Welcome to the October Carnival of Natural Parenting: Money Matters
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared how finances affect their parenting choices. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
As a SAHM for 2 years now, I would like to share how finances affect our parenting. Before I begin, I would like to clarify that we're not that dirt poor until we can't afford to buy anything, but as a parent now, we think the following items listed have indeed helped us save lots of money, enabling us to spend it on items which we really need and are of better use.
1. We gladly accept hand-me-down items!
* Image from Google search
Since we became a parent, we really love getting hand-me-downs from our relatives, friends and even ex-colleagues. You have no idea how much we save from not needing to buy bath tubs, toys, books, clothings, shoes, sandals, playpen, even a baby crib (which we used less than 1 week for Ben before we decided to co-sleep). All the money saved from not needing to buy things like this are better use to buy better quality food and necessities for the family.
* Our Point: You don't need to buy branded or new things when you can still make use (reuse) of old things. Recycle, recyle, recycle! And just because you are using hand-me-down stuff doesn't mean you are poor, just that you'd rather save the money for something better and appreciate that the old stuff can still be reused!
2. We are into DIY-ing some of Ben's stuff!
* Image from Google search
My regular blog readers would have read my post about my hubby's 1st DIY playmat and 2nd DIY playmat for Ben. Initially I was thinking of learning to make it using felt but that would take time (to learn a new craft) and money (to buy the supplies). In the end, hubby decided to use cardboards instead and we saved money from these DIY projects! My MIL also made and sewed some of Ben's pillows and bolsters herself.
* Our Point: We don't always have to buy new toys for our kids. We can make it ourselves and cultivate a sense of independence and creativity in our children to imagine and create things themselves! Also, by DIY-ing the toys, we are also recycling products like cardboards etc.
3. We are into preparing and making our own baby foods
Ben having pureed carrots...
When Ben was ready for solids at 6 months old, we bought a small tin of Nestle rice cereal to mix with my breastmilk for him to try out. After that, we decided to prepare Ben's food ourselves. Meaning, we buy the ingredients from the grocery store and prepare it in batches and freeze it. It saves us money and we are more at ease knowing what went into the food Ben ate.
* Our Point: Just because it is soooooo convenient (I know this cos we bought that 1 small tin of Nestle rice cereal to try out. Guilty I agree!) to get baby food outside doesn't mean we should just buy it to save time and work. If you can, make and prepare the food yourself and it will save you more money and you will have peace of mind knowing what goes into the food that you are feeding to your child!
4. We are into breastfeeding
Seriously, breastfeeding really helped us save LOTS of money. We don't have to think of what formula powder, what bottles, what steriliser, what utensils etc etc to get. Of course, I am so thankful I am able to breastfeed Ben (he's 31 months old now btw) for so long and even now, by tandem nursing him and baby Alyson!
Me tandem nursing Ben and Alyson on the 1st night I was back from hospital...
* Our Point: If you can, do try to breastfeed your child, no matter how long you can do so, just give it a try! I get really frustrated hearing new mums (or mums to be) giving up or not even giving breastfeeding a try! Such a waste!!!
** Read: Ecclesiastes 7:12 (NIV), Hebrews 13:5 (NIV), Psalm 4:5 (NIV)
Visit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon October 11 with all the carnival links.)
- Money Matter$ — Jenny at I'm a full-time mummy shares her experiences on several ways to save money as a parent.
- A different kind of life... — Mrs Green from Little Green Blog shares her utopian life and how it differs from her current one!
- Show Me The Money! — Arpita of Up, Down & Natural shares her experience of planning for parenting costs while also balancing the financial aspect of infertility treatments.
- Material v Spiritual Wealth - Living a Very Frugal Life with Kids — Amy at Peace 4 Parents shares her family's realizations about the differences between material and spiritual wealth.
- If I Had a Money Tree — Sheila at A Gift Universe lists the things she would buy for her children if money were no object.
- Financial Sacrifices, Budgets, and the Single Income Family — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama looks at the importance of living within your means, the basics of crafting a budget, and the "real cost" of working outside of the home.
- Overcoming My Fear of All Things Financial — Christine at African Babies Don't Cry shares how she is currently overcoming her fear of money and trying to rectify her ignorance of all things financial.
- Confessions of a Cheapskate — Adrienne at Mommying My Way admits that her cheapskate tendencies that were present pre-motherhood only compounded post-baby.
- Money Matters — Witch Mom hates money; here's why.
- Money? What Money?! — Alicia C. at McCrenshaw's Newest Thoughts describes how decisions she's made have resulted in little income, yet a green lifestyle for her and her family.
