1) Learn to budget. Knowing what you have coming in and knowing what you have going out will keep you on track. It sounds SO obvious but many people never work out what they have left in their budget. Dedicating a little time to your finances can make a big difference.
2) Impulse shopping doesn’t lead to the best choices. I do an online grocery shop to a meal plan, and then I go back through my basket and remove anything we may not actually need. Considered shopping can save you money and avoid waste.
3) Don’t feel you have to have everything brand new for your little one. They really won’t care if their toy garage, first pram, favourite book or party frock has been pre-loved. Accepting hand me downs and buying second hand is smart financially and good for the environment.
4) Find out about all your entitlements and make sure you are getting what you are due. You can do a benefits health check here.
5) Be sociable – children love to play together and rather than forking out on activity classes, a playdate or a park trip with a little friend is both fun and free.
6).Be creative - If you can’t spend what you used to on gifts then don’t, accept times have changed and gift with thoughtfulness instead of cash. A batch of cookies or a baby handprint in a cheap frame both make lovely gift ideas.
7) Embrace your community. Your local library, inexpensive playgroups and free community events are all wonderful places to meet other parents and to entertain your kids on a budget. Have a look on the internet for what’s on near you.
8) Think ahead. Children change their interests so quickly so don’t get sucked into buying themed bedding /lunchboxes/backpacks or any other kind of paraphernalia. Instead go for items that will last a few ages and stages and make the most of your money.
9) Be assertive. If you are asked out for a meal and can’t afford to go it is fine to say so and suggest everyone comes to yours and bring some wine instead. It will save on a baby sitter too!
10) Be proud of being thrifty; learn to cook on a budget, master the art of selling on eBay and become a ninja voucher code finder. These new skills will last you throughout parenthood and save you so much along the way.
Read Becky's column in Mums Magazine here: