When you have children, a lot changes. That includes your priorities and responsibilities. One of the biggest facets of your life that will change is the way you manage your money. The price of formula, diapers, and child care adds up, and in return, you may have to adjust your spending in several areas if you want to keep up.
Here are a few tips on how to have an affordable shopping habit when you have kids.
Set a Budget
Budgeting allows you to create a spending plan for your money. It also ensures that you have enough money for the things you need and the things that are important to you. To start, many financial experts recommend the 50/30/20 method for managing your money wisely. How this works is 50% of your income goes towards necessities, 30% to your wants, and 20% to your savings. If you exceed your set budget in any of these categories, be sure to reduce your spending in high spending categories to stay within the formula.
To help stay on track, get a receipt for everything you purchase throughout the month. Organize your receipts into categories and at the end of the month, you’ll be able to not only see where your money is going, but which categories you’re spending the most in.
Shop at Thrift Stores
Most financial experts recommend spending no more than 5% of your monthly income on clothing each month. Shopping at thrift stores is a great way to fill your wardrobe with high-quality clothing from well-known brands while staying within your budget. Online thrift stores like thredUP make it easier to shop by offering their selection of clothing directly on their website. With affordable options from reliable brands like Madewell, you can shop your favorite styles without having to leave your home.
Look for Deals
If you shop at certain stores regularly, you most likely know when they offer their best deals, so wait to shop until then. Keep an eye on your favorite clothing stores and stock up on out-of-season jackets, shirts, and shorts when they go on clearance. You can also sign up for store email updates to find out when sales are happening. Consider signing up for reward memberships at stores you shop at frequently to get additional discounts, and check online for discounts or coupons before making a purchase. Another great way to save money is to shop at discount stores or factory outlet shops like Nordstrom Rack to score your favorite brands like Nike and Steve Madden for less.
Don’t look at spending money as a bad thing, it should be fun. It’s important to reward yourself for your hard work! Be intentional about setting aside a chunk of money, whether it’s a big or small amount, each month to spend on things that you want. That way you can browse your favorite store, enjoy a date night with your significant other, get a mani/pedi, or take advantage of a great deal on an item you’ve been eyeing without any guilt. Give yourself permission to spend a portion of your pay, and you won’t be as tempted to spend your entire paycheck.