It is possible to raise children without spending megabucks. It may not seem so, but it is. All you have to do is decide what is most important, and how to go about spending the least amount of money necessary.
This process starts while you are pregnant, with the creation of a list of what will be necessary during the child's first 6 to 12 months of life. This is not a wants list, but a necessity list. Items such as a crib and bedding, clothing, and cloth diapers. The person throwing the shower then lists items that you need many of on the invitation, such as cloth diapers – the new kind with the velcro that will actually be comfortable for the child – shampoo and baby bath. Then she includes a note about the collection of baby foods and formulas in a basket during the shower, and then a note about contacting her for details about other items the baby will need. These are the big ticket items such as cribs and car seats, as well as a way for her to be sure that the mom will receive clothing in certain sizes, a baby quilt, and a baby album. Control is the key here.
Once the shower is over, and the hand-me-downs have been received, the mom-to-be can sit down and decide what else she might need for the baby. Again, not want, but need. The next step is to shop dollar stores, clearance sales, thrift store and yard sales until each item has been checked off the list.
Then, continue shopping this way throughout the child's early years, teaching them how to be frugal. Children don't need dozens of toys, video games and a cell phone when they are young. They need enough clothing to get them through a week, school supplies, a few cherished toys that teach them something, love and healthy food choices. They need family togetherness time, hobby's and friends. They need experiences over possessions, and a good education.
When children get older, they can earn the money for things they want and need. They can babysit, run errands, help out the elderly, and have a newspaper route. This teaches responsibility, and allows them to learn how to save money and spend it wisely. Expect them to save at least 10% for school, and another for retirement, then tithe another 10% if your religion dictates this is to be done. The rest can be theirs to save for something they want to have or do, to buy their own clothing and personal hygiene items.
Not that you wont still provide for their basic needs when they have their jobs. You will. That is your job as parents. To provide for these basic needs.
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