While your closet may be filled with clothes you bought five years ago, you can’t say the same about your kids’ wardrobes. All it takes for them to gain another inch — and grow out of their shirt, shoes, and pants — is for you to blink.
They grow like weeds, which means your kids are going to need new clothes consistently throughout the year — whether it’s back-to-school season, the winter holidays, or an ordinary weekend in spring.
Balancing your budget may be a challenge when you take so many shopping trips. But it’s doable! Here are some tips for handling this extra expense.
First, Find out What Your Budget is
Step away from your personal line of credit or credit card. Although it may seem easier to tap into these than to overhaul your budget, it’s in your best interest to figure out your spending plan.
You can do this by tracking your monthly expenses and comparing them to your monthly income. Any leftover is how much you can spend on your next shopping trip without the help of an online line of credit or credit card.
Does this leave you wondering what is a personal line of credit good for, if not big purchases at the mall? Well, it’s designed for unexpected emergency expenses — like the medical bills that you have to pay after your child hurts themselves on the soccer pitch.
Although it may feel like an emergency, having to buy new clothes for your kids as they grow is not unexpected.
Give a Boost to Your Budget
As a parent, you’ve likely gained superpowers of observation. You can tell by the look on your kids’ faces that they’re up to no good almost as quickly as you can spot toys and art supplies left out after playtime.
If you can turn these skills on your finances, you may be able to find extra cash to go towards your bills.
Pay close attention to how you’re spending your money month-to-month. Most likely, a lot of your cash will go towards the big things like rent, groceries, and car loans.
But you probably tie up a lot of your cash on things you don’t need, too.
It may be eye-opening to see just how much money you spend on unnecessary items, but ultimately, it’s a good sign. If you cut these from your budget, you may free up more cash to go towards clothes shopping.
Walk into any kids store and the brand new collections on display by the door will have a hefty price tag. But delve a little deeper and you may find deals on out-of-season items.
This strategy will take some forethought. Stores turn over stock roughly around the same time the seasons arrive.
So if you’re looking for cold-weather gear for this winter, it may already be too late. However, you may find older summer and fall stock on clearance. Buy these items in a slightly larger size — that way, they’ll still fit next year.
Shopping for kids’ clothes is just a normal part of being a parent, so you’ll always have to plan for these expenses. But you shouldn’t have to put the rest of your budget in jeopardy just to fill their closets. Use these tips to make sure your kids look great, no matter what.