Boy Holding Money

Children’s toys, furniture and clothing seem to come from a never-ending conveyor belt of better and more up-to-date things. You can never afford to get all of the things you want for your child, and money is often tight with all the expenses that come with being a parent. But sometimes you want to splurge on the smartest, most eco-friendly items out there, and who could blame you?

So what’s a parent to do?

Well, we’ve all heard advice about tapping into local email lists for parents and asking friends for their hand-me-downs, but have you really used these resources to their full advantage? Parents whose kids have outgrown their belongings can be surprisingly generous. And sometimes the items they have can be exactly what you’re looking for. Since it doesn’t take a child very long to outgrow their belongings, some of the items may even be quite new.

But even after you’ve exhausted all the resources you can think of, there will always be things you want but haven’t found. At this point it can be useful to distinguish between the new trends that have little value and those that offer genuine benefits to your child. This will help you prioritize your wish list and avoid investing in items that aren’t worth it.

When you identify the items that are worth your investment, you can always turn to budgeting to help you afford them. Budgeting has a negative connotation as being limiting and difficult, but it doesn’t have to be hard and it can actually be freeing if it allows you to afford important things you couldn’t have before. Just take a look at your expenses and identify areas where you can easily cut back, and then save that money.

When you’re able to save up enough to afford something nice, the small sacrifices you made to get there don’t seem like such a big deal after all.

Annie Idea is a freelance writer focused on how to live large on a little living. She writes financial savings tips for the short term loans company, QuickQuid, and enjoys taking any idea and making it easier or cheaper to complete.