Podcast Episode #25: How to Afford Kids!


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Ever wonder how other people (especially big families) can buy everything they need? Or maybe you’re worried about how much to save for a baby or how to afford kids in general? Money is a tricky subject but we tackle it in today’s podcast episode!

One of the questions Audrey and I get asked most often is how we afford to have such big families! I know lots of people stress about how much to save for a baby, especially if they already have other kids to feed and clothe. It’s a valid question and so today’s podcast episode explores this in detail!

Some of this episode includes money saving tips and ways to make more money but most of it is just a shift in perspective. We hope you love it! Feel free to share any tips you have for stretching your dollar in the comments below.

And check out more motherhood posts here!

**Note: the text below is taken directly from the podcast audio (with a few edits for clarity) so please forgive any awkward phrasing! We love having the text available here on the blog for anyone who prefers reading to listening. Enjoy!

Speaker 2 00:31 hello and welcome to episode 25 we have repeatedly been asked to do an episode on how to afford kids. So today is the day, however we’re going to start with a humor segment.
Speaker 1 00:44 Yeah. Managing money with kids is always interesting, but explaining money and budgeting to them as even more so. So one time one of my kids was wanting some money from me or wanting me to buy, buy him something, and he kept saying, don’t you have any money? Get your money out. And I said, actually, I don’t have any money. I use the whole out of cash ex excuse, right, yeah. And I said, no, I don’t have any dollars. Look, look in my wallet. And they looked and of course there was no dollars. They’re still trying to figure out the whole dollar card thing. Right. And, and, but this kid was earlier than my other ones just said, well just use your card and go to that machine and get the money out. I said, well, we don’t really have money for that thing. Yeah. You knew you just go to the machine and you get the money out. I’m thinking, wow, you picked up on ATM real quick and I don’t think you understand that. If there’s no money in there, you can’t get it out. But it was just kind of a eye opening thing. Like that’s all they see. Right. Is that the, you put the card in, the money comes out, they don’t know anything about what happens behind the scenes. And I thought, oh, maybe we need to teach you a little bit more about how that money gets in there to begin with.
Speaker 2 01:50 Hmm. Oh boy. Yep. Well we’ve had several experiences like that too. They think the money magically somehow appears in there.
Speaker 1 01:59 Yeah. It, it doesn’t grow on trees. Kids know. But it comes out of a machine at the bank is at the push of a button. It’s like magic, Huh.
Speaker 2 02:08 Okay. And we wanted to mention that we ended up in at top 15 Christian moms audio podcast list a on feed spot. So we were really blown away when we found this out is pretty exciting, um, to think that people are finding us and listening, but we didn’t know it was to this extent. Um, so over on feed spot, um, they rank podcasts based on Google reputation and Google rank search ranking and the influence and popularity on Facebook, Twitter and social media. Uh, the consistency and quality of episodes. And then their editorial team does an expert review and picks the top 15 for 2019 so we ended up as number three in the top 15 top, uh, Christian mom for 2019

Speaker 1 03:00 so that’s pretty exciting. Yeah, that is cool. Yeah. So thanks to everybody for listening and telling everybody, telling your mom friends, that means a lot to us as we try to share what we do. But yeah, this has been a really fun project for both of us. We really, really felt inspired to start a podcast, both of us individually. And then we came together and thought, okay, I guess we better do it together. And it’s a really, really fun and inspiring thing for us to do to put it together. And just knowing that you guys are listening and enjoying it makes it so much more worth it. So thank you so much. Yeah, and I’m personally finding it sustainable to do it together as a team like this because like we’re kind of inspiring and motivating and nagging each other. Right. Exactly. Exactly. It helps us too. So, yeah. All right. So we’re going to talk about money today. We have
Speaker 2 03:48 two episodes planned, um, but today we’re doing how to afford kits. And in a later one we’ll be talking about how we teach our kids about money.
Speaker 1 03:56 Yeah, that’s right. So today is kind of the behind the scenes of raising kids and being able to put enough food in their mouths and clothes on their backs. But really money, it can be a complicated thing in our minds and emotionally, but really it’s really simple, right? If you can’t afford to have kids and a lot of them, then you need to either make more money and, or be frugal with what you have. It’s really that simple. Right? Um, but then again, it’s not, it’s there’s a lot of emotion involved and tied to money. Yes, exactly. And I think that lots of, yes,
Speaker 2 04:27 people have misconceptions that big families by default are poor because there’s more people. Um, I know that we run into a lot of, um, people will just asking straight out, how do you afford that many kids? And, um, you know, if they’re serious, we try to explain a little bit to them, but we’ll go, we’ll do a deep dive today into, um, how we afford kids. But also we’ve had, um, kid people who I think they’re being generous, but they just drop off bags of stuff. And it’s, it’s very sweet. The thought is very sweet, but we try to be pretty intentional about what we, what we buy. We have, we have one aunt in particular who, um, goes to thrift stores in goodwill and she, um, just buys stuff that she thinks our kids are like, and then she drops it off boxes at a time. And we’ve gotten to the point where we don’t even show it to the kids, but we’ll go through and pick out like maybe one or two things for the kids and then take it
Speaker 1 05:31 back to goodwill. Yeah. Yeah. Like in our time management one, don’t ever let them go through stuff unless you’re sure. Yes. That you want them keeping it all because they’re going to do it. Exactly. Yeah. So, um, I think I’ve, I’ve found the same thing, just kind of a, an assumption that, um, you know, we don’t have any extra money and thankfully we’ve been blessed financially and we’ve learned some, some tips and tricks for budgeting and just like, ah, I, you know, I’ve noticed that people who have three kids and are stressed out with their three kids freak out when they hear that someone might have nine kids and, and think that their own chaos and stress level would be, you know, multiplied three times then nine kids. And maybe that’s true in some instances. On some days it might be true, but the same thing goes for finances.
