Remember your DINK (D(ual) I(ncome) N(o) K(ids) days of minimal financial responsibility, when you lived life like Bey and Jay, making it rain wherever and whenever? Saving money was a novel idea but not a necessity, and let’s be honest you and your significant much preferred burning cash by eating out on a whim, booking last minute getaways, and impulse shopping ‘til you dropped. (All while somehow still managing to put a little away for a rainy day.) Then your baby arrived and literally sucked every penny of disposable income out of you (that along with the lustrous, full bodied hair on your head in many cases). 83% of Canadians say that savings (more like lack there-of) is the major stressor in their lives. Well, we get it at Rebelstork, so with the help of our fellow flock members and new mom Emily Ben Haim, VP of Wealth Management at Gluskin Shef, we are delivering you the ultimate saving guide to help ease you out of your post DINK $$$ woes.
- Find a Non Time-Consuming Side Hustle and Earn Cash Fast
Adjusting to life as a new parent, finding a little extra cash is more enticing than ever. That said, the thought of picking up a side job seems laughable. You’re busy enough drowning in diapers and often already working a 9-5. We GET IT, that’s one of the reasons we built Rebelstork. We wanted to create a super easy way for parents to side hustle. Part of the beauty consigning with RS is that you get to be a business owner but we do the work for you. We will pick up your extra baby gear free of charge, and sell it for you. All you have to do is decide the items you can live without.
“I’ve been consigning with the experts at Rebelstork since before they even launched and made their business known. I’ve been earning cash while de-cluttering my house. The process is so simple it’s a real no brainer.” – Sandra T, Age 30, RS Flock Member
- Be Honest About What You’re Really Spending When Making Budgets
Now that we’re parents and responsible for the lives of others, we’re suddenly totally responsible humans in all areas of life, right? RIGHT? Not necessarily. We all want to think we’re being fiscally responsible, but is there anyone else out there who avoids opening their bank statements? Who else has a fear of facing the irresponsible choices made that month? (Guilty over here.) Chances are we’ve all made a monthly budget for ourselves at one point or another, but the only real way to make it stick is to be honest with ourselves about where money is truly being spent. So, lets crack open our bank statements and take a good hard look at spending habits over the last 3-6 months.Our Super Basic RS Life Calculator:
- Figure out your monthly net household income (your income + your significant’s after taxes)
- Determine your fixed expenses (things like rent/mortgage, bills, loan payments, baby food, diapers, etc.)
- Isolate your second-tier spending habits (lifestyle choices like clothing, beauty, entertainment)
- Calc the % you are spending monthly on fixed & second tier expenses to see what % remains
Now, once you’ve figured out where your spending lies you can put together a well informed and realistic monthly budget!
HINT: Ideal balance to strive for is 50-70% of total household income toward fixed expenses, 20-30% toward second tier expenses, and 10-20% toward financial priorities like savings, paying off debt. This split will change with the stages of life and is dependant on variables such as earnings and special circumstances.
- Dedicate One “Free” Day Each Week
This one may take some practice, but it’s actually a great way to get you thinking about your budget for the week. Try dedicating one day per week and spend $0. (We find Mondays the best, since the household is usually well stocked from the weekend). This really shifts your mentality towards how easy it is to live with less when you’re living consciously. Looking to really challenge yourself? Once you’ve conquered one day, try for two money-free days per week!
- Parent Lighter- Buy Less and Parent More
In a world where overconsumption has run amuck, a growing responsibility is placed on millennial parents to work towards reversing the effects of fast-fashion and excess waste by learning to live with less. Equally important is our responsibility to pass this mentality on to the next generation by example. We have moved past the linear economy, are advancing through the recycling economy and have now entered the circular economy. Over the past few years many of the highest-end brands have made drastic shifts in focus towards sustainability (think Stella McCartney). Rebelstorks mission is rooted in sustainability by extending the life cycle of luxury kids gear in a way that makes it simple for parents. So next time you’re out shopping be sure to ask yourself, can I live without it? If the answer is yes, walk away. At home, take a look around your kid’s room or nursery. Can you live without it? If so, add it to your Rebelstork nest and consign it.
“Our generation didn’t grow up with a lot of focus around overconsumption. For our kids their education is taking a major shift towards sustainability, which is a really great thing. As parents, it’s our job to lead by example as well. I’m so happy I found Rebelstork because I don’t feel I have to compromise. With RS I can get the high-quality gear I want for my kids at a great price and be mindful of our planet.” – Annie T, Age 32, RS Flock Member
- Hold Out For Commodity Deals and then Buy Large
Rather than buying as you run out, try stocking up on necessities like diapers and formula when they’re on sale. These products are often discounted by $10 or more, which adds up to significant savings. Clipping coupons is cool, missing out on deals and overpaying is uncool. Make use of coupons and free samples (which can be found in supermarkets or by signing up online). Additionally, shop for items at places that earn you points which accumulate to cash. All in all, this adds up to as much as 30% in savings, and as we well know…over the first few years of parenting, that’s significant!
- Get Started Right Away On Your RESP
Even if it seems like you’ve barely got two pennies to scrape together after covering all of your expenses, make an effort to tuck away a little nugget into your child’s R(egistered) E(ducation) S(avings) P(lan). We suggest doing this monthly as opposed to annually, so it doesn’t feel so hard on the wallet. Every bit counts, and when the time comes to cover tuition for your child’s top choice university, you’ll be very glad you started when you did!
*Fun Fact- Did you know that, depending on your contributions and other variables, the Ontario Government offers grants to supplement your RESP? Learn more here.