The cost of raising children today has become almost overwhelming, especially with all the after-school activities and how fast they outgrow their clothes, toys, books, etc. Here are a few simple, creative ideas on how you can save money on children’s expenses.

Trade – Clothing, toy, book and bike co-ops get you what you need without the expense. If none are around your corner, start one. Playgroups make a great starter for this kind of business. Or, try Craig’s List as an online resource for bargain prices.

Barter – Need to get your child to a lesson or sporting activity but find you have no car or public transportation to help you out? Looking for a way to cut down on gas expense? Find a parent going the same way and offer to “barter” one of your talents for a regular lift. Some schools will offer free tuition for your child if you work a few hours in the office.

Re-gift – Especially when are children are young, they get more birthday presents than they need. Save some and re-gift.

Loan – Today’s teens get very bored with their clothes very quickly. Encourage them to “loan” with very close friends items like jeans and sweatshirts that can take the wear an tear. Kids loan anyway, so when you make it an approved activity — you will at least start to reap the benefit of what you save on new clothes! Don’t forget to label kids clothes so they eventually come back home.

Advertise – Put up a note at your church, local grocery store or library and ask for what you need. Let people know what you need because many are looking to get rid of items their kids have outgrown.

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Written by Susan Beacham
Susan Beacham founded Money Savvy Generation in 1999 after almost two decades in private banking and investment management complemented by considerable time teaching at the elementary level.

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