It seems like everyone’s New Year’s resolution for 2023 is to cut costs and save some money. With the price of just about everything seemingly on the rise, people — especially parents — are feeling the pinch and looking for ways to keep their families on a budget.
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed as prices keep increasing, but the good news is that parents can keep their finances in check with a bit of planning and some helpful advice. Here are some useful ways parents can cut costs and save money in 2023.
Meal planning may seem overwhelming if you’ve never done it before, but once you start, you’ll see that not only are you saving money on groceries, but you’ll enjoy taking the stress out of trying to decide what to make for dinner every night.
Stephanie M. O’Dea is an American blogger, bestselling author, and food writer who runs the website, A Year of Slow Cooking. She told us that meal planning and cooking at home can save the average family not just money, but their sanity as well! “The easiest way to cook is to use your crockpot slow cooker, and in doing so, it forces you to plan ahead and already have food in the house so you can plop it into the cooker.”
She also points out that meal planning, and especially using your slow cooker, ensures dinner is ready when you get home at the end of the day, allowing you to avoid that last-minute takeout or drive-thru dinners that can get costly. You can also start small when it comes to meal planning. You don’t have to play out the entire week, but maybe start with a few days when you’re busiest, so you can see just how beneficial it can be.
Be financially literate
Financial literacy is a term we hear often, but do you really understand what it means? Tatiana Tsoir is a CPA and a numbers expert who authored the book, “Dream Bold, Start Smart.” She helps people better understand their finances while also helping them “unlearn bad habits and to adopt better ones.”
She advises people to fully understand the terms of any credit cards or loans they may have, asks them to “know their flow,” which means knowing exactly how much money they’re bringing in and how much they need to spend monthly, and recommends starting to save — even if it’s just a small amount to start.
“Financial literacy isn’t just a superficial concept,” she explained, “it’s a must-do or must-have for everyone. You have to know that you have confidence in tomorrow, no matter what’s thrown at you.” Tsoir also notes that using software to help track your income and expenses is an easy way to monitor your budget and give you a bigger picture of your finances every month.
Rent that baby gear
If you’re a parent, then you know just how expensive it can be to buy all the gear you need for a baby, especially when you only use a lot of the expensive items for a short amount of time. Natalie Poston is the co-founder and COO of JoyLet, a premium baby and toddler gear rental company that helps you save money and storage space on those expensive baby essentials by providing them for rent.
“We rent baby and toddler gear — think bassinets, bouncers, travel gear, and developmental toys. The kind of stuff that is expensive, a pain to store, and is only used for a few months at a time,” she explained. Poston added that parents can save “50% or more on brand name gear and toys,” by renting instead of buying. The best part is you can pay monthly, so you’re not locked into any long-term contracts.
Ditch those unused subscriptions
Part of monitoring your income and expenses is evaluating all the subscription services you may have. Tsoir recommends taking a look at what you’re spending on your monthly bills and determining if you need everything you’re paying for.
“Understand the priorities of your budget, things like rent, utilities, healthcare, and credit card debt should come before things like dining out, entertainment, or other items that are wants over needs,” she said. Eliminating subscription services you aren’t using can help you save money monthly that you probably didn’t even realize you were spending.
Use loyalty rewards and cashback options
These days, most stores offer loyalty programs that allow you to earn points that translate into either store perks or discounts you can put toward future purchases. You can also download certain online extensions that give you back a percentage of purchases made at participating online stores. This amount may seem small after one order, but it can add up in the long run. Using a store’s loyalty program or signing up for cashback incentives can really save you money while also helping you find deals on items you buy regularly.
Saving money as a parent can sometimes feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Following the advice of these experts can result in real tangible savings that may surprise you. As Tsoir said, “The new year is a great time to help set us up for a year of financial freedom.” Starting the new year with goals and a plan to save money will put you on the track to being successful.
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