that the 'fat' times won't last forever.  We're going to have bad years that make us struggle to make ends meet, but if we save up when we can then it won't be as much of a trial to make it through the rough times.  

I know that  being poor is hard - but its part of life, for everyone it seems these days.  I'm grateful for the relief I'm given as I save instead of splurge on things we don't really need.  Saving is important and if we set that example for our children, starting at a young age, they'll be better off too. 

Now I'm going to go whip up some delicious belgium waffles with fresh strawberries and whipped cream for breakfast and give my hubby a kiss :) 

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