If you are anything like me, you find yourself on a tight budget with very little wiggle room. Unfortunately, it is all too common these days for families to find themselves in a place where saving is a luxury. The monthly income in my home is stretched to the very last penny. I do feel somewhat blessed, as I do have a minimal amount going toward my savings, which is something many families aren't able to allow themselves.
This wasn't always the case, but through extensive thought and research I have found ways to get more for less, thus leaving a little extra for the emergencies that tend to come at the worst times. While my rainy day funds are far from where I want them to be… I am able to be comfortable enough should car troubles, a flooded basement or an unexpected trip to the ER come my way.I have found many ways to keep money in my pockets through gardening, couponing, and hand me down clothes; but more than anything saving for me comes from planning ahead.
With three girls, it should be pretty easy to judge what they will need next in life. As a single dad…not so much. My oldest is more of an experiment, whereas the two that follow are an educated guess. Each one of them has their own sense of style that is ever changing. I try to stay on top of their needs but I often miss the mark. All the same, I shop for wholesale clothing and do a lot of shopping during the off season.
I have become quite comfortable with my kids not having the latest fashions and they have accepted that they may not be current with trends. Through honest communication they have a logical sense of understanding that they will grow out of clothes faster than they can ruin them. So it is not important for them to be the hippest kids on the block, so long as their pants aren't high waters and their tops don't show their bellies.
For occasions that require dressing to impress, I take advantage of Overstock coupons. This allows me to save money while keeping my kids looking chic when necessary. By necessity, I am really referring to holidays, school dances and of course family pictures.
Another way I save money is by purchasing summer clothes when they are about to go out of season. You can find items for less than half off due to the need to sell and clear shelves to make room for the upcoming season.
My final way to really cut back on clothing is through holiday sales. I recently came across Black Friday ad leaks online. Through these ads, I was able to plan out my Christmas list while finding clothes for my girls for an entire year. I did so for much less than I usually spend on Christmas for the girls alone.
Keeping your kids in clothes that look good and fit is very attainable without breaking the bank or creating massive amounts of debt and interest payments in the process. Being a single dad, I have found that I have to plan for everything from the daily routine to the years to come. Without a system I would feel completely lost and the stability my children have would be nonexistent.
Its okay to tell your kids no, but more importantly it's essential to their growth that we be realistic with our finances and teach them to live frugally in all aspects.