by Guest Blogger Sloan McKinney

It’s not a big secret that raising children is expensive. In fact, it is estimated that it will cost us over $233,000 to raise a child from infancy to the age of 17. That is almost a quarter of a million dollars! Unfortunately, a large portion of these costs go to housing, food, child care, and other essentials like education, clothing, transportation, or medical care which can make it difficult to save money for our children. Whether we want to treat our sons and daughters to a nice vacation, pay for college, or help set them up with a healthy savings account, there are times where it can feel practically impossible to put away any money. Thankfully, with a little awareness and conscious choices, it’s possible to save money for our children and feel more financially secure in the process.

Please scroll through the following smart ways to save money for your children:

Go generic. Most of us have our favorite brands of food and clothing. Often, we are willing to pay a little more for the name or logo. However, we can effectively save a little green by buying off-brand merchandise on occasion.

 Invest early in a college fund. When our kids are young, college is often the least of our worries. Unfortunately, our boys and girls grow fast and soon there will be a day when high school graduation is upon us. Start saving early and look into a 529 college savings account so we can set our kids up for success and little education debt. Here’s some solid information regarding how college students can find lending for their business from lendedu.

Eat more at home. Avoid eating out and make our own meals to save money. Groceries are much cheaper than restaurant fare. By preparing our own food we can ensure our kids are getting healthy foods, learning important life skills, and bonding with us in the process.

 Diversify. Look into savings bonds, buying gold or diamonds, investing in real estate, playing the stocks, or starting a good old fashioned savings account. This will offer you a variety of ways to save and grow your income, while offering a little protection if one piece of the market dips.

Look for change. Instead of letting our loose coins settle in the bottom of our purses or couches, put all of those pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters to work in a savings account. Every day, empty your pocket change into a jar and when it gets full, turn it in for cash at the bank.

 Pay yourself first. Before paying bills or spending your paycheck, set aside an amount into a savings account. This will prevent us from spending everything we have and ensure we save money for our children.

Buy second-hand when possible. Kids grow fast and often need new clothing or accessories before their current clothes are worn out. Instead of buying new, check out thrift stores, garage sales, and online sale sites for some gently used and worn items for a fraction of the cost of a new product.

Ditch unneeded purchases. We live in a world that is full of stuff. Our boys and girls don’t NEED to have every new toy, game, or clothing item. One smart way we can save money is to be mindful of the items we buy and bring into our homes. Only purchase items that our families actually need.

Cut the cable. We can easily access our kids favorite shows, movies, and content without a pricey monthly bill from the cable or satellite company. Instead of cable, look into streaming services or online subscriptions to save money for our kids.

 Sell unused and outgrown clothing, baby gear, sports equipment, and toys. Get rid of clutter and make some money in the process by rehoming used items. Consider hosting a yard sale, taking items to a consignment store, or listing them online.

 Reduce your debt. Instead of paying monthly interest on credit cards or other debt, work to pay off these bills so you can save that extra money. Pay off the smallest bills first and then rollover those payments to tackle off higher debts. Also, avoid late and overdraft fees.

Make your own detergents and cleaners. Save money for our kids by making healthier cleaners out of simple household ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, salt, and lemon juice.

Kick bad habits. Give up that daily soda, cigarettes, alcohol, and expensive coffee habit. All of these small purchases can add up to a significant amount over time.

Start small. Even if it is only $5 every week or two, in the long run, our efforts will pay off. Don’t give up and keep trying.

What smart ways to save money for your children can you share?

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