Speaker 1 06:18 It’s, it’s not necessarily three times as expensive because you’re already buying groceries for kids because you’re already buying clothes, et cetera. Does that make sense? So it’s not like it like your finances really get taxed exponentially if you’re careful. So I just wanted to say that. So, you know, I know that some people hold off growing their family because they’re thinking there’s just no way I can afford it. But really I feel like having another baby, if you feel like that’s a thing for you is one of the most noble things you can do to raise another little life. And if you feel like you’re meant to do it, but it’s just finances holding you back, I think you can probably figure it out. Like there’s a lot of creative ways to do it. Um, but I was just thinking specifically about one instance during Christmas time a couple of years ago.
Speaker 1 07:03 And we, we actually do pretty good at Christmas time because my husband is in sales and so he often gets, uh, some of his end of the year bonuses at Christmas time, which is really nice because if we forget to save for Christmas, then we have a little extra money. But somebody just left like a large sum of money in an envelope on our car. And we were just blown away. We thought that was the sweetest thing ever. And I just thought, they probably assume that, you know, how do they even begin to pay for presence for all those kids and food and everything else. And it was just so nice and so grateful. But yeah, it’s not always, it’s not always the case. Sometimes some families do better off than others depending on their situation. Obviously
Speaker 2 07:39 that is a very sweet gift. So we also are a single income family and, um, we feel very blessed and looked out for like every time we have a need or a kid that another kid comes along, um, my husband’s got a raise or, um, you know, some, a bonus or something has come through, you know, suddenly we get a tax check back or something and we just know that the timing of it is not coincidence. Um, so we also feel very blessed. Um, but anyway, one thing that we have that helps us financially is that kids just arrive in Saint Louis or in your case you’ve got a set of twins, but still you don’t get nine kids dropped on you and one time. Right. That, yeah, that makes a huge difference. That, um, you know, you just get one at a time. And so it was just a little adjustment and a little adjustment at a time. And then finally, I know we’ve both talked about this as we choose what’s important. So it’s important for us that our kids have straight teeth, so we pay for braces, but then there’s other things that aren’t as important for us and we choose to leave those things out.
Speaker 1 08:46 Right, right. Yeah. I just wanted to follow up on the kids arriving one at a time, you know, other than the hospital bills or midwife bills or whatever that come with actually delivering a baby, there’s not a whole lot of expenses for a child in those first couple of years. And especially if you choose not to take your child to every well visit that your doctor required because I’m something we do. I’m like, Oh, you’re healthy, you’re fine. But, but it really, they ease into it. I mean, once they start turning 13 and 14 need glasses and braces and, and, uh, you know, want to go to a sports camp and want to drive a car, then it starts getting a little pricey. But thankfully I really have felt like we’ve been able to ease into having a new kid each time. Um, and you know, a big blessing there is breastfeeding.
Speaker 1 09:32 I was just thinking about that the other day. I’m pretty sure we would have be like would have spent probably eight to $9,000 on formula and bottles over the past 14 years if I had bottle fed. And so I’m grateful that I’ve been able to breastfeed cause that that’s a huge money saver. And then, um, I like how you mentioned that you’ve really felt blessed, uh, every time you had a kid. And you know, this has happened to us almost every single time that we have a baby, even if we’re feeling kind of a crunch financially at that time and something happens to alleviate our financial stress, almost every single kid. It’s, I mean, it would be funny if it weren’t so heartwarming, you know, like I’m like, Timmy is watching out, this is not a coincidence and this is not an accident. And I remember the first instance of that was when we had our first, we knew we wanted me to stay home, um, at least part time and I couldn’t find a part time job at the time. So I thought, okay, well full time stay at home mom. It is, and neither of us were making very much money at the time anyway. It just so happened that he ended up getting a raise right when we needed one, et Cetera, et Cetera, and it’s gone on like that. So I just really feel like if that’s something you feel inspired to do to grow your family, that you can figure things out. You know that, that God’s really watching over us.
Speaker 2 10:45 When I were talking to a young couple who had just gotten married and they were saying that they were going to wait until they felt financially secure to have kids, and we told them, no, no, no, no. You’ll never feel financially secure enough to have kids just go ahead and have the kids. Yeah.
Speaker 1 10:59 When you start adding up all the things that they need, you’re like, oh, I’m never going to be able to afford this. I’ll just just go for it. Fine. Yeah. Now that being said, obviously you want to be smart. You want to be able to at least take care of yourselves, you know? But it really doesn’t take that much extra money to take care of a baby at least those first few years. So, right. Not as not as big a financial burden as you might think. So we are going to split this episode into four parts. We’re going to talk about food, how to, how to afford feeding all those kids shelter, clothing and then everything else we might want to pay for in that last category.
Speaker 2 11:32 Right? So we’re going to start with food and um, this is a grocery bill, right? Then we are going to discuss a ways that we personally have found to lower our grocery bills because when your grocery bill is longer than your oldest child, yeah,
Speaker 1 11:53 you might be a large family if, right. Right, right.
Speaker 2 11:56 Okay. So one thing that we do to start with, and this seems a little bit counterintuitive, but we focus on a healthy diet and supplements and we prioritize those. That’s one of the things we do not hesitate on spending money on. So it does mean that, um, our grocery bill, our food cost is higher and if we, cause we include supplements in our budget for groceries and food, but, um, our kids are healthier so we don’t, um, pay it out in doctor bills. So in our, in our experience, we are making up for, um, the larger grocery bill by saving money and medical expenses. And then the second thing is we have actually found that eating a high protein, high fat and nutrient dense diet, our kids actually eat less food because they’re less hungry. Um, in the past, you know, it’s all been an experiment in trying it.
