Kids are a blessing. There’s no doubt about that. They bring fulfillment and love in a way that you never knew was possible. The costs of childcare, clothing, food, diapers, and activities can drain your wallet quickly if you’re not budgeting your expenses carefully. Figuring out how to save money when you have two kids can seem like an uphill battle.
As I prepare for the arrival of my second child, I constantly think about different ways I can save money. I live in one of the most expensive places in the country, so using money saving strategies is essential in my family. If you’re looking for ways on how to save money when you have two kids, this article will give you some ideas on getting started.
Negotiate on rent increases
If you’re facing rent increases, I highly encourage you to negotiate with your landlord. Taking the time to negotiate can possibly save you a good chunk of money.
Last year, my landlord attempted to raise the rent by 15%. Unfortunately, this isn’t uncommon in the part of California where I live. 15% might not sound like a big number, but it actually means the rent increases by several hundreds of dollars in my neck of the woods. I’ve even heard of horror stories, where landlords increase the rent by the thousands.
In my case, it may have seemed like another dent in my budget. However, I took the opportunity to negotiate the rent increases with my landlord. I did my research on similar housing units in the area, in terms of overall square footage, amenities, bedrooms, and bathrooms. I presented the information to my landlord, informing her there were similar housing units in the area that were lower in cost to the proposed rent increase. I also challenged her that the other similar housing units she was leasing were cheaper compared to my proposed rent.
After several negotiations, I was able to get a final offer of a 5% increase. I saved a few thousand dollars in one year, just by taking the time to negotiate. I could have easily accepted the initial proposed rent increase or decided to move, which would have added extra moving costs. However, I decided to take a risk and negotiate on rent increases.
Use hand-me-downs to save money when you have two kids
Last weekend, I told my friend I was pregnant and she offered to give me her son’s hand-me-down clothing. Although, it won’t cover my baby’s entire wardrobe, it will still be a huge financial help to our household budget.
I looked at a popular baby clothing website that sells affordable baby clothing. Here’s what I found:
5 pack of onesis: $15.60
1 pack of 2 pairs of pants: $13.00
A pair of pajamas: $6.00
These items were also on sale, between 50-60% off. If my friend gives me ten onesies, eight pairs of paints, and eight pairs of pajamas from the clothes her son grew out of, that means I save $131.20 (not including taxes).
Using hand-me-downs is also a great money saving strategy, because babies grow out of clothing so quickly and you won’t need to buy clothing so often. In my daughter’s first year of life, she ended up growing out of her clothes three times.
Ditch the gym membership
Cancelling your gym membership can be a difficult sacrifice. Regular exercise is still important for your health, so letting go of your gym membership is not an excuse to slack off getting regular exercise. However, let’s say you spend about $50/month in gym membership fees. If you cancel your gym membership, you will be saving $600 in one year.
Even though you won’t have your gym membership anymore, there are still plenty of ways you can exercise without paying for it.
- Go for an outdoor run.
- Look for exercise groups on Meetup.
- Do a hike at a nearby trail.
- Check out workout videos on YouTube.
The flea market is a great place to find good deals for your family. Prices are not only affordable, but they are rarely set in stone. Growing up, I attended my fair share of flea markets with my parents. One of the favorite things I loved about going to flea markets was watching my parents negotiate for items.
I used that skill my parents taught me going into flea markets today. That sign may say 2 shirts for $15. However, there have been a few successful times I was able to get 2 shirts for $10 or 3 shirts for $15. Sometimes, when I ask how much something is and I start to walk away after the seller tells me the price, I often will get a counter-offer and it always benefits my wallet.
*There are affiliate links throughout this post, including Amazon links. For more information on affiliate links, click here to read my disclosure statement.
Use Ebates to save money when you have two kids
When I found out about Ebates, I started using them for most of my online shopping needs. Ebates lets you earn cash back for shopping at most well-known retailers including Target, Old Navy, and numerous other stores. This past Christmas, I received about $70 in cash-back, just by purchasing items I was already going to buy. If you haven’t used Ebates yet, consider signing up here. It’s easy and hassle-free.
Raising two kids can present a financial challenge for any family. However, it’s not impossible to use financially smart strategies to save money when you have two kids. Start using some of these tips to help you save money today.
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