One area of motoring which can sometimes cause confusion for motorists is warranties. It is important to be aware of what a warranty is and why you might need one so that you can make a decision as to whether or not you need to find one to cover your vehicle. Read more
If you often find yourself thinking, ‘If only I had enough money, I would be…’, it could be that you are letting your finances control your happiness. In order to take back control, you need to work out where your money is going – and then track and manage it successfully.
Here are some tips on how you can stop letting money control your happiness. Read more
As a fairly frugal family, we are always looking for ways to cut costs. This is especially true when it comes to clothes. After all, having 5 growing children can really get expensive in the clothing genre! But, over the years, we have found some great ways to procure clothes on a budget. And whether you have children or not, these tips can really come in handy to save you some money.
A friend of mine turned me onto Poshmark not too long ago. I had never heard of them before, but have fallen in love! This service is for buying and selling name brand clothes, shoes and accessories.
Ultimately, I don’t have a whole lot of name brand items. But, since we are always cleaning things out, I figured what the heck. Setting up your closet (if you want to sell anything) is pretty quick and painless. You have the option to share your closet on all of your social media accounts also, if you so choose. This can increase your sales opportunities.
Poshmark takes 20% of whatever you sell your items for. So this is something to keep in mind. But, you can keep the money you make in your Poshmark account to use for items you want to purchase. The seller does not pay shipping, the purchaser does.
And negotiation is allowed on Poshmark, which is pretty cool!
I have sold a few items on Poshmark so far. I was then able to use the money in my account to purchase new clothes for us. The grand total I have spent so far is $.59. Now that is what I call clothes on a budget!
Consignment stores are another one of my favorite places to shop for clothes on a budget. Not only do I love to donate to them, but shopping at them is pretty awesome also. Granted, there can be a lot of things that don’t appeal to you at all. Or the clothes and shoes can be extremely outdated. But, I have found quite a few diamonds in the rough at consignment stores.
There are a few consignment stores near us that are notorious for having a lot of donations with the tags still ON! These are my favorite finds because we get brand new clothes at severely discounted prices. How can you go wrong with that?
Some of our favorite consignment stores to hit up are:
- Goodwill – for everything, including household items
- Plato’s Closet – for the teenagers and adults
- Once Upon a Child – for the younger kids
Depending upon which consignment store you go to, the prices will vary. But, prices at Goodwill are the same no matter which one you frequent in your area. For us, that means the kids clothes start at $3.19 each and ours start at $3.89 each. We love this!
Just keep in mind that whenever you are consignment shopping you will also be hunting. So you have to be okay with scouring through a lot of different clothing items to find what you are seeking. If you aren’t a fan of this, then don’t worry because there are plenty of other options for you.
end of season
One of the best times to shop for clothes is the end of a season. I realize this can be difficult with growing children though. Since you have to predict how much they will grow, it is always a guessing game.
However, if you are willing to play the game, you can save some serious money. Take right now, for example. Most stores are moving into the heavy winter clothes and are trying to offload the lighter fall attire. This is the time to search for, and stock up on, things such as:
- Capri pants
- 3/4 length shirts
- Lighter leggings
- Lightweight long sleeve shirts
- Long skirts
- Lightweight jackets
Since we have been searching for new pants for some of the kids in the past few weeks, we have run across some great deals. I’ve been able to pick up pants for some of the kids for as low as $2.50 each. I also came across some Capri athletic pants for myself for $4.98. I don’t know about you, but those prices really make me smile!
emails and coupons
Last but not least are email lists and coupons. Even though I greatly detest all of the emails inundating my inbox, I love some of the deals I run across.
Usually, when you sign up to get a newsletter, you will also get a welcome email with discounts of some sort. I hold onto those puppies like gold!
A lot of the email lists, and/or associated store apps, will have coupons also. You have to read the fine print because some of them can’t be combined with any other offer. But I have run across quite a few that can be combined. And that is where you start really racking up the savings!
One of my favorite tricks is to sign up for a new email list and use the coupon(s) in the clearance section. I have been able to get a lot of clothes for next to nothing this way. And that really helps keep our clothes budget low.
Clothes on a budget
Overall, there are quite a few different ways you can find clothes on a budget. And sometimes, they might even be new clothes with the tags still on!
Some of the best ways we have found to restock our wardrobes on the cheap are:
- Consignment stores scouring
- Shopping at the end of each season
- Getting onto email lists for deals and coupons
Therefore, getting creative and playing the game are the best ways to get clothes on a budget for the whole family.
What are some of the best ways you have found to get clothes on a budget?
Becoming energy efficient isn’t only good for the environment. It can also significantly help your wallet by cutting energy costs by up to 50 percent. While some changes are costly, one-time investments, there are many simple ones you can make for less money and on a daily basis that’ll help save energy, money, and the planet. Read more
When most people hear the term “air pollution”, they think of industrial emissions, big cities, smog, and car exhaust. Typically the air we breathe inside our homes doesn’t come to mind, but it should. According to the EPA, the air we breathe indoors is often up to five times as polluted as outside, and Americans, on average, can spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors. But, don’t fret. There are many simple and inexpensive ways you can improve your indoor air quality, starting now. Read more
Deciding to have a child is a very big, life altering decision. It not only affects your everyday life but your finances too.
The average amount that it costs to raise a child annually varies from between $12,000 – 13,000, and it goes up each year with inflation.
But, there are more expenses incurred in the 1st year of having a child. How much does it cost for that 1st year and how can you cut costs?
