One of the top concerns we hear from new parents is about finances. We get it—life is expensive. Add a new baby into the mix, and it can feel overwhelming. The good news is there are many practical ways to save money and make your dollars go farther than you thought possible. A brand new year is the perfect time to set financial goals for yourself. Keep reading for 6 ways to save money in 2022.
1. Set Up a Monthly Budget
If you’re not already tracking your budget, now is a great time to start. You may be surprised to find out where your money is going. Your budget can be as simple as pen and paper or a spreadsheet. There are also plenty of helpful apps (like EveryDollar App) where you can input your spending goals and arrange for notifications to help you stay on track.
2. Set Boundaries on "Extras"
Now that you’ve set up a budget, you’ve probably noticed areas where you habitually put your money. Set a goal to minimize or eliminate the things that add up quickly. Examples of this might be coffee, fast food, or the Target dollar spot (which is never just a dollar). Instead, consider making coffee at home or packing your lunch for work. You can also be more strategic with eating out by utilizing deals from local restaurants, such as “Kids Eat Free” nights.
3. Take Advantage of Consignment Sales
Taking advantage of consignment sales is a huge game changer – you can get quality clothing at a fraction of the cost. There are a variety of sales open seasonally and year round. These sales are especially beneficial when shopping for children, who grow out of clothes quickly. And if you consign your own clothes, you can often earn credit to use toward sales.
Consignment Mommies and Triad Moms on Main are both great resources to check periodically for scheduled sales in the Triad area. Below are a few other stores that run year round. Most of these places have toys, books, furniture, and other items in addition to clothing. You can also check out Facebook Marketplace.
4. Have Fun for Free
Making memories doesn’t have to be expensive! Do some research into free activities in your area. Here is a short list to get you started:
- Parks and playgrounds – Pack a picnic and meet some friends for exercise and play. Click here for Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point locations.
- Libraries – Your city’s library is a hidden gem. You’ll have access to books, movies, children’s story times, and special events—all 100% free! Click here for Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point locations.
- Downtown adventures – Go on a scavenger hunt downtown! Try geocaching or just jot down a checklist of items to search for (or use one of these free printables) and go explore your city. You’ll find bookstores, museums, antique shops, local businesses, and more. Click here to find what Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point have to offer.
5. Get Rid of Monthly Subscriptions
Monthly subscriptions—while affordable on their own—can add up quickly. For Example, do you have Disney+, Netlfix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Consider cutting all but one. That could save you as much as $40 each month. Chances are you probably don’t need many of the memberships or subscriptions you have.
6. Make a Meal Plan
When you’re unsure what the day’s meals look like for you or your family, it can lead to impulse purchases. Designate 20 minutes or so each week to schedule your meals. Keep a notebook, spreadsheet, or Pinterest board with your favorite go-to foods. Invite your partner and/or children to participate and help with this each week.
A few other suggestions for trimming your grocery budget:
- Order online. This will save shopping time, but also keep you from making extra unneeded purchases.
- Shop the sales. Plan your meals around already existing food sales. Consider keeping all your meals for the week in the same meat family. So if the grocery store has a great deal on chicken, plan 2-3 meals that will use chicken.
- Use money saving apps. Many apps allow you to upload your grocery receipts to earn rewards or cash back. Check out Fetch Rewards or Receipt Hog to get started.
- Use what you have. Make a game out of using what’s already in your pantry. When you take time to get creative with what you have rather than rushing to the store, you can save money and also discover new meals.
Save Money at The Pregnancy Network
If you’re pregnant and considering your options, you can also save money by making an appointment at The Pregnancy Network. We offer free pregnancy tests, STD testing and treatment, limited ultrasounds, pregnancy and parenting classes, baby and maternity items, and more. Our trained peer advocates can work with you to set practical financial goals for your future. You can do this, and we are here to help.
Call 336-274-4901 or click here to make a free appointment today.