Future Parents: 5 Money-Saving Tips That Don't Let You Feel Deprived
Saving is something everyone needs to do. Especially when they are expecting a child. After all, children are expensive, from their first crib to their college tuition bills. Living frugally is the best way to ensure that your family will be financially secure enough in the years to come.
But it's difficult to live frugally without feeling deprived of the finer things in life. Sometimes you don't want to spend your vacation days at home and want to go away, or you don't want to order something at a restaurant just because it is the cheapest thing on the menu. Here are 5 money-saving tips that will let you live frugally without feeling deprived.
1) Make your own lattes.
One of your favorite things to do might be to get a latte or a fancy chai tea before work from your local coffee shop. This is a good splurge, but a better thing to do is to learn how to make it at home. There are plenty of recipes online on how to make your favorite beverages at a fraction of the cost. They will taste just as good and be fun to make, as well.
2) Budget for Fun
One of the most effective ways to keep from overspending is to make a budget and stick to it. That is a sure way you will be able to save some money for your child. But you might not know that it's important to save a little bit of money for fun things as well. This could be anything from a bottle of bubble bath to a vacation in Hawaii. Whatever you consider a luxury in your life falls into this category. It's very important to save for these things because if you don't put them in your budget you will be more likely to break your budget from feeling deprived.
3) Go for Quality, Not Quantity
It is possible to have nice things and save for your child. Having quality items might mean more costs upfront, but these will last much longer and save money and stress in the future. For instance, instead of using disposable plastic bags for leftovers, consider buying glass containers, which will last longer. Even if you wash and reuse plastic bags, they will wear out much faster than glassware. While you may have to buy a set of glass containers for leftovers only once in five years or longer, you will have to keep buying plastic bags on a regular basis.
This rule can also apply to your luxury budget as well. Would you rather have several nights eating out, or spend a night at a Disney resort? This is something you and your spouse must decide, but choosing quality or quantity is an easy way to keep the finer things in life in your life.
4) Spices are Your Friend
Ah, beans and rice. The classic frugal staples that will make you crave steak like there's no tomorrow.
Sure, eating healthy while on a frugal diet can quickly lead to bland food, but it doesn't have to. Aside from looking up new recipes online, one way to make it more interesting is spices.
Oregano and rosemary can quickly liven up a dish so you can enjoy dinner and eat well without breaking the bank.
Spices can last a long time, are low in calories, and rich in nutrients. They can turn a cheap meal into fine dining when applied correctly and are an excellent substitute for butter, salt, and pepper. Experiment with seasoning your meals until you find combinations you enjoy so you won't even feel the need to splurge on the steaks next time you're in the grocery store.
5) Buying Used is Your Friend
There may be some things in your life you don't care about as much. You might not get excited shopping for new curtains or dishes or pajamas. So why spend a lot of money on something that's a chore to buy when you could save it for something fun?
Thrift stores and Ebay often have high quality items that are new or like new at a fraction of the cost you would find in most retail stores. It may take some hunting but that makes the purchase and the good deal all the more satisfying.
Take a look at purchases you'll have to make in the future and decide if you could buy used to save money for something else. This even includes supplies for your child. Remember that children outgrow clothing and toys fast. So baby clothing and toys at a thrift store are usually still in very good condition at highly reasonable costs. Your child won't know the difference between a three dollar toy from a thrift store and a twenty-five dollar toy from a retail store.
By buying used on things you need but are not passionate about, you can save money for things you're more excited about, like for your child's birthday party or for a vacation.
Living frugally does not have to mean living without. Following these tips can leave you feeling satisfied with your life while also saving money for your child.