6 ways to save money on your growing family

Bringing a new baby into the world is an exciting and beautiful time, but it can be expensive.

‘The cost of raising children in Australia’ - a report authored by NATSEM – says that from birth to leaving the nest, a family will spend anywhere from $473,000 (lower income) to $812,000 (middle income) to $1.1 million (higher income) to raise two children. When you consider that the average number of kids in an Aussie household is 2.7; that’s a lot of money.

Protecting and raising a family can cost you a lot. But, it doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think. To navigate this world of new adventures, first steps, duckie-patterned crib covers and boggly-eyed teddy bears, we’ve created these tips to help baby-proof your budget and save money on your growing family.

1. Make a plan of attack

Before you step out the door for baby and child supplies, make a plan and stick to it. Profit-seeking businesses and well-meaning peers will attempt to sway you toward the latest ‘must-haves’, but you need to maintain discipline and work within your means.

Start with a list of what you really need or want. It helps to write down a reason beside each item – if you can’t explain why you need it, you might not be making a purchase for the right reasons.

Children can be expensive, so develop a plan of attack

Children can be expensive, so develop a plan of attack

2. Buy the most entertaining, not the most exclusive presents

One in four Australian parents spend more than $500 a year just on toys for their kids, says McCrindle. But how many kids end up playing in the box your washing machine came in instead of the fancy new thing-a-ma-bob from the shop?

3. Enlist (unpaid) childcare

Every great set of parents has a great support crew behind them. Financially, your back-up crew can make a huge difference.

Childcare costs can be a huge portion of your bills, so organising a babysitters club or asking your parents to look after the young ones even one day a week may make a significant difference. Similarly, when your friends start having babies too, you can keep your present-buying budget down by offering them a book of free babysitting vouchers.

4. Look for the hand me downs

Turn to your friends and family who have children slightly older than yours – they will be growing out of their clothes, toys, car seats and cribs. Almost a third (28 per cent) of parents give old toys to their friends (the ones with kids, we assume) – so get in there and benefit from their charity.

Hand-me-downs are a great way to save

Hand-me-downs are a great way to save

5. Invest on their behalf

Put a regular, however small, amount of money away for your child’s future. If you sit together and watch it grow you are teaching them the principles of investing, saving and compound interest. Not only that, the results should help them meet future financial burdens, and impart lessons of patience and discipline.

6. Protect the most important person in your child’s life

Your child is the most important thing in your life. Now protect the most important thing in theirs. Most people don’t think about life insurance as a way to protect their family but all the day-to-day expenses can quickly add up. Having a life insurance policy may provide some added peace of mind.

What are your best money-saving tips for new parents?

If you are considering protecting your family’s future, take a moment to review the benefits of Virgin Life Insurance. As we don’t know your financial needs we can’t advise if this insurance will suit you, please consider the Product Disclosure Statement and Financial Services Guide before deciding whether to buy this product.