Eight ways to save money on your kids

Saving_money

Reduce clothes.

Clothes are relatively cheap. However the temptation is to buy tons of them, especially when you have a newborn. Buying clothes is a lot of fun. However because your kid grows like a weed, it’s better to just slow things down and buy a limited amount of clothing.

Swap clothes with friends and family

Unless you really want to buy new clothes, you can always get clothes from your friends who have babies and other children (especially if you reciprocate). In fact, there are whole websites dedicated to swapping clothes with each other. Furthermore as I mentioned before, your kid grows like a weed, what this means is that they will outgrow their clothes very quickly. The good news is is that you will likely have friends or family who have children about the same age or maybe older you can swap close with them or they can swap clothes with you.

Baby food. Make it your self.

Baby food is not cheap. It also isn’t very tasty either. Have you ever tasted it? You can take vegetables, fruit and whatever else you’re eating that evening and blend it. Then you can add spices and salt for flavor, I’m fairly certain that your child will enjoy that food a whole lot more then much of what is out there.

Secondhand items.

Just like clothes you can buy all kinds of other things at the secondhand store. Toys, beds, jackets and so on can be bought at the secondhand store. Children love getting new toys and you most likely enjoy saving money so this is an inexpensive way to surprise your children and stay on a budget.

Skip the accessories

As with many new parents, they tend run out and buy all kinds of stuff for their children, ranging from wet wipes warmer, baby diaper genie, bottle warmers, multiple jackets and other items. I mean, the list goes on and on and on. If you go to Amazon baby items I guarantee you can find over 1000 different things for your newborn. I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy these, however if you’re looking to save money skip most of these items. I have four children I know for a fact that you only need a couple of very basic items to keep your child happy. (That would be a good post for another time)

Try baby wearing versus a stroller.

Strollers are pretty awesome, I believe we’ve had about six total. The biggest one we had was the equivalent of a warthog from the video game Halo. This thing had multiple bottle holders multiple pockets a total of eight wheels and could probably fit 3 to 4 children on it. The thing was pretty amazing, however it did not fit in the back of the car that we had. So, I would recommend trying baby wearing at least for the first couple of months. There are a lot of high quality slings and other baby carrying devices out there. It’ll keep your child warm comfortable and close to you. Because I know that many times, people will try to come up to your baby and try touching them. This is generally avoided when you baby carry.

800px-E3_Expo_2012_-_Microsoft_booth_Halo_4_warthog

This is a Warthog in all of its glory. Do you know how many babies and diapers it could hold?

Go to the grocery store.

When you have a new baby a lot of times the temptation to go hog wild with them. You want to take them to all kinds of educational places, the zoo, the museum and aquariam and so on, the reality is is that if you have the opportunity this is definitely a wonderful way to go. However if you are looking to save money, you can go with a big to the what, the grocery store and other public places and have your kid be entertained for hours and hours

Get a small car.

With four children, we realize that we needed to buy a minivan or some other kind of large vehicle to haul them in. So we ended up buying a minivan. We looked, minivans are really expensive even 5 to 10-year-old ones. If you have one or two children it would probably behoove you by a regular sedan or may be a little larger vehicle. The payments on one of those cars is nowhere near what you’re going to have on a minivan and the gas mileage is much better meaning that you’ll save money on that too. As much as a large vehicle is great over time a smaller vehicle will grow on you and you won’t even notice the difference.

This is my advice on how to save. I don’t do all of them, but looking back I wish that I had done some more them to save money. They may not make you a milionaire but then again every little bit helps.

Image is used under common license: https://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/6736142729; http://flickr.com/photo/26728047@N05/7640963188

 

He loves volcanoes too.

My youngest son, loves science and nature. He constantly asked me questions about birds and trees and rocks and you name it. It’s absolutely wonderful to watch his little mind just go back and forth between nature and the things that he sees and animals. He uses my downstairs bathroom as his chemical laboratory. Here he takes soap and other liquids laying around the house and mixes them up.

He’s a huge fan of the show Wild Cratts and will also watch National Geographic. Which I still don’t entirely understand, because I kind of find that stuff boring. But I know that my grandfather loved that stuff, so I’m sure that the Holtland spirit lives on.

My mother-in-law, his grandma, bought them a science set, Green Kids Crafts, to play with. It has a couple of different experiments that they can conduct. The latest one, was a volcano. I snapped a bunch of photos showing us build it. If you want to have some fun with your kids, this is a wonderful way to spend time with your children. So here it is:

 

The picture on the right is the final results. There is alot of liquid around the volcano. I recommend putting it on a cookie sheet or a plate with ridges to avoid flooding your table. But it was totally worth it to see their reactions.

If America is so horrible?

 

Flag_of_the_United_States.svgThe United States catches a lot of flak both internally and around the world. Were criticized for our militarized police force, our medical care system, for racism and so on. I don’t think that you can not open a magazine or let alone the Internet and find some kind of article absolutely trashing various aspects of the United States. Granted, criticism is always good, criticism helps improve things and a lot of times can be valid. It’s very common for the United States to be trashed. Does the US have issues? Yes it does. However I would posit that part of the reason why is the same reason why famous musicians, artists and so on are so heavily criticized. It’s because the United States is good at what it does and so well known. You don’t hear the same criticisms about Germany, in fact your rarely hear criticisms on Germany (why is that?).

There are people that risk life and limb to come to the United States. Cuban refugees, Mexican migrants, people from Africa and Asia that sneak on board container vessels to come to the US because they seek a better life. Many of these people die on the way to get here or are turned around to go back home and attempt to do it again, over and over. So there must be something that is driving these people to come to the United States. Illegal immigration is just one of these things that shows that the United States offer something that the rest of the world or at least huge chunks of the rest the world just does not offer. Even legal immigration into the United States is mind blowing, people come here to work and to become Americans in the millions each year. Also you don’t see many people emigrating from the United States either.

When looking at the history of the United States, the US has done a slow ascension over time. From a bunch of colonies to today stretching thousands of miles, the United States has done a slow gentle glide up to being the biggest economic powerhouse in the entire world. Through the early 20th and today the United States has set the standard of living and economic opportunities. Even today it still sets some of the highest standards in business, factories, small business and so on in the entire world. The US pays high salaries, offer the ability to drive cars down massive highways, air-conditioning and heating in most houses and most people in the US have a cell phone and/or Internet, it reward ingenuity. Even the standard of poor people compared to much of the rest of the world is way higher.

We can step back, and say, “Well yes, but we have starving people in the US and we have homelessness and we have all kinds of other issues”. However, the United States gives more in foreign aid, the arts, charitable giving and so on than any other country in the world. This is just private money being donated this does not include the welfare state, public funding of the arts and any other government run program. The United States is one of the most charitable nations in the entire world. This is largely due to because our economy is so strong and we have the ability to do this you do not see this in other nations. So we can complain and say how terrible things are however the facts speak for themselves.

I will end this by saying yes the United States has issues. Yes there are many problems that we have. Will these issues be resolved in the future? Possibly, I don’t know. But when you level huge amounts of criticism to the United States much which is valid you still do have the positives, the amazing things that the United States does do. Look at all the people that want to came to the United States because it is so much better to be here in the United States than in much of the rest of the world.

“Flag of the United States” by Dbenbenn, Zscout370, Jacobolus, Indolences, Technion. – SVG implementation of U. S. Code: Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 1 [1] (the United States Federal “Flag Law”).. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_the_United_States.svg#/media/File:Flag_of_the_United_States.svg