Category: Money Matters
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Sub category: Saving
23 May 2013

5 ways to save money when you have small children

It’s no surprise that raising kids can be a costly exercise. Our guest blogger and mum of two Shannon shares her tips on saving using a combination of social media and social activities.

1. Enter competitions on social media

From tickets to the Babies Proms at the Sydney Opera House to family meals at local restaurants to a professional pram cleaning service – I’ve won approximately $1200 worth of products and services from local businesses via social media competitions in the last 12 months. Competitions can be a great way to get a service or special family treat for free, so make sure you follow a range of local businesses on social media to keep across offers and competitions. You’ve got to be in it to win it!

2. Get inspiration from Pinterest

My social media addiction, brought on during my maternity leave, led me to the wonderful world of Pinterest. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, it is essentially an online pinboard where you can share photos and bookmark your favourites. So how can it help you save money? Check out these great kids’ entertainment ideas I found while browsing the site: recipe for home-made play dough, recycle an old TV unit into a kids play kitchen, and craft ideas from found objects.

3. Participate in local activities

Everyone knows keeping small children constantly entertained is a challenge. Get connected with what’s happening in your local area via local newspapers, council run websites or blogs like Kid Size Living. Councils often run free activities during the week such as playgroups or story-time at the local library and on weekends there are community festivals and school fetes. Often you’ll find free children’s entertainment, face-painting, balloons and activities. Bring your own snacks or packed lunch if you want to save even more money!

4. Form a babysitter club

These days the cost of babysitters can make a date-night very expensive. Join up with friends or other parents to form a ‘babysitters club’ where you take turns to babysit for each other for free. Remember, what goes around comes around – and you can save around $75 to $150 each time!

5. Take advantage of ‘Kids Eat Free’ offers

Add up the cost of restaurant meals for 4 and the prospect of a hefty bill can quickly dissuade you from eating out. Keep an eye out for family-friendly cafes and restaurants that have free meal deals for kids if you want to treat your family to a night out on a budget. The same principle applies when booking your holiday – family-friendly destinations such as Fiji often have special deals for kids to stay, play & eat free. It might take a bit of research, but it’s definitely worth it!

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