- What matters. — Laura at Our Messy Messy Life might worry about spending too much money on the grocery budget, but she will not sacrifice quality to save a dollar.
- Making Ends Meet — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter shares about being a working mom and natural parent.
- Poor People, Wealthy Ways — Sylvia at MaMammalia discusses how existing on very little money allows her to set an example of how to live conscientiously and with love.
- The Green Stuff — Amyables at Toddler In Tow shares how natural parenting has bettered her budget - and her perspective on creating and mothering.
- Jemma's Money — Take a sneak peek at That Mama Gretchen's monthly budget and how Jemma fits into it.
- 5 Tips for How to Save Time and Money by Eating Healthier — Family meal prep can be expensive and time-consuming without a plan! Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares five easy tips for how to make your cooking life (and budget) easier.
- Belonging in the Countryside — Lack of money led Phoebe at Little Tinker Tales towards natural parenting, but it also hinders her from realizing her dream.
- Total Disclosure and Total Reform — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl gets down to the nitty gritty of her money problems with hopes that you all can help her get her budget under control.
- Save Money by Using What You Have — Gaby at Tmuffin is only good with money because she's lazy, has trouble throwing things away, and is indecisive. Here are some money-saving tips that helped her manage to quit her job and save enough money to become a WAHM.
- Two Hippos & Ten Euros: A Lesson in Budgeting — MudpieMama shares all about how her boys managed a tight budget at a recent zoo outing.
- ABBA said it — Laura from A Pug in the Kitchen ponders where her family has come from, where they are now and her hopes for her children's financial future.
- Money vs. Time — Momma Jorje writes about cutting back on junk, bills, and then ultimately on income as well ~ to gain something of greater value: Time.
- An Unexpected Cost of Parenting — Moorea at MamaLady shares how medical crises changed how she feels about planning for parenthood.
- 5 Ways This Stay at Home Mom Saves Money — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares 5 self-imposed guidelines that help her spend as little money as possible.
- Frugal Parenting — Lisa at My World Edenwild shares 8 ways she saves money and enriches her family's lives at the same time.
- Conscious Cash Conscious — Zoie at TouchstoneZ shares her 5 money-conscious considerations that balance her family’s joy with their eco-friendly ideals.
- Money, Sex and Having it All — Patti at Jazzy Mama explains how she's willing to give up one thing to get another. (And just for fun, she pretends to give advice on how to build capital in the bedroom.)
- Money could buy me ... a clone? — With no local family to help out, Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama wants childcare so she can take care of her health.
- Spending Intentionally — CatholicMommy loves to budget! Join her to learn what to buy, what not to buy, and, most importantly, where to buy.
- New lessons from an allowance — Lauren at Hobo Mama welcomes a follow-up guest post from Sam about the latest lessons their four-year-old's learned from having his own spending money.
- How to Homeschool without Spending a Fortune — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares tips and links to many resources for saving money while homeschooling from preschool through high school.
- It's Not a Baby Crisis. It's Not Even a Professional Crisis. — Why paid maternity leave, you may ask? Rachael at The Variegated Life has some answers.
- "Making" Money — Do you like to do-it-yourself? Amy at Anktangle uses her crafty skills to save her family money and live a little greener.
- Money On My Mind — Luschka at Diary of a First Child has been thinking about money and her relationship with it, specifically how it impacts on her parenting, her parenting choices, and ultimately her lifestyle.
- Spending, Saving, and Finding a Balance — Melissa at The New Mommy Files discusses the various choices she and her family have made that affect their finances, and finds it all to be worth it in the end.
- Accounting for Taste — Cassie at There's a Pickle in My Life shares their budget and talks about how they decided food is the most important item to budget for.
- Money Matters... But Not Too Much — Mamapoekie at Authentic Parenting shares how her family approaches money without putting too much of a focus onto it.
- Parenting While Owning a Home Business — In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Lauren at Hobo Mama lays out the pros and cons of balancing parenting with working from home.
- Crunchy Living is SO Expensive...Or Is It? — Kelly at Becoming Crunchy talks about her biggest objection to natural living - and her surprise at what she learned.
- Mo' Money, Mo' Problems — Sarah at Parenting God's Children shares how a financial accountability partner changed her family's finances.
- The Importance of Food Planning — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro discusses how food budgeting and planning has helped her, even if she doesn't always do it.
- Kids & Money: Starting an Allowance for Preschoolers — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings discusses her family's approach and experiences with starting an allowance for preschoolers.