Speaker 1 12:53 Oh. Along with different kids. But when we eat more carbs and more sugar, our kids are actually hungry. Or have you guys experienced that? Oh yeah, absolutely. So my husband, when he’s in charge, I leave town or something or I’m, I’m just, I’ve just had a baby or something. Everybody talks that into buying all the cereal. Right. And it’s not like a good hardy granola either. It’s all in the frosted mini wheats. They’ll go, yeah, whatever junk they can get away with. When my kids eat cereal, it’s usually before I come down in the morning, you know, cause they can get it for themselves. And then I come down and within an hour they’re hungry again and it drives me so bonkers. And then they’re usually on a sugar high for the morning. So I tell them, if you want to buy the cereal, great, but it’s an afternoon snack. It’s not breakfast. It drives me nuts because they can’t start the day that way. It’s just, it just goes right through their system and then they want to eat more. And I don’t know if you bought a box of cereal lately, but it’s like $5 a box. No, we’re not doing. And with nine kids, they each get one bowl. Right? Yeah, yeah. If that, yeah.
Speaker 2 13:52 Yeah. Yeah. Another way we have found a saving money is a good old fashioned garden. So in the summer and um, we have got a long growing season here in the Midwest. So in the summer, spring, summer and fall, we grow, I would say 90% of our produce. And when we do have an orchard also with fruit trees and um, so we get lots of fruit and vegetables and um, almost almost all of our produce out of the garden in the summer months. And then in the winter we have a greenhouse and it’s not enough. It’s not large enough to grow all our produce needs through the winter, but it is a good way to get more nutrient dense foods so you can grow Greens and Lettuce and spinach and real nutrient dense foods through the winter in a greenhouse. So gardening is definitely a money saver for us. You compare the price of a packet of seeds, you know, that carrot seeds for, you know, $4 and you can grow hundreds of carrots from this packet. And yeah, it’s, it’s a money saver for us. That’s really impressive. We have
Speaker 1 14:57 tried our hand at gardening multiple times and we usually make it about half way through the season, get a few things then, and then we forget. We have a pretty long growing season here. We actually just can’t grow much through the summer because it gets too hot. Um, the sun burns all the things, but, um, I’m trying to train my older kids so that they can help maintain because it’s a lot of work for one person obviously. So that’s really cool.
Speaker 2 15:17 Yeah. You know, my husband and I take, um, alternate years on gardening. Well, okay. So for about, um, eight years, we took alternate years, he would do the garden for a year and then I would do the garden for a year and then that way you don’t get burned out and like you get all the kids helping and stuff. They did the garden every year, but which one of us was in charge of it and what to plant when and where and all that. And we would alternate years except for the past three years. My husband’s just taken over cause he’s, he’s better at it than me. His gardens are so gorgeous. It’s like all, you know, magazine spread. Yeah. That’s awesome. He can come to my house and start one. Okay. But I don’t know if anybody can garden in Phoenix in the summer yet. No, I don’t think so. That’s okay. We’ll just do fall and winter and then, you know, we can’t buy like exotic produce. We can’t grow any citrus here or mangoes or pineapples or any of that. So we still, you know, if the kids were or us are creating that, we still do buy that from the grocery store. Gotcha. Another, um, money saver for us is farm animals and um, I think they save us money.
Speaker 2 16:27 We do, we do, you know, have their feed bill. Um, but I think the quality of food that we raise, having farm animals is better. So you compare, um, you can go down to the grocery store and get milk for $2 a gallon, but it’s not going to be the same quality as, um, our cow on the back past year, breastfed on non-gmo feed corn and you know, fresh air and all that. It’s, I’m going to say it’s better quality. So it would be more like organic milk that we’re drinking and you can get that for $2 a gallon. So I think once you figure it in, I think we’re saving money.

Speaker 1 17:09 I also want to know where you’re finding the milk for $2 a gallon because it’s like almost for where I am. Uh,
Speaker 2 17:14 yeah. Ridiculous. But yeah, Walmart or all the have is have it as a loss leader item. Oh, good idea. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So then we also have chickens for eggs and meat and we raised rabbits for meat and we have dairy goats and we’d go back and forth between the cow and the goats on who’s providing milk. We did figure out, um, when we wanted to get a cow, the kids figured out how much we spent on dairy in a week and how much the cow would save us if we could make butter and cheese and milk and all that. And they figured out and how many months the cow would pay herself off. And yeah, that was kind of a fun exercise. Yeah, that’s a good, good math, uh, worksheet. Yeah. And then the last tip for food that I have is that we buy in bulk.
Speaker 2 18:02 Um, of course we go to Costco and buy, you know, um, ground beef for example, by the 50 pounds at a time instead of, you know, one pound, what do they call those cryovac packs. I mean, you just, you can a feed forward to feed your family on that or we’ll buy half a beef or sometimes we’ve raised our own beef and then we buy everything else that we can in bulk or family size to or, um, we have an organic food co-op that we’re part of for our grains. And so just finding different sources of food that saves a little bit of money.
Speaker 1 18:35 Yeah. That’s great. Yeah. So one tip that I have, um, is to, uh, get on board with meal planning. So this is something that I’ve struggled with in the past, um, because I’m never very motivated to plan the meals for the week. It’s like one more thing I have to do, but I have used a couple of meal planning services and that is definitely worth the money in my opinion. It’s usually just a couple of bucks a month. Um, one I like right now is sweet peas meals. There’s are rarely fairly healthy and they come every week. They give you meals for, um, five, six days out of the week, et Cetera. So anyway, it takes the, the, the guesswork out of dinnertime and it’s done in such a way that you’re not buying a different ingredients for seven different meals. You know what I mean? Like if I, if it’s up to me, I’ll sit there and go, I think maybe I’d like clam chowder this week and also I’m going to have a strawberry salad.
Speaker 1 19:28 Well, you know, there’s no overlap there, so I’m going to be buying so many more groceries. So a meal plan can really help you make use of, get the most bang for your buck on every ingredient. And then also you’re not running to the store last minute thinking, oh, I forgot to buy something for dinner tonight, or getting pizza or some takeout or something that’s also going to up your food bill. So I love meal planning. And then along with that, after I open up the week’s meal plan or make it myself, I almost always, um, do grocery pickup or grocery deliver direct delivery. Now I started doing this just to save time because I can’t stand wasting an hour or two of my time at the grocery store. It’s not my favorite thing to do, but it has, I have noticed how our grocery bill has gone down because there are no impulse purchases and I, I’m don’t run the risk of going when I’m hungry and picking up a pack of cookies I didn’t want or, um, I really only buy the things that are on my list and it’s been kind of regulatory like, wow, I didn’t realize we eat so much stuff off the list.
