Being a parent is one of the most difficult jobs you’ll ever have in life, but it is also the most rewarding. You work hard to care for and raise your beautiful child and as a reward for your efforts you get to watch them grow up into wonderful adults.
But parenthood is also expensive. It costs a lot of money to feed, clothe, and entertain a tiny human. You’ll have to pay for doctor’s appointments, prenatal classes, as well as their entire education. When they’re older, they’ll beg you for money to go out with their friends all the time, and bring home consent forms for expensive school ski trips to Italy. If you’re already in a tight financial situation, having a child can be stressful.
But people from all backgrounds and financial statuses have been having children since the world began. There is no rule that says you need to earn above a certain figure in order to be a parent. Even if you are not earning as much as you’d like, it is still possible to give your little one a wonderful childhood. You just need to be careful with your money and be willing to make compromises. To help you out, here are a few tips to be a good parent on a budget.
Cut down your spending
One of the first things you need to do when deciding to have a child is to go through your finances with a fine tooth comb. Your goal is to eradicate as many unnecessary expenses as you can, so you can direct more of your income towards supporting your child. Look at what you are spending your money on and see if you can make savings anywhere. Perhaps you’;re spending too much on groceries, in which case you could find a cheaper supermarket or work on being less wasteful with your food. Do you spend a lot of money on fashion or drinks with friends? Even if these things make you happy, are you willing to cut down in order to create a better life for your child?
Use your support network
If you are fortunate enough to have a support network of friends and family who love you, then you can rely on them to help you through the trials of parenthood. You don’t have to ask them for money, but you can call in favors that will help you out. Rather than forking out for a babysitter, ask your loved ones to watch your child. If you have friends who are parents, see if they have any old clothes or toys they’d be willing to donate.
Put them to work
Once your child is old enough to help round the house, there is no reason why they can’t work for their keep. You put a roof over their heads and food in their bellies, so give them chores in return. Put them to work mowing the lawn or hoovering the carpets. And once they are old enough to get a job, sit down with them and tell them they need to make their own money, rather than relying on their parents for handouts.