Friday, 18 November 2011

10 Things Every Mom can do to Save Money

Ok, so getting advice from me on spending money is about as smart as asking Carson Kressley the best way to pick up women.  As Edward will gladly tell anyone, I am the spender in our relationship and he is the saver.  Aside from the time he bought a 1936 Nash online (it’s a type of car ladies), and the time he bought some vending machines online (both of which he considers “investments” but have yet to make us any actual money) he is the epitome of frugality, from his frayed underwear that consist mostly of holes and an elastic band (I think he thinks this is sexy) to his $200 car that I am unable to park without stalling.  I however would much rather spend my Saturday catching up on Days of Our Lives than scouring the weekly flyers for the best deal on frozen pizza.  Ah well, to each his own. 
Yet  despite my predilection to save time rather than money,  after all our years together I could not help but pick up some tips from Edward on how to stash some cash.  While I will refrain from suggesting some of his more questionable methods such as fighting parking tickets and becoming overly familiar with store return policies, I will pass on some of the more easily implemented, fairly painless and otherwise non-sketchy thrifty tactics.
10.  Don’t have kids.  Kids are money-suckers.  Whether it’s the food you provide that they don’t eat, the clothes that don’t even last as long as a Kardashian marriage, or the toys they insist they need but don’t play with, children seem almost magical in the way they can make money disappear.   If however, it’s too late for you to follow this advice, take a breath, try to ignore the screaming and smell of feces that I am sure surround you and move on to number 9...
9.  Breastfeed (if possible), until they’re five.    Sure, you may get some strange looks at the park, but think of the money you’ll save on formula, bottles and milk.  Edward was so determined that we breastfeed our kids that, when it didn’t work out for me, he even gave it a whirl, just in case.  Hey, I told you he was cheap.  Unfortunately, despite the fact he had sympathy pains during my labour, sympathy lactation was simply beyond him.  
8.  Potty Train Early.  To this day my mother insists that she had me potty trained before I was one year old.  Personally, I think having to parent me through my teenage years addled her brains because, although I admit I am fairly exceptional, I cannot imagine potty training a child who cannot even walk yet.  But if this is possible, I by all means urge you to do it.  Sure, you’d save money on diapers, but more importantly, the less poop you have to wipe the better.   Which is why I avoid fibre.
7.  Do it yourself.  Sure, it may be tempting to call an electrician to install a new light fixture, or a plumber to fix that leaky faucet, but why bother when you have Google?  Not only will you save some much needed money but you will learn something new, thereby counteracting the brain cells you lost this morning during that 2 hour session of Ring-Around-the-Rosie.   Sure, you may get electrocuted or end up flooding your bathroom, but at least then when you are forced to call a professional you will be getting your money’s worth. 
6.  Cut the Cable.  Seriously, if the internet has done nothing else for us, at least it has brought us free T.V shows with fewer commercials.  Sure you have to wait an extra day before you find out that Santana was outed by Finn on Glee this week, but since you spend most of your day confined to your house with only a toddler to talk to, this probably won’t come up in conversation. 
5.  Lose the landline.  If you have a cell phone that is, and who in this day and age doesn’t have a cell phone?  My grandmother even has one and she’s in her 80’s.  Sure, she has no idea how to use it, but she has one.  Yeah, you may miss a few calls because you left your phone in the car or your battery died, but that is what voice mail is for.  And bonus – when you get rid of your landline those pesky telemarketers won’t be able to call during naptime anymore.  So what are you waiting for?  Enjoy a telemarketer-free existence before they learn how to text.  
4.  Hide it; don’t buy it.  Children have very short memories.  Until they hit about three or four, you can totally get away with hiding some of their toys for a month or so and then “discovering” them all over again.   Also, less toys equals less mess to clean up.  So not only do you not have to spend money to buy new toys, but you can save hundreds on the medical bills you will be avoiding from not constantly tripping over toys that are underfoot.   
3.  Try your hand at hairdressing.  It is really not as hard as it looks.  Though I do recommend practising on your husband or significant other first before moving on to the children and yourself, just because I know you will love your spouse no matter how ridiculous you make them look, and they are less likely to be made fun of (to their face at least) than your kids are. Hey, you need to practise on something. 
2.  Utilize Kijiji (or craigslist, or other sites selling used crap).  You can find anything on Kijiji.  Even a blog partner.   And it all goes for cheap too.  One of the biggest mistakes new parents make is thinking they need ‘new’ everything for their kids, but by the time you have a couple kids like myself you learn how incredibly stupid it is to buy something new and fancy just to have your kid poop in it, color on it, or throw down the stairs.  So go ahead and buy that used rocking horse, cradle or blog partner and you’ll be glad you got it second hand later when your kid pukes on it (sorry about that Alice).
1.  Read our Blog.  Yes, the best things in life ARE free, and this is one of them.  Don’t spend your money on fashion magazines whose only purpose is to make you feel bad about yourself.  Come to Mommyland and read about our how I got banned from Boston Pizza ... and Tim Horton’s... and the park...or how Alice got judged by the crazy lady at church... or the old guy at the doctor’s office... or  Dr. Suckypants herself.  You just have to feel better about your own life after reading about ours.  Seriously, doesn’t your husband seem just a little hotter after reading about my husband’s nasty holey underwear?
I thought so, and you’re welcome.

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