Speaker 2 20:29 That is so, so smart. That is genius because if you go grocery shopping with kids, your bill goes up. If you go grocery shopping, when you’re hungry, your bill goes up. So yeah, that’s pretty smart.
Speaker 1 20:40 Right, right. Um, one tip on that is, um, if possible, try to find a grocery pickup or delivery through a store that has like, um, like the loyalty shopper program. Cause obviously you don’t want to pay the prices that aren’t the loyalty prices because they always Kinda Jack them up. So for example, our, our local grocery store down the street is fries. It’s one of the Kroger stores and they have a loyalty card. And then the loyalty card also gives you gas points. So when we go fill up our tank, if we use that car, then we get, you know, up to 80 cents off a gallon or something like that. So we use that card, you know, so not all services will honor that and let you do that. But if you can find one that does, that’s an extra bonus. Um, I also like to base our meals on what says what’s on sale.
Speaker 1 21:24 I don’t always do this, but if I’m trying to save money, I will check out the weekly, uh, promotion from my local grocery store and say, oh my gosh, look, beef is really cheap this week. Or mangoes are or whatever. And I will put those into a meal so that we can take advantage of those really low prices. I’m like you mentioned splitting bulk meat with friends. So we often get, um, some bulk beef through my husband’s family. He has a, an uncle who owns a farm and there are other resources for that as well. You can do that with friends, you can do that through local co-ops. There are often produce co-ops you can find too. There’s just so many resources for saving money if you just hunt around a little bit and look for it. And then lastly, I wanted to mention that we have tried to reevaluate our grocery bill every now and again and um, try to eliminate or lessen the really expensive dietary items.
Speaker 1 22:18 So for example, um, my kids love yogurt and for a long time we were buying packs, you know, the little individual things of yogurt. And I’m like, this is ridiculous. They’re eating, we eat like 10 of them a day, you know, some the good quality ones are like a dollar a piece. I’m, we’re not doing this anymore. So we just stopped eating oca for awhile and they survived. It was okay, you know, it wasn’t like a bad mom because they didn’t have yogurt in the fridge. And then when we would bring it back in, we would just buy a large container of plain yogurt or whatever was the cheapest this and as they mix a little jammer, honey in it or whatever. Um, same thing with milk. So we do not have a dairy cow. I would love one. It would be awesome. Um, so we stopped drinking milk.
Speaker 1 22:58 Um, we drank some of it and usually just use it for cooking because if my kids have free reign to drink all the milk they wanted, we would be buying 12 gallons a week and I don’t even have the freezer space for that, let alone the budget. So, you know, it’s not, it’s not as big a deal as you think to rotate out some items that are costing a lot of money. You know, people have survived on much, much less than what we have today. We have a very nutrient dense diet when we’re eating lots of whole grains and produce and healthy meat. So anyway, that’s just my little plug for that.
Speaker 2 23:29 Yes, we are about to dry our cow off because she’s getting ready to have a calf and I’m your dryer off about 60 days ahead of time. And I am
Speaker 1 23:37 not looking forward to, Aye
Speaker 2 23:40 did freeze some milk in preparation for this. I’m like in the spring we had so much milk ahead that I just wrote some, but I’m going to have to limit what the kids can drink because I really don’t want to go back to grocery store milk. They actually kind of get um, stomach problems and stomach aches going from raw grass fed organic milk
Speaker 1 23:59 back to, you know, $2 Walmart mouth. They get stomach aches and that transition. And so I don’t want to do that at all. But yeah, we actually stopped drinking it, um, for health reasons years ago. My son has like irritable bowel every now and again. And so, um, we just stopped doing it and then every time we bring it back, he gets flare ups and it’s gone in five seconds and we spend more money. So I’m like, Eh, we’ll get some cream every now and again. Just throw on our, uh, on our fruit or whatever. Cause that thought was fun. But yeah. Yeah. Bonnie, I need to teach you how to make yogurt. Yes. I would love to know how, the thing is, I really, I really, really, really want a good clean source of, of dairy here, but the only place I’ve found is a farm like 45 minutes away from us. And I was like, hmm, maybe once a month I could make that trek. But I’m, you know, it’s not anything feasible yet. So I might be able to do goats here. I don’t think we can do, sustain a cow in our, on our property, but I’d love to have a source that I know. Yeah. And I know where I’m trying to go.
Speaker 2 24:57 Yeah, we would. You can make goat milk yogurt too. That’s pretty good too. I’m sure that. Alright, let’s move on to shelter in ways that we saved money at home. So as I’ve mentioned before, um, several times we have a smaller house and this is by choice. Um, not, there’s many reasons that we’ve chosen to live in a smaller house, but I’ll just mention some of the financial reasons in this episode. So we have lower utility bills because there’s physically less space to heat and cool. Um, and then a smaller house also means there’s less space for stuff. So I don’t have to decorate eight rooms with, you know, I don’t even know a music room and a library in a studio, in a study, in a homeschool room and all that because there’s just not all those extra for me to decorate. So there’s less space for stuff.
Speaker 2 25:50 So we have to be more intentional about what stuff we do have. We talked a lot about that in our toy management episode, didn’t we? Yup. Okay. So then, um, I have also mentioned that in our small house we have three bedrooms and I think I mentioned in our Q and a episode that we have a little studio out back and my oldest, very large son is using that as his college dorm. But in the bedrooms, in the house, in the kid bedrooms, we have bunk beds and the kids are sharing a room. And so that means fewer bedrooms sets. Like we don’t have to source matching beds and dressers and bedrooms, bedside tables and bedroom sets for all these bedrooms because we just simply don’t have all the bedrooms. Um, in the kitchen we don’t have every gadget and appliance, like a good old knife will just as well as a food processor for example. Or you know, you can get by on a whole lot less than you might think if you’re watching kitchen shows.
