Ways to Reduce Y...With child-care, housing and food costs skyrocketing, learn ways to reduce your daily expenses. Read on for 10 helpful tips.
1. Know What a C...Having children of your own is definitely priceless. But the actual event of raising a child comes with a price tag of about $221,000 on average, according to a recent MSN Money article. And that only accounts for taking care of Junior up until age 17. After additional expenses like college tuition are factored in, that number can double.
2. Evaluate the ...A bigger family doesn't always warrant a bigger home. Evaluate your finances, your future and then determine whether upsizing is a smart move.
3. Set Limits on...Set strict limits on the more discretionary forms of spending, such as fast food. Cook at home often, and when you do dine out, seek out deals and promotions before deciding on the locale.
4. Reducing Chil...In an effort to reduce child-care costs, some families are initiating sitter co-ops, according to a recent Associated Press story. Each set of parents takes turns in a rotation as the baby sitter for participating families' kids, saving all involved the cost of having to hire an outsider. Though these cooperatives sometimes form casually among a group of friends, there's been a push for more formalized set-ups, through online parent forums and on sites such as BabysitterExchange.com and Craigslist.com.
5. Don't Overspe...If you're on a budget, avoid buying a new car. Instead, opt for a used car that's a relatively new model and is coming off a one- or two-year lease.
6. Go Discount S...Consider outlet malls, which offer a ton of selection for up to half the price of retail stores' merchandise.
7. Shop Around f...Health insurance can really add up, so shop around for the best rates. Don't settle with one provider over the long haul, as new deals and discounts can emerge periodically. It pays to stay on top of new offerings.
8. Save with Gen...Stocking up on generic brands can save you up to up to 50 percent or more. And this applies to anything from grocery items to skin-care products and over-the-counter drugs. A helpful tip: Compare your trusted brand items alongside their generic counterparts and make sure the main active ingredients are the same for both.
9. Brown Bag ItBrown-bagging lunch and bringing it to work can also go a long way in reducing daily food expenses. A recent blogger named "Clever Dude" ran an experiment with his wife in which they both made a diligent effort to bring lunch to work each day. Their annual savings: $998. Add kids and their lunch money into the equation, and that figure can reach upwards of $2,000. For an even closer look at just how much fat you might be able to trim from your lunch budget, check out this Lunch-Savings Calculator.