So all parent know that becoming a parent is a synonym of becoming broke. With all the expenses rising, I thought it wise to share some of my budgeting tips.
You’d think studying accounting would make me a jedi-budgeteer … But how does that saying go…. a hairdresser’s kids always look like a lawnmower got to them and a machanic’s car is always two pieces of masking tape away from becoming scrap metal. Well it’s no different with accountants and their finances.
But of you’re up for taking advice from an idiot here goes:
1) STOP HAVING BABIES! Now this is crucial for financial freedom. Kids are money hungry bottomless pits of despair and the more you have, the darker the pit.
2) get organized. Sound a little anal but it works. Before I was an organized, well organizedish person, I would go into a shop and buy all kinds of shit. I’d come home to unpack and find twenty packets of the same fucking pasta sauce and still I’ve bought twenty more. Treat your pantry like a shop and do a stocktake. A legitimate, quantities and allowed purchases fucking stocktake.
3) stick to you’re list. This is a lot harder than it sounds. In fact, I’m severely impressed with my parenting skills when I actually remember the list and even more impressed when the list makes it through the first isle without being eaten by Oscar.
4) sell your unwanted hoard. One man’s shit is another man’s wanted shit. I sell pretty much anything I trip over more than twice. I sell books, dvd’s, clothes, toys, beds, bedding… I’d even sell my husband if I thought he would fetch a good enough price. Before season changes, sort out the clothing and sell it. The last load I sold got new shoes, four pairs of slippers, a car wash and at least six ice cream trips.
5) shop at charity shops. Their everywhere. Specially things like tennis rackets, glassware and books. I just spent R30 at a charity shop buying three kids books, one tennis racket, a lightsaber toy and a wine rack. Trust me, it works.
6) swap old games. Most dvd stores allows you to swap old PlayStation games for other old PlayStation games.. But kids love PlayStation games that are their new PlayStation games no matter how old said game is.
7) buy school supplies during the year, when on special only. Shops hike up their prices every December in anticipation of the back to school rush.
8) try and get winter blow out sales just before summer for the next year’s winter. Now this is quite a gamble, because boys grow like weeds. What you think will fit next year may end up looking like a tank top instead of a sweater. But you get sort of better at the estimates with experience.
9) join your community groups. I know it sound like a real tree hugger move on my part but I’m working out three times a week for free…. Jip, you read it… free, just because I keep my ear on the ground.
10) instead of having your car washed, have the kids help you wash the car. They actually end up loving it, and you can get of with a small amount of money and an ice cream.
11) when people ask “what does your kid want for his birthday?” Your answer is always clothes. You’re the parent. Your kids have to love you and pay your old age home one day. Have the rest of the world buy them clothes and you get them the fun things.
12) plan your meals. You don’t have to stick to the exact plan but have a meal for every day of the month.
13) get a savings account that earns a little bit of interest and transfer the remainder of your money after debit orders into it. I, for example, budget for fuel for the month and transfer it into my Savings account. When I need petrol, I just transfer the budgeted amount over. The rest of the time it sits there and makes money. Not a lot.. But money gained is money gained. No matter how you look at it.
14) save your change. We’ve cashed in lose change on several occasions and it not only helps alleviate the clutter, but serves as an awesome little lesson on the history of money and exchange. (Sounding more and more like a homeschool parent by the day)
15) try and buy in bulk. Especially meat. Separate it into one mealtime portions and freeze it…. and keep stock on what’s in the freezer!
16) grow your own veggies. Just the basics helps. Potatoes are insanely expensive and having four hungry mouths to feed can be a little much. I plant tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce and beans…. and I always thought that I only know what plants to smoke.
17) pick up old school clothes at the clothing banks at the schools… obviously not all of it, just the good stuff. Some parents (wealthier ones) buy school uniforms in advance and end up donating new clothes because it doesn’t fit.
18) this is probably the most important tip…. TEACH YOUR KIDS TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR SHIT. They all look like diesel mechanics after 10 minutes outside so TEACH them to wash their clothes by hand. If the toys are left around for more than two hours.. you’ve won a lego man. I literally made my eldest go to school without a jersey because he lost 2 in one week. He wast very happy and ended up going to the clothing bank himself.
Understand that money is never ours in the first place and that you will not be blessed with more if you cannot handle what you have at the moment. Being wealthy can take many forms and success is only your perception of it. We are entrusted with three heavenly gems. To me, that’s Godly wealth.