The most expensive part of having a baby is the actual birth process. The costs completely depend on:
- Vaginal birth or c-section
- Insured or not
- How much your insurance covers
- Which state you live in
While these are a lot of different variables, here are the average costs in each category:
- Vaginal birth with insurance – $4,900 – $10,700
- Vaginal birth WITHOUT insurance – $9,015 – $19,800
- C-Section with insurance – $7,500 – $15,000
- C-Section WITHOUT insurance – $12,600 – $28,500
Total range of just giving birth – $4,900 – $28,500
This is a pretty wide spread and should give you a whole lot to think about right out of the gate.
Buying a home can have a pretty large price tag, especially for things that you might not have even thought about. First and foremost is the down payment. This can vary depending on which type of loan you qualify for, but the average amount required for a down payment is 10%. However, most banks prefer you to put down at least 20% in order to forgo the mandatory PMI. Just something to keep in mind before you decide to purchase a home.
While there may be more up front costs buying a home, it could still potentially cost you less overall. Owning usually gives you more space for the same amount, or less money as renting a smaller place. Plus, you get the equity if you own and you don’t if you rent.
As an added bonus, once your house is paid off, it will then be considered an asset. One that could potentially help you as you get older and start thinking about retirement.
The buy vs. rent decision is a very personal one. So if you aren’t sure which one is the best for your family, then check out this rent vs. buy calculator. Hopefully, it will help you on your path to cutting costs.
Food costs can be one of the biggest parts of a monthly budget. While you may not think it will directly affect you immediately, it certainly can. Because with a new baby is in the house, the food costs will go up.
The 3 major things affecting this are:
- Solid Food
Breastfeeding usually requires an extra 500 calories per day, just to account for the extra energy needed to produce the milk. A an average of 20% more than you were eating before, you should add an extra 20% into your food budget just for you.
If the average grocery bill for 2 is around $500, then that translates to approximately $250 per person. With the mother requiring 20% more food though, that will be an extra $50 which = $600 per year in increased food costs.
Formula feeding can vary with regard to costs depending on how much your child eats and which type of formula you use. But the average costs to formula feed are between $1,138 – $1,188 per year.
3. BABY FOOD
Baby food runs close to $1 per jar. Most babies eat anywhere from 2 – 5 jars a day, depending on their age. That means you could be spending an extra $2 -$5 a day.
That is an extra $60 – $150 per month and $720 – $1,800 per year! A great option to cut costs here is to buy a blender and make your own baby food.
Child care can be one of the biggest expenses, aside from the actual birth.
The average a married couple spends 10% of their budget on child care expenses alone. But if you happen to be a single parent, it’s even worse. The number now goes up to 36% of your budget.
This means the average cost of one child, under the age of 1, can be anywhere from $10,000 – $20,000. This may be a good reason to think about staying home and working on side hustles instead, as an alternative option.
A lot of families decide that they want to upgrade to a minivan or an SUV when they begin to think about having a child.
But, switching from a sedan to an SUV or a minivan can cost you up to 50% more. But that doesn’t even include the increased car insurance costs associated with switching to an SUV or a minivan. So keeping your older car, especially if it is paid off, can really help you cut costs.
Adding a child to your healthcare plan will certainly increase your costs. So much so that the range can be anywhere from $250 – $400 extra per month or $3,000 – $4,800 more per year.
This doesn’t even include the higher deductible you will have due to the increased family size. Checking around for cheaper payments with a higher deductible, that covers preventative care visits, may be a good way to help cut costs.
CLOTHING & MISC
Babies require a lot of clothes because they grow so fast and they like to have accidents. The average cost for baby clothes runs around $60 per month, but this depends on your state and income level. However, this doesn’t include other things you need for them such as:
- OTC medicine
- Stuffed animals
If you add an extra $40 into your monthly budget, this should help cover these extraneous expenses. This makes the total for this category an extra $100 per month or $1,200 per year.
Let’s recap the added cost breakdown:
- Child birth = $4,900 – $28,500
- Housing = Variable
- Food = $1,320 – $2,988
- Child care = $10,000 – $20,000
- Transportation = Variable
- Healthcare = $3,000 – $4,800
- Clothing & Misc = $1,200
That is a grand total (on average) of $20,420 – $57,488!
Even though having a child could potentially cost you this much, it doesn’t necessarily have to. Proper planning and forethought are key to helping you cut costs when you have a child.
How much do your children cost you extra a year? Where have you found to cut costs?
It would be great if our home could stay in the state it was in when it was originally built. Then we would never have to spend time or money on home repairs. But, as we all know, that is a pipe dream. Things get older and start to fall apart, or become severely dated with time. One of the best ways to combat major home repairs, and major costs, is to incorporate smaller DIY home improvement projects on a regular basis.
I have found this is one of the most budget friendly ways to keep our home up to date and in good working order. So I’m going to show you some of the best, and easiest, DIY home improvement projects that you we have incorporated to potentially increase the property value. And they can all be done within a small budget. Read more
As a family of 7, our clothing expenses can get pretty high. It doesn’t get anywhere close to how much we spend on our food budget, but clothes can still get pricey. However, we have found a way to change that this year and are really excited to have only spent less than $5 for two seasons of clothes for the whole family! Read more
Almost 3 years ago now, we became a blended family of 7. This was a huge lifestyle change for all of us, but one we are glad we decided to make. However, with this blended household, came some blended debt. We had to sit down and take a really hard look at our finances and figure out how we could knock out this debt, as quickly and efficiently, as possible.
Since we are still technically in the winter season, it is more difficult to find fresh produce right now. This can make eating healthier a bit more difficult, and sometimes more expensive. But, there is a great way to use what you’ve already got to eat healthy and still not break the bank. Read more