Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Guest Post - Money Saving Mummy by Tamsin Oxford

PlayPennies.com is a new blog for penny-wise parents that full of the latest deals, voucher codes and special offers on the internet. You can nab great pressies, awesome mum-pampering gifts, stuff for dad and, most importantly, cool things for kids and all at reduced prices. Not only that but there are also articles, interviews and reviews all about being budget conscious and saving money.
The thing is, having kids is expensive. A recent survey showed by insurer LV= said that it costs parents on average £200,000 to raise a child. This is a hefty sum and probably leaves quite a few of us feeling a little weak at the knees. Let’s face it, that’s a lot of manicures, holidays and shopping sprees you’re not going to have! 

Obviously us doting parents don’t mind that much, after all I begrudge my darlings very little, but it’s worth adopting strategies that will save you some of that money for the fun things in life. If you want to shop smart and save cash you are going to have to do a little more work than you’re used to. It means spending some time online before you head on out to the shops – say goodbye to the days of pick up and buy, and hello to careful research.

Take advantage of sites like Hotukdeals.com and PlayPennies.com to find voucher codes that will get you decent discounts on the products you need. These can be valid for anything from groceries to clothing to toys and more. A 10% discount on your shop may not be that much now, but it adds up in the end.

I also recommend bulking up your "present cupboard" every month.  Take advantage of relevant deals and sales to get a couple of toys, clothes and extras every so often and put them straight into the cupboard. You’ll have emergency birthday presents for that time you forgot there was a party on, Christmas wrapped up by the time it arrives and you won’t have that nasty surge of cash out your account that you couldn’t afford. 

If you’re preparing for an incoming arrival a great way to save cash, and limit the impact of getting all the necessities, is to get a couple of items each month and to see if you can find them on sale. It seems that there is always a shop holding some kind of special so you’re bound to get that super deluxe pram at a discount. 

Actually, saving cash is fun and can be quite a competitive sport. You may find yourself boasting about your amazing prowess at spotting a bargain at antenatal gatherings. There are so many ways you can streamline your finances and, if you set your savings aside, you may even get to sneak in an extra holiday this year. 

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