Speaker 2 26:54 Um, when I, I know I mentioned this in our episode on laundry, but we always buy on our appliances. We always buy the warranty because spending a little bit extra money for a five or 10 year warranty, uh, probably not 10 year, five year warranty is going to save us a lot of money in the long run because we use our appliances so often. For example, in the kitchen we run our dishwasher minimum of two times and sometimes three times a day. And so it is run way more often than a family that runs their dishwasher once a day or once every other day. Yeah, they’re going to lose money on us, that’s for sure. Exactly. In that homeschool room, we reuse books and supplies among other kids. I intentionally use, um, homeschooling curriculums that we can reuse and share books and curriculums. And then here’s kind of a funny one, but in the bathrooms, um, this is connected to food, but eating a healthy diet means we use less toilet paper. So anyway, just throwing that up. That is an unintended benefit. Yes. Save money. So you could just get a hose and hook it up to your toilet. No things. I think my boys do that sometimes. You know about the homeless.

Speaker 1 28:17 Cool thing. I was going to say that, um, uh, I actually just talked about this on an Instagram live that I did the other day. We walked through my school room and, um, I love workbooks. Workbooks are a really fun way for me to, were really fun way for me to learn as a kid and a lot of my kids really enjoy them, but I have no desire to buy nine of the same workbooks. Right? So, um, years ago I realized that if we, uh, if I found a workbook that I really, really liked and I wanted multiple children to go through it, then I would tear out each page and laminate it and just give them a whiteboard marker to, to do on it. And laminating sheets are fairly cheap. I worked out the math and I realized that if I was planning on buying the workbook more than three times, that it would offset the costs. So I was like, alright, sold. And then I don’t have to worry about, you know, throwing them all away and finding a new one. Every time someone wants it, they just wipe it clean. And, and keep going. So we love that trip.
Speaker 2 29:05 Great. That is really smart. Um, I, you reuse workbooks by copying the original, but after a while, you know, after so many times you put it through the printer, it Kinda gets beat up. That’s a really smart idea. We’ve
Speaker 1 29:17 all used those workbooks, sheets from the third grade, right, where the teachers already copied it 500 times and you can bet a unit. Okay. So my tips for, um, shelter is I just, I just kind of want to put out there that sometimes it’s important for us to rethink how we live, right? So especially if you live in an area, a more affluent area where everyone, you know, is moving onto bigger and better things. It can be easy to think, well, have bigger kids. I need a bigger home, or I had an extra kid, now I need an extra bedroom, et cetera. But it’s really not necessarily, like you were saying. Um, we have kids that share bedrooms. We actually have, uh, four bedrooms besides the master. So four for kids. One is teeny tiny. So we give that to my oldest. That’s the privilege of being the biggest helper.
Speaker 1 29:59 So the other, he kids share those three bedrooms and I actually want to eventually move them into the two biggest bedrooms and just have a girl’s bedroom and a boy’s bedroom because I just feel like they learn how to share better. They learned how to get along. They make friendships when they’re sharing rooms. Um, if we just do built in bunk beds all around that room, then we don’t even have to buy beds. So it’s just kind of a different thought process. Instead of thinking, oh, how do we, how could we possibly fit these kids in here? Um, in our last house, I’m not sure how big your house is Adria, but our last house was about 2100. It’s about, go ahead. Yeah. Ours is about 2,500 square feet. Yeah. Last one was 2100 square feet. And honestly, it felt fine for a long, long time.
Speaker 1 30:43 Towards the end it felt a little cramped simply because, um, I wanted a space for my, um, blogging and sewing. Like I didn’t really have any space for that. That little kids wouldn’t get into. Um, and we wanted a bigger yard, but honestly, people who for years were going, how you’re going to have another kid in that little teeny house. I’m like, it’s not that teeny, you know, I’ve been to other countries and they live in much smaller places, so it’s, you know, really just reevaluating this stuff that we’re holding onto and, and how we’re thinking kids can be a huge deal. Right. We have three acres. And so that is, um, one reason why we chose this house is because we’re not all in this 2,500 square feet all day long. Lots of times everybody’s outside. Right. I will say that too. So when we found this house, it wasn’t quite as big as some of the ones I’d looked at and definitely not as fancy and had a different layout than I was looking for, but the lot was so much bigger than anything else we saw.
Speaker 1 31:38 I said, sold because I don’t want my kids in the house all day anyway, you know, so to send them outside and get, you know, it’s better for them anyway. So. Absolutely. I also wanted to suggest, uh, rethinking our needs, um, and reevaluating whether the things that we have our eye on are really that necessary. You know, when you think about your needs, what are they really? Basically food, clothing, shelter, right? And some sort of transportation if you don’t live close to things. Um, that’s it. And yet we live in a culture where, you know, every new Instagram post is something else you need, need, need, you know. Um, and so if we’re struggling with money, sometimes we just need to take a step back and go, is that really necessary? And if there is something that you really want, like a quality of life type thing, like, you know, I’d really love to take my family on vacation.
Speaker 1 32:24 I’d really love to make a memory, um, in that way. Or I’d really love to renovate this bathroom that’s always causing problems, then that’s, those are worthy saving goals, right? And to teach your kids to save can be one of the best life lessons they ever learn to put off, um, their wants and to save for something bigger. And then I also want to mention that if you go a little bit crazy and your home seems to be closing in on you and your furniture is all falling apart, there’s so much we can do to improve our homes without spending a ton of money. So I really feel like moms in general, um, care the most about how our homes look. We’re, we’re literally homemakers, right? We make, make a house and we make things look beautiful and attractive and we want people to feel, uh, welcomed and happy when they come into our home.
