On Your Side: Money saving tips for parents raising a baby on a - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

On Your Side: Money saving tips for parents raising a baby on a budget

Source: Josh Gauntt/WBRC Source: Josh Gauntt/WBRC

Raising kids is expensive. It could cost up to $14,000 a year. Are you ready for that? We're On Your Side asking an expert mom how to save money.

Korliss Datcher is a busy mother of two. Her 5-year-old son Zachary and 4-year-old daughter Zoe keep her on her toes most of the time.

Raising kids can be a daunting task for new parents.

"When it comes to saving money, don't overdo it within the first couple of years of life with buying things and wanting baby to have the nicest toys and clothes,” Datcher said.

For a middle income, married couple with two kids, it can cost between $12-14,000 a year to raise a child. That’s according to new numbers released by the Department of Agriculture. Through age 17, parents can expect to shell out over $200,000.

Through the years, Korliss has found a number of ways to save money. A big tip is on clothes. She buys during the off season.

"My children tend to grow about a size bigger per year. So we'll go up a size. We'll buy summer clothes during the winter or fall and vice versa. The winter clothes will buy in the summer. Many of the department stores will have clothing sometimes up to 80 percent off,” Datcher said.

She also buys and sells from consignment shops.

"I'll sell a few of their items whether it's old toys, car seats, strollers, clothes. The money I get from that goes into our vacation fund,” Datcher said.

Another tip, look for furniture and accessories that do double duty. We found a changing table/dresser for about $90 at Walmart and a highchair which doubles as a booster seat and then regular chair for $100.

Of course, food can be very costly too. Korliss says take advantage of restaurants that offer free meals to kids.

"I know there is one that actually has kids eat free everyday as long as the adult purchases an entrée,” Datcher said.

Take advantage of those restaurant apps as well.

"You can save money by using those apps, sometimes by checking in or just opening up the app. Once you arrive to the location they'll present a coupon,” Datcher said.

If you are able, put a little money into savings. Korliss has it taken out of her paycheck.

"With children, that's probably the best thing to do, and really with any savings if you've got kids or not. The best thing to do is have that money taken straight out of your account before you even see it and that way you don't know it’s gone and you can figure how to budget from what actually hits your account on pay day,” Datcher added.

Datcher says the first year of parenting can make people a little anxious. She says just go with the flow.

"Saving a little bit of money can help in the long run,” Datcher said.

Korliss knows her stuff. She's on a Disney mom panel that offers money-saving tips to families travelling to see Mickey and company.

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