Family Saving & Fun

saving money for kids

We always want to give our kids the very best of everything. Unfortunately, “Everything” costs money. In these frugal times, we also have to save money. It’s incredibly frustrating. Now more than ever we need to find the “Family Essentials” for that little bit cheaper.

That’s where kidssaversnetwork.com comes in. We find the best deals on the internet that will save you time and money. We also specialize in finding the latest products that can improve your child’s safety. Whether it’s the latest forehead thermometers for newborn babies, an extra tall baby gate for the top of the stairs, or the best cars for teenagers, you’ll find it all here. Our reviews will also help you decide if something is really essential or not. Sometimes there are other products that are far better and cheaper.

Always Make Smart Purchases

If we want our money to go further, it’s vital that we spend it wisely. This website will help you make better-informed purchasing decisions. There’s nothing worse than budgeting for an item to find out it doesn’t meet your expectations. An example that immediately comes to mind is a rather expensive driveway guard. The sort you use to stop kids running out into the street. A great idea in principle, I’m sure you’ll agree. However, when the wind blows the net comes away from the ground and kids can easily crawl under it. Kids are masters at not following the rules! We do the legwork to help you save money and get good products that actually work.

More Savings = More Fun!

And speaking of savings, you’ll also find reviews on helping kids save money, too. If you’re wondering how you can open a savings account for your child, and what is the best savers account, you’ll find all the answers on this website!

You can also find places to have fun! We can show you some great ideas for kids birthday activities and the best kid-friendly vacation spots that won’t cost the earth. We can’t give them everything we’d like to, but the most important thing is always our time.

How Much do Kids Cost Anyway?

how much do kids cost

Click to enlarge

In 2013, the US Department of Agriculture released a report detailing how much we Americans spend on our children. As you can see from their info-graphic, the total cost of raising a child until their 18th birthday is $245,340. That’s a heck of a lot of money for 1 child. How about 3!

Breaking it all down, the cost per year is stated as between $13,000 to $15,000. Now remember, this is based on a “middle-income family” with a total income ranging from $61,530 to $106,540.

With things like housing, food, child care and health-care it’s really hard to save money. However, 14% of the total amount is clothing and “Miscellaneous”, in other words –  toys, games and perhaps leisure activities. To put this amount into real money, that’s $34,347 and change. Just under $2,000 per year for each of our children. This is where we can take control of our expenditure and try and either trim that number down, or get the very most for that $2,000.

Any Help From The Government?

The Federal Government’s “Child Tax Credit” does help out with the cost of raising children. Under the scheme, eligible families receive a $1,000 tax credit per child. So if your income tax is $4,600 for the year and you have two children, you can expect to pay $2,600.

Low-income families can also receive a refund check is the tax credit is more than they owe in Federal income tax.

The bad news is the credit is due to go back down to just $500 in 2018. Let’s hope the politicians see sense before then.

New Born Essentials

Like many other mothers, before our first baby came along I overspent a bit. Well, more than a bit! I’ve come to realize that when you buy things for a baby, the maternal instinct is really taken advantage of. I often wonder why things like baby bedding is so expensive. A newborn pillow from Pottery Barn costs the same or more than an adult pillow – and it’s half the size.

The same thing goes for mattresses, comforters, sheets, you name it! Not only that, but we can expect to get more years of use out of an adult pillow, too. I used bedding as an example but it’s the same with a lot of products aimed at babies and toddlers. Once you actually have a child and compare the prices to adult products, it’s really eye-opening.

There is also a tendency to be over-paranoid about our baby’s safety as well. To be honest, the only reason I didn’t buy one of those high-tech movement sensors is that I couldn’t afford too. Our budget was eaten away by the crib, stroller, sterilization equipment, breast pump, etc, etc.

On the plus side, there are a lot more suppliers of baby products these days. So that helps give us a better selection. If we also network and shop around we can get some really good deals, too.

Toddler Essentials

When they’re old enough to walk, they’re old enough to get into a lot of trouble! Not only do toddlers need an extra pair of eyes on them at all times, but they
need another round of spending.

Things like safety gates, walkers, squeaky shoes, tricycles and those cool RV cars need to be weighed up and bought. They’re also at an age now where they can play with toys that help they’re learning and development.

Pre-Teen Savings

Once they get a bit older we can stop watching them 24/7, but they still need our unconditional love and support. Now there’s all manner of things to buy for school and hobbies, too. Hobbies. It’s only natural for kids to want to try a bit of everything until they find their niche. However, it’s hard not to get just a little bit angry when you spend $50 on a guitar and they quit after 6 weeks!

Fortunately, kids staples like bikes, gadgets, toys and video games never go out of fashion. But then again, knowing what toy or gadget is the latest fad (especially when Christmas comes round) that’s the important bit. We’ll save you money and hopefully a bit of time too by helping you out with this part!

Teenager Essentials

Teenager essentialsBy the time your little angel has become a teenager, they’ve probably outgrown one or two things. That “Frozen” bed set you think you brought just last Christmas was actually the one-before-last. Now the whole room needs a revamp to keep up with their developing personality and identity. And a lock, too.

The cool and hip “Abercrombie and Fitch” closet fillers you bought are kept in their “too small” closet….It’s also probably about that time to think about a car and car insurance as well. And college…

On the plus side, the “end” is almost in sight. That sounds bad I know! However, one of the hardest things to do is to try and stay relevant in your teenager’s life. And being taken for granted. Let’s not forget that!

Society is quick to “Blame the Parents” if a kid takes a wrong turn. But this right here is all the “behind-the-scenes” stuff we parents do to get the job done right! It’s pretty much a thankless task but I’m sure you’ll agree it’s satisfying all on it’s own.

529 College Savings Plan

A surprisingly large number of Americans don’t have 529 College Saving Plans. This is really surprising to me. I guess they think they are not worthwhile. Well, the 529 Plan can help pay for your child’s tuition, room and board and books. They are tax free up to $14,000 per year. Also, the minimum contribution amount is just $10.

This means that if other members of your family don’t know what to buy your teenager as a gift (and who really does?!) they can also make tax-free contributions. You can also encourage your own teenager to make contributions out of things like summer jobs, too. It’s difficult, but once they get into the habit of saving hopefully it’ll stick for when they start work, too.

There’s a lot of negative press around how college places a great burden of debt on our kids. For me, a 529 plan is the smart thing to do.

financial freedom