Speaker 1 33:12 But that does not mean that we have to have a marble sink from Italy. It doesn’t mean we have to have this diner wallpaper. All it means is that it’s a place where people feel loved and welcomed. Now I’ve had homes where I lived in that did not feel that way because everything was old and falling apart. But you know, we can furniture hunt at the thrift store. We can sew up some new pillows to bring some new color into our living room. We can paint a wall, we can move furniture around. That is hands down my favorite thing to do to make my house feel new and fresh and fun. It’s just move furniture around and it’s totally free. I love that. I love doing that too. Yeah, those are just a couple of tips to just kind of change your mindset and, and think is there a way I can, uh, make things a little bit more welcoming and happy and cute without spending a bunch of money?
Speaker 2 34:01 Yes. And now we’re gonna move on to clothing, but I do feel like we gave a lot of good tips in our episode on laundry. Um, so maybe we just review a few of those here, but, um, anyway, if you’re looking for more, we did a deep dive into clothing and laundry in that episode
Speaker 1 34:16 and that was episode number 11.
Speaker 2 34:20 All right. So we’d like to choose classic styles over Trendy. And one reason is this is it’s our taste, but also they can be passed down. Like the cold shoulder trend is going to go away and the kid, you know, if five years later it’s not going to be able to wear that. So we choose classic styles over Trendy. Um, we choose quality clothing over quantity. So maybe we only have three shirts, but they’re such good quality that they are not going to fall apart and they’re going to not going to pill in the laundry and they’re going to be able to be passed down onto another kid possibly. Um, like I mentioned in our laundry episode, we do capsule wardrobes and then, um, well for specialty sizes we, I do a lot of sewing, so a lot of my kids are tall and thin. They get it from me. I’m six feet tall and I, so I sew a lot of my clothes. I, so almost a hundred percent of my clothes, and this is money saving for me because if you’ve ever shopped a specialty catalog or store for tall women, like a tee shirt is $60 or something, it’s just outrageous. The cost of clothes when you order, when they have to be special ordered for large special bodies allowed to say
Speaker 1 35:39 you’re so special.
Speaker 2 35:43 No. Oh, you know what, one mistake I made on unclothing, you were talking about how much money breastfeeding saves you on not buying formula. If I would have bought cloth diapers with my first kid, I felt like it was too big of an investment then, but if I would have bought cloth diapers, do you know how many thousands of diapers, dollars. I probably could have stayed if I had not fine diapers, disposable diapers,
Speaker 1 36:05 cloth and do that, uh, for our first two kids. Um, and partway through the third, but then I got too overwhelmed. We start doing foster care and I was like, I can’t handle this anymore. Um, so I will say that it is a time investment, but, but yes, over the years. Can you imagine? And I, and I also often sadly joke about the entire landfill dedicated just to my children’s bowel movement. Ridiculous woman, many diapers. I feel so awful. It’s a trade off.
Speaker 2 36:37 Okay. Then. Oh, the one last thing for me on laundry is that, um, our kids that have jobs and are old enough are teenagers. They have by choice, they buy their own clothes. Um, so that’s, that’s been a money saving benefit. Yeah. Oh, and then, oh, I did mention in our episode on laundry doing laundry that, um, we try to, we were talking about how we have our kids like where their, their church clothes, um, Sunday clothes twice and then they less laundering means the clothes last longer.
Speaker 1 37:09 Yeah. Yeah. Um, so I wanted to mention also the, with the quality over quantity thing. I have just recently learned this lesson for myself because I’m a big fashion lover and I love to shop. But for years I would just buy a whatever cheap thing that I saw because I liked it. And then finally realized, Oh, this isn’t lasting. And you know, it, it just needs to be something fairly high quality. But as far as kids’ clothes go, I actually shared this in a blog post recently. I did a blog post about my favorite places to buy kid’s clothes specifically for babies. And, um, I used to live, uh, not far from a mall that had a baby gap. And I always loved their clothes. They’re colorful and really cute and, but they’re always really, really expensive. And I just couldn’t afford it. And then I started kind of stocking their sales and noticing when things went on sale.
Speaker 1 37:57 And then usually about like a week or two after they went on sale, they’d go on sale again, meaning like you’d get the double clearance thing, you know it’s already on sale, then you get an extra 40% off. So I would go and stock up on out of season stuff when they had that double clearance. So I’m buying sweaters in April, but I had them for the next year and those clothes have lasted forever. Like I started doing that when my oldest daughter was one or, or a baby I guess. And she’s 10 and they’ve gone through four girls and are now starting on their fifth girl and they look brand new. So I just share that deadening. Sometimes it’s painful to invest in the, in the beginning even stuff on sale. But if shop smart, it can be so much more worth it than, than buying the cheap stuff that you throw away every year.
Speaker 1 38:42 Okay. So a couple of my clothing tips besides that are, um, uh, now we like to still shop those gap sales. But, um, I also have found a couple of other stores that, uh, have regular sales and I like to kind of keep track of when those happen. Old Navy is a pretty, um, good bet for us just because we have one close by and when the stuff goes on sale and then clearance again, you can get it for so cheap. So we go and like to stock up on things, especially things out of season because that’s what, what really goes for cheap. Um, they also often have like, um, like old navy has old navy cash benefits where if you spend so much then they give you so much off the next purchase. Um, and then in our trailer there’s always so many hand me downs.

Speaker 1 39:26 So really right now I really only buy for my oldest son, my oldest daughter, and then my youngest daughter and youngest son. Because by that point, a lot of the clothes are worn out and we have to retreat where you buy. But that’s how we work. We do it. And then also there’s, there’s lots of ways to repurpose things. So, uh, if a child is growing out of pants, I look at the pants and think, are these going to last through another child? If they’re already kind of worn down, then we’ll just cut them into shorts. If they are good quality, then we pack them away for the next good. Um, leggings always get holes in them. But my kids love fun, crafty patching jobs. So we’ll cut out a little nit heart. And so over the, the legging whole, um, short sleeve shirts can be layered over long sleeve in winter or, um, long sleeve can be cut into short sleeve, et cetera.
