Growing families get frugal

Having your first baby can be stressful, but what about your second or third? Dealing with a new addition to the family is incredibly exciting, and can also induce a bit of nail-biting. You already know the ropes (sleep training, feeding schedules, diaper runs) but how will you manage all of that while taking care of – and paying for – the rest of the family? We’ve got you covered with these money-saving tips.

Get organized, but make it fun

You’re probably an old hand at figuring out how to move money around to accommodate a new little person. Now that there’s another one on the way, expenses are about to increase. How do you tighten an already lean budget? Being organized is the key to a lot of things in parenthood (saving time and preventing meltdowns, to mention a few), but it’s integral for budgeting.

First step: write everything down. Create a spreadsheet and note all your expenses. Daycare, groceries, bills, and your rent or mortgage should all factor in. A good way to make sure you haven’t missed anything is to go over your credit card and bank statements line by line to get a real idea of what your day-to-day costs are so you can get a super realistic idea of your outgoings. If you’re like most people, there’s probably a line or two where you could cut back with a little extra time and planning.

Costco can help

Shopping at Costco can help – if you’re able to make a meal plan for the week or two, you can head out to the warehouse and stock up on items that can really add up if you’re shopping at the expensive grocery store down the street. With a little planning, getting your favourite products at the best value can really take the edge off those monthly grocery bills. Keep a running list of everything you need for the kids and the house, then be on the lookout for the best deals. Costco has everything from household essentials to pharmacy items and appliances.

Shopping can seem like something you have to shoehorn into your day, but if you plan ahead, it can be an event that everyone enjoys. Shopping at Costco saves you valuable weekend time, because instead of hitting three stores, you can grab gas, groceries and everything else you need. It’s also a fun activity for everyone in the family. Can you say “free samples”?

Get a credit card that works for you

Speaking of Costco, did you know that the Capital One Costco Mastercard doubles as your Costco membership and has no annual fee? It’s a nice perk and you also get cash back on virtually all your purchases (not just at Costco – but why would you want to shop anywhere else?). Save yourself the annual fee that comes with other cards and track your expenses all in one place when you use the card. You’ll also get travel benefits like car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, and baggage delay and travel assistance for when you take that cute little fam jam on a road trip. (Don’t forget the snacks!)

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