Bringing children up the moneysaving way

optimistic-mummy Posts: 1,229 Forumite
edited 27 March 2013 at 1:35PM in MoneySaving mums
Hi hope im posting in the right place...i havent seen a thread on this so thought i would start one. I was curious to find out if there are things you do to help save money or live on a tight budget when bringing up children. And what everyones top tips are. Please feel free to merge or delete this thread if one has already been done.
Your tips can be anything related to saving money when bringing up your children. Also im curious to find out if you are a larger family are there any 'secrets' to keeping the cost down.
A recent survey showed it cost over £200,000 to bring a child up until the age of 21. (I honestly don't believe this too be true) ...

Im starting this thread so we can share our ideas and help others in these tough times
So what do you do ? And would you agree with the survey done recently ? :)
200 weeks £25,000.00 / £700


  • Gillby1
    Gillby1 Posts: 659 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
    Hi Optimistic-Mummy,

    We have two young boys (1 and 2 yrs) so we keep costs down by passing clothes from the eldest to his little brother. I always buy clothes for the eldest in bundles from ebay, and just got 15 tops and 15 pairs of trousers/jeans in 3-4 yrs size for £15 inc courier! They were in great condition, lovely colours and all good clothing brands, too. We usually find that family buy them new items of clothing as gifts, and they certainly don’t care that everything else is second hand (yet!). I also feel that’s much more environmentally friendly than buying new, cheap clothes.

    We buy toys and equipment second hand via charity shops, netmums, ebay and NCT sales. And when we’ve finished with the above, providing the items are in reasonable condition we sell them or give them away on Freecycle. We try to live quite sustainably!

    I made a few good friends via the NCT antenatal classes, and we share and swop toys and books so our children don’t get bored. We also take it in turns babysitting and childminding for each other, which saves a fortune!

    We plan meals carefully, and the kids eat what we eat. I think my greatest expense (other than mortgage) is probably food, though, as i am a little obsessed with feeding the children healthily and am currently stuffing coconut oil and ground flaxseed into anything and everything!

    We go to cheap mum and baby groups, and free Children’s Centre and Library run events and sessions which keep the kids occupied, and often go to the local museum to look at the stuffed animals and beehive. If i take along a few snacks for a picnic and stop at the playground on the way home, the kids think we’ve had a great day out! I also have to add that, were it not for this website, I probably wouldn’t do, or even be aware of, most of the above options. I owe a lot to Martin and fellow MSEers! :money:

    Hope that helps. I’m really looking forward to reading what others have to say, too xxx
    Debt free date: October 2006 :money:
  • jackieblack
    jackieblack Posts: 10,316 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary
    I've always assumed those surveys about how much it costs to bring up a child includes loss of earnings if one parents gives up work and/or childcare costs.
    2.22kWp Solar PV system installed Oct 2010, Fronius IG20 Inverter, south facing (-5 deg), 30 degree pitch, no shading
    Everything will be alright in the end so, if it’s not yet alright, it means it’s not yet the end
    MFW #4 OPs (offset): 2018 £866.89, 2019 £1322.33, 2020 £1337.07,
    2021 £1250.00, 2022 £1500.00, 2023 £1500
    Target for 2024 (offset) = £1200, YTD £345
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  • jackyann
    jackyann Posts: 3,433 Forumite
    I completely agree with Gilby1. All 4 of mine are adults now (and honestly, I haven't added it all up!)
    I would add, as they get older: be honest & up front about money with them. They will begin to pester for certain things. Get organised as parents and make decisions in advance; then be clear & firm about what you are prepared to buy.
    Plan treats - whether it's certain foods, outings, clothes etc.
    As kids get older they want to be involved, not just have decisions made for them by mum & dad; so work out what you are prepared to pay for, give them pocket money to save for, or save as a family.
    You may say: if we stick to this food budget, we can afford this holiday; or: we think this toy/game is too expensive for our family, but you can save your pocket money to buy it.
    For instance: we would not buy "designer" stuff normally, but bought a (then very popular) sports bag for a Xmas present.

    We looked out locally for free / cheap events, and took them out walking in the countryside.
    We would also give them choices where appropriate: we have £x for a treat - what shall we choose?