Speaker 1 40:11 So there’s so many things you can do to make clothes stretch a little bit more. And I was going to say about the quality silhouettes that you mentioned. Um, I like to buy silhouettes that aren’t particularly, that aren’t super form fitting, um, so that they don’t grow out of them really quickly. So, for example, if my girls need something on the bottom, I love to buy them longer skirts and then they wear the longer skirts until they’re shorter skirts and then they wear those until they can’t fit into the way, you know, cause their wastes changed so little, it’s just usually their height that changes so fast so they can wear those longer.
Speaker 2 40:41 Yes. My kids always outgrow things, um, in length before they outgrow with. So that’s a great, yeah.
Speaker 1 40:48 Right. Yeah. Or if or if you can buy pants that are cuffed or just buy them extra long and they kind of gradually grow into them. So yeah, those are our clothing hacks.
Speaker 2 40:57 Okay. Super great tips there. Now we’re going to finish up by talking about everything else. We’re lumping this all together because like you said at the beginning, um, those are the main necessities, food, shelter and clothing and everything else is just kind of a matter of what you prioritize. So one thing we do, um, and this is kind of like eating a quality diet. So we turn our heat higher in the winter, um, and it does mean higher electricity. And gas bills, but we find that our kids are less sick during the winter, which also cuts down on unmedical bills. But I also take dealing with sick kids.
Speaker 1 41:34 Yeah, seriously. Yeah. We actually have, uh, do something similar in the summer here. And I think a lot of utility companies offer this. They’ll offer some sort of money saving program. So if you, um, have your, uh, ac down a little bit lower than other people during like a really expensive time surge, then they will, uh, make it cheaper for you. So for example, here in Phoenix, if with the utility company we use, if we turn our ac up, like let it run hotter from three to 6:00 PM and we don’t use any other appliances, then we get a cheaper discounted rate the rest of the day. Does that make sense? So it’s a little bit, it’s a little bit of suffering. We just pre-cool our house, we get it down really, really, really low right before that period of time. And then, you know, it gradually gets hotter during that time, but then we just avoid the dishwasher and washing machine, et cetera. So if you ask your utility company, you might be able to find some sort of a benefit to, to following their, their plan. Um,
Speaker 2 42:35 yeah. Oh, that’s, you know, we do something really similar to that. We fill our propane tank, which is how we heat in the winter. We feel that during the summer when the prices are way lower than they, the price is appropriate in the winter go up because the demand is a way out. That’s really smart. Yeah. So then I know that we have talked about this next one in a lot of different episodes, but we just value experiences over stuff. We talked about this in our toy management episode most recently, which was episode 23 but we just value experiences over stuff. So having time together or doing something for birthday party instead of getting toys or taking a trip. And then we also place a huge value on family and being together and we place more value on fostering these family relationships then over memberships to a gym or, um, being on sports teams or, um, other things that would take money because we’re placing value and placing effort in our family relationships because we’re going to be with each other together for life. And well, you know, people do make friends and learn good skills. Um, it’s not when you’re, when you’re 90 years old and need somebody to take care of you, it’s not going to be the person you hung out with at the gym. It’s going to be your family.
Speaker 1 43:59 That’s a very good point. Yeah. We found the same thing. Um, I am the kind of person that would love my children to have every opportunity and every be on every sports team and every dance class, et cetera. But it’s just not feasible, not only monetarily, but logistically like I can’t get people to all those kinds of places, nor do I want to. Um, so we’ve, we’ve tried to substitute that with, you know, good old fashioned wholesome play time here at home. Um, sometimes we’ll just do, you know, pickup games of sports, throw a ball around, play kickball, play basketball in the yard, um, invite friends over to do the same. And that I think creates some really, really awesome memories that you may or may not get from, from organized sports with friends. But I think that that making those memories with family is always, always worthwhile.
Speaker 2 44:47 Right? My kids love volleyball and in the summer we just put up a net in the backyard and we’re getting enough kids that, you know, we can
Speaker 1 44:53 keep a good vault going for.

Speaker 2 44:58 Another thing we do is we put emphasis on entrepreneurship. So, um, we are encouraging all of our kids to, uh, find ways to make money themselves and make that a desired state. And I’m really trying to be a good example of this with my side hustle and side hustles. I, like I said, we’re a single income family. None of my side hustle is big enough yet that it can help support and pay bills. But I’m trying, like I’m putting the effort in there and I’m trying to grow and build a business and just be a good example to the kids in that.
Speaker 1 45:31 Yeah, I think that’s so important that they all realize that we do everything we can to make ends meet at our, at our family. So nobody’s wasteful. Nobody’s greedy. Um, dad goes to work, mom goes to work, whatever, whatever your family situation is to, to pitch in and that creates a really good culture of, of entrepreneurship or gets kids thinking about the future and how they’re going to take care of themselves. Um, I was going to say that I think it’s really, really essential that our children always have something that they want to get, that they don’t have that right. So whether that’s a toy when they’re four or an art class they want to take when they’re 17 or an apartment that they love to move into and they’re 20. I just think that if we fulfill every one of our kids’ needs and most of their wants, they’re going to get complacent and they’re going to expect people to give them things the rest of their life. But if there’s always something they’re hungry for, they’re going to find a way to get it. And I think that’s great. That’s totally life skills that we want our kids to have.
