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Raising Kids on a Budget

There are only two ways to get more money:

1) Increase your income and
2) Decrease your outgo.

B Buy what you need, not what you want.
U Use it up, wear it out or give it away
D Don't ever spend in anticipation of earning
G Garage sales, consignment shops and hand-me-downs
E Eat at home or make it at home and take it with you
T Tracking your spending means you will have money to track
S Simplify your life.

? Spend twice as much time and half as much money on your child and you will all be happier.

? Don't buy your kids too many clothes. They need an outfit for every day and a Sunday or dress-up outfit, a sweat outfit to play in, two pairs of shoes, seven pairs of underwear and socks and two pairs of pajamas. A coat and jacket and you are set. They don't need twenty outfits that crowd the drawers and fall on the floor and end up in the washing.

? Limit the toys you give your child. When they have so many toys, it stifles their imagination. They will really play with a few but are overwhelmed with too many choices.

? Buys toys, books and games on sale and keep in a "birthday box" for when your children are invited to parties.

? Trade your good or services with friends and neighbors. Start a babysitting co-op or food co-op. Trade painting for fresh produce, haircuts for yard work etc. Be creative.

? Plan your menus around store specials and you will save a great deal and avoid stopping at MacDonald's. Have one night be cooking night and prepare and freeze enough for the rest of the week. Consider joining with another friend and sharing the prepared meals.

? Recognize that saving or stretching of money is a part time job involving the whole family. You can easily save as much as you would earn in a few hours a week by being a smart shopper. Have a family council and decide what you will be able to do as a family with the money you save by making wise consumer decisions. Make it fun!

Good Luck and God Bless. You do an important work.

This handout© 2003 has been prepared by Judy H. Wright, Missoula, MT parent educator and author. You may have permission to make copies for other parents and teachers but the entire article, including the signature line, must be included. A complete list of parenting books, aids, workshops and a FREE ezine is available at www.ArtichokePress.com. To contact us, please write judywright@artichokepress.com or call 406-549-9813.

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