    We talked about our values as well: that we wanted to save to enable a university education (or similar training); that we wanted them to enjoy the natural world, and learn to make things.
    BAGGY Posts: 522 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I have 5 y/o twin boys. A couple of years ago I bought 90% of their clothes at bootsales and toys too. There is less choice now they are 5 as (I think) they get rougher and tend to tear clothing etc. They are in uniform most of the week so a couple of pairs of joggers and tops does the week unless we are going out.
    Our fave days out are at the coast or tiddlering at the local river. We choose a costal resort that has sand, loos and not a lot else. I pack up the shopping trolley with buckets, sun cream, towels, pop up tent etc and we set up camp so that the kids know where we are. We take sarnies and drinks and may have fish and chips for tea.
    My sister has recently got a dog so dog walks are another cheap few hours in the fresh air.
    When the boys were very little I used to let them wash the car in the summer or paint the garage door with paintbrush and water. We also did gardening, pavement chalks and crafts. I bought a tin of buttons from the bootsale and burried them and some in the tin in their sand pit. They were pirates searching for treasure all day and ate their lunch in the garden on their 'ship' (blanket slung between two chairs). My two are very much fresh air kids but a £1 DVD from BS keeps them entertained if raining. Some cinemas do £1 tickets on sat morning too.
  • My boys are 5 and 7 and if I can will pass the olkder boys clothes down - but some items arent good enough to keep after playing in the mud etc!

    If they want new ds games they know they have to trade in their old games or we put them on ebay for them. Im hoping that this is one of the ways to teach them that 'things' cost money and we have to save for them.

    They love car boot sales and charity shops and have no problem with used toys or clothes. Im happy to say that they will donate their old unwanted things to charity shops so others may be able to use them.

    We use the library and museums as days out and always take a picnic. Nectar and clubcard points also pay for treats.

    On a recent school trip to a recycling centre my 5 year old told the class and the organisers how he wears his brothers clothes as its recycling and cheap!
    Mum, wife and dinnerlady!
  • Raksha
    Raksha Posts: 4,570 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    Teach them early on about value for money, let them make their own spending decisions, don't respond to pester power, or labels
    Please forgive me if my comments seem abrupt or my questions have obvious answers, I have a mental health condition which affects my ability to see things as others might.
  • I have 1 boy, aged 20 months, so I am relatively new to all of this and am interested to see where I can save money.

    I have found a few ways of saving money...

    1. Kidstart (I have linked this to my sons trust fund so that everytime I buy something online, from Ebay for example, my son gets a % cashback. If you buy shopping from Sainsburys, you can also get Nectar points at the same time)

    2. nectar (Anything that you cannot get through kidstart, you can generally get through nectar - earning points which I save for Christmas shopping in Sainsburys. I've also signed up for their surveys which you can earn or win points)

    3. boots (As an advantage card holder, I signed up to the parenting club, which I believe gives you 10 points per £ on all baby/toddler products. In my first year as a mum, I earned £60 in points which paid for some lovely ELC toys for my son. You can also buy things from treatstreet, through the boots website, which then gives you boots points.)

    4. tesco (I save all points throughout the year and use them to pay for christmas things. I have recently been informed that if you take used drinks can to Tesco, they have machines which take them and award 1 point per can recycled.)

    My boss is excellent at knitting, as when she found out I was having a boy, knitted lots of clothing for him in various sizes - he's still wearing them now.
  • delain
    delain Posts: 7,700 Forumite
    We use makro :) I know not everyone has access to it but it has helped us a lot with things like dishwasher tablets and laundry stuff (not to mention meat and pasta)

    We save clubcard points too.

    Always buy clothes in sainsburys when they have the 25% off. There's one coming up btw.

    Hand me downs as already said.

    Use the book people for presents.

    Will be back if I think of any more!
    Mum of several with a twisted sense of humour and a laundry obsession :o:o
  • I have a 3 year old and most of her clothes are from charity shops. I'll not pay more than £1.50 for a dress and she's had some lovely Next ones of great quality, I've even sold them on ebay afterwards (so 3rd hand) for as much as £5!
    I find t shirts from Asda for £2 are a good buy.
    Only things I insist are new are footwear (clarkes I buy in sale or ebay if I can get a bit cheaper than the shop), socks, underwear (except vests, have had some 2nd hand ones especially thermal ones as new can cost £2.50 each!)
    I find clothes to be the biggest expense.
    We eat the same food and I find I just make the same as I would have had for me anyway.
    We go the park and the seaside, have a walk round the shops, museum, we have a picnic lunch on the benches.
    I get her dvds from amazon, I only search for the 1p ones and she's had some great ones.
    1,2 & 5p: Christmas day food £9.31
    10 & 20p: misc savings £2.70
    50p: Christmas presents £3.50
    £2: holidays £2.00
  • Also sweety wise, she gets 20p Milky Bars. Others, like Chocolate stars, can cost 70p!
    I've told her to always get what has the price on the packet, so she knows she wont be stung at the till!
    1,2 & 5p: Christmas day food £9.31
    10 & 20p: misc savings £2.70
    50p: Christmas presents £3.50
    £2: holidays £2.00
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