6 Ways Having Kids Has SAVED Me Money

Before having kids, at least half a dozen people gave me the lecture.  You know the one. The lecture that goes something like, “Are you sure you want to have kids?  They are SO expensive.  You’ll have so much new stuff to buy, and you’ll have another mouth to feed, and you’ll need a bigger house and a family-friendly car, and you’ll be drowning in debt and never crawl your way out……….”  {Okay, well maybe that last part was a little bit dramatic, but you get the point.}

I remember each time I heard the lecture, I would silently question my desire to breed.  I mean, do I really want to buy a bunch of new stuff {yes!}, do I want another mouth to feed {only if this one actually likes my cooking}, and do I need a bigger house and a family-friendly car {bigger house – yes…trade in my sports car – well, that was a little rough}.  But alas, my husband and I decided to roll the dice and not only did we wind up having one little tax deduction, but we went all out and had two.  And you know what?  Best.Decision.Ever.  Not only because they give the biggest, squeeziest hugs and they love with all their might, but because they have actually ended up SAVING us money to boot!

Having Kids Saved Me Money

Let me tell you how…

1} Life’s Luxuries

Oh, you know, things like spa days, nice clothes, putting on deodorant…  Gone are the days of even trying to schedule a hair appointment at that fancy new salon in town.  Now I’m doing good if I can find 15 minutes twice a year to run into that Fantastic Sam’s on the corner just to get a quick trim while my kids watch the Disney Junior app in the chair next to me.  And new designer clothes and department store toiletries?  Ha!  My entire wardrobe consists of items that I’ve thrown into the cart while racing past the women’s section at Target {hello, C9 yoga pants and hoodies!}, and my toiletries now last me approximately twice as long.  You know, since I only remember to put them on every other day.

2} Grocery Shopping

Before kids, I would meander the aisles of HEB Plus, reading the backs of labels and sniffing out only the finest quality ingredients.  Steak for dinner?  Yes, please!  And I’d wait patiently at the butcher counter for a filet with dreamy marbling and just the right cut.  Boy, oh boy, have those times changed.  Now grocery shopping with kids looks like a mix of sketch comedy and interpretive dance.  Juggling produce, car carts crashing into each other, kids rolling around on the floor, clean up on aisle seven!  It is now my goal to make it through the store as fast as humanly possible and with the bare minimum so that my family doesn’t completely starve.  And sometimes even that seems impossible.

3} Restaurants

…or lack, thereof.  On the weekends, my hubby and I used to love grabbing a late dinner with friends and then heading over to the neighboring bars for a drink.  We’d talk, we’d laugh, we’d spend $12 for a Grey Goose and tonic, and we’d dream about the days when we had kids and all the babysitters in the world to watch them so we could still continue on with our fabulous lives.  Welllll, 27 year old Kelly…that isn’t exactly how things turned out.  Now our weekends look more like $5 Hot & Ready pizzas from Little Ceasars with a box of wine {for me and the hubs} and Daniel Tiger on Netflix {for the kids}.

4} Home Decor

Oversized vases, floor lamps, lit candles on the coffee tables…  Sound like something off a Pinterest board?  WRONG.  They are all things that I had to give up after I had kids.  And guess what?  My kiddos are pretty well behaved, and we’ve only had to do minimal baby/kid proofing!  But even with mild-mannered children and semi-decent parenting skills, there is just no way that I trust a two year old with fire or a four year old with a Nerf gun near a glass vase.  We recently splurged on those fancy mirrored nightstands for our new grown-up bedroom.  Spoiler Alert :: It’s been two months and two of the mirrored drawer fronts are already cracked clear across.  Which I actually think is from my husband, but that’s neither here nor there.

5} Travel Expenses

Now, I’ll admit, my husband and I weren’t avid travelers before we had kids, but that’s probably because we knew nothing of traveling on a budget.  We loved staying at fancy hotels, eating at delicious restaurants, and seeing the sites of new towns.  We didn’t travel much, but when we did – it was absolutely amazing {read: EXPENSIVE!}.  Now that we have two little ones, our vacationing only consists of one luxurious getaway…my parents’ house.  Hey, it’s within driving distance, it carries all the creature comforts of home, and the travel expenses can’t be beat.  In fact, it might be my most favorite travel destination to date.

6} Tax Deductions

Remember how I called them tax deductions early on?  Well, it’s because having kids opens up a whole new world of tax deductions and tax credits!  Each and every year, we are so thankful for our two little dependents and the money they save us come April 15th.  In fact, I need to call my CPA to see what we are eligible for this year.  Thank you, Uncle Sam, for rewarding us for making really cute babies.

And there you go, six ways that having kids has actually saved me money!  I’m sure that I could go on and on and on since parenthood has been so good for us financially, but I’m too busy bathing in dollar bills and trading stocks and bonds to think right now.  Wink.

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