Speaker 2 46:32 Another thing we’re doing with our teenagers is we are um, making them pay their own way. Like we don’t make them pay rent, but they do, as I mentioned in the episode on kids and cell phones, they’re learning to respect their cell phones because they’re paying for them and themselves. That was episode 15. And um, our two oldest kids that are in college, um, they are paying for their own college. We do not have enough resources financially to put nine kids through college. So, um, we are encouraging them to pay their,
Speaker 1 47:07 yeah. I have a lot of friends that have said, oh my goodness, why, why would you have so many kids? How are you going to pay for college? And I just laugh. I’m like, I’m not paying for anybody’s college. They’re adults. They’ve got to pay for their own college. Um, yeah, I, yeah, I think that’s totally reasonable. Um, and then we give them all the, the research that they need to get to a point where they can do that. So we teach them about hard work. We encourage them to get a job outside of the home when they’re old enough. You can encourage your kid to go find a way to get what he wants, which is, you know, an education in a, an a viable way to take care of himself and his family.
Speaker 2 47:40 The things that we’re specifically encouraging our kids to do is not only pay for their own college but to graduate without debt. And so, um, we are, what we did was we ended their high school education. We structured it in such a way that they could graduate, um, a couple of years earlier than their peers and spend a year, a gap year or two years, um, where they’re working and traveling and in apprenticeships and learning skills and then taking some online classes. And so on. Um, our kids started college with college credit already. We structured their high s their high school education in such a way. So we helped them save money in that way. Another way they’re saving money for college is by living at home and going, um, the first two years at a smaller, cheaper local college and getting a two year degree there that will then transfer to a larger university where they will get their final degrees. And then the last way that we’re helping them is like you mentioned on scholarships, we have helped them apply for and get scholarship aid.
Speaker 1 48:45 Yeah. That’s so great. You know, I think that um, setting them up with these skills and this education ahead of time to get through college is so important. And I, I’ve noticed that um, kids who go to like a smaller community college before transferring to a full university have a couple of benefits. Number one, they save money. Um, number two, they get their, um, general education classes done usually

Speaker 2 49:10 okay,
Speaker 1 49:10 quicker. And it’s, they’re often easier at the community college. Then instead of saying, tell paying tons of money to take them at the university. And then thirdly, um, it’s often easier to get into a university with stringent application requirements if you’ve already taken so college. So, um, I remember at my college, many people I knew did not get in as a freshman right out of high school, but they stayed home and went to a couple of years of community college and then were able to get in later. I think. I think it’s just easier to be seen to be allowed in as a transfer student. So lots of benefits there.
Speaker 2 49:44 Absolutely. And my kids are finding that with the smaller class size, they get way more of the professors, um, attention and interaction than they would in a enormous class that the professor was basically just, um, I don’t know what’s the word, proctoring and had, you know, a ta teaching and correcting and all that they get with as much smaller class size, they get way more help from the professor themselves. So that’s an added benefit too.
Speaker 1 50:10 I also think we’re going to encourage our kids to get, go through some sort of trade school, uh, either during college, like you said, during a gap year or before they get to college, maybe, uh, when they’re 17 or 18, because to have some really marketable handy scale like electrical work or hairdressing or mechanical work or any of those things that there’s always a demand for can be so beneficial in getting them through college and getting them through those tough early years as an adult or as a newlywed. I just love that idea of, of sending them some place like that. And, and I know in our state we have quite a few colleges like that that, uh, have benefits for homeschoolers and there’s homeschoolers can go at a discounted rate or for free. Um, sometimes there is like, uh, also other educational work programs that they can get a discounted rate. So just lots of available options if you look into it.
Speaker 2 51:02 Right, absolutely. We have also encouraged our kids to learn a trade. For example, our son, um, works with a mason, a master mason. Um, he works for them in the summer and then on holidays through the school years. And so he has this trade that he can fall back on if his degree, for some reason he can’t find work in that he has, um, a trade that he can take anywhere in the world. Actually, he could go to, um, any country in the world and be able to lay block and bridge.
Speaker 1 51:33 One final note on this, uh, part is that I feel like the kids who pay for their own education or cell phone or car or whatever else just naturally value it more. They tend to work harder. They tend to put more time and effort in because they know the cost instead of just, well, I got to go to College Cause Dad tells me to and he’s paying all the bills. You know, when, when they see the kind of money that goes into it, they’re like, I cannot waste a minute. This is .
Speaker 2 52:00 Yeah. Because they earned it and they want it. Okay. So just a couple of recommendations here at the end. And um, because this is an episode on how to afford kids, we want to assure you our audience that Bonnie and I only recommend things that we have personally found worthwhile and help us. So we’re not just recommending things because it’s another thing to buy. This is stuff that really does help us. So we have um, taught our kids about money and different ways of thinking about money with books by Robert Kiyosaki and he is the author of the Rich Dad poor dad series of books. So we’ll link these in the show notes, but the three specific books that we have used with our kids is unfair advantage, rich kid, smart kid and Rich Dad, poor dad for teens, just to get them a different way of thinking about money. I read
Speaker 1 52:55 his original book and it was really, really fascinating. So I will share a kind of practical resource. Uh, the budgeting software I use is called YNAB. It stands for, you need a budget. Um, I think it’s, youneedabudget.com. We’ll link it below, but it is one of the most, one of the easiest, most intuitive budgeting softwares I have ever used. And there’s a free version or you can pay a small fee to use it and I am not a numbers guy, girl, whatever. I just, I’ve had trouble budgeting my entire life but this is a very basic, simple what they call a zero based budgeting system and I highly recommend it. And along with that I have a friend who is a wine app, uh, expert. She has taught herself the software and managed to get herself out of $50,000 worth of debt. So she, she’s awesome and she has a blog and does some coaching so I’ll include that below to her blog is called mosomoney.com so those are a couple resources for you guys.
Speaker 0 53:49
Speaker 2 53:51 thanks so much for tuning in. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, we’d be so grateful if you’d leave us a written review on iTunes. If you have any questions or ideas for future episodes, you can reach us at outnumberedthepodcast {at} gmail.com and find us on Instagram at outnumber the podcast. See you next week.

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    VLOG: Have a Baby on a Budget! From a mom of 9 Kids.
    July 17, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    […] And if you’re looking for more ways to save money as a parent, catch our “How to Afford Kids” Podcast episode! […]

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