We're getting ready to welcome our third child. Our entire family is eagerly anticipating the new little one who will undoubtedly have us wrapped around his or her little finger from the moment that first cry is uttered. Not yet born, our baby is well-loved.
While we tend not to think of our children in financial terms - if we thought too hard about their impact on our wallet, I don't know that many of us would ever have kids - part of our preparation for this upcoming birth has been with our budget. Along with our bundle of joy will come the expenses of diapers, clothing, childcare, doctors visits . . . not to mention a future college education. My husband and I have looked real hard at where we can save money and reduce expenses. We've cut back on eating out and we didn't take any trips this year. While eating good, healthy food is a priority for us, we've found cheaper ways to acquire it through co-ops and by stocking up when our local organic grocer puts a favorite food on sale. While I've never been one for name-brand children's clothing (regardless of what I buy them, my boys' favorite shirts will still be the stained, slightly too-small ones I've tried unsuccessfully to covertly toss in the rag bin), I have found that 'store brand' clothing bought on clearance at the big box retailers is often cheaper than shopping thrift stores. The result of this sacrifice and thriftiness is that we've built up our savings a bit to cushion the new little one's impact and we feel ready to tackle the financial demands of family of five.
This post from the blog Get Rich Slowly speaks to the value of a thrifty lifestyle. It doesn't mean cutting back on what's important to you, it means reducing expenses on the unimportant. It is a responsible choice.