These are the methods I use and they work for me.
1. Use old newspapers .It is amazing how it works.Spending zero money.
2.When the windows have marks,I buy lemon scented dish liquid.I add 3 drops to about a gallon of water.Then I use a rag or small towel to dip in the mixture and I clean my windows.I have spent minimum amount of money on lemon scented dish liquid to clean my windows.
I will welcome more tips.
Viewing the 'Saving Money' Category
These are the methods I use and they work for me.
I was struggling for a long time with debts and at the same time paying a lot on the maintenance of my house.My Kitchen sink was used to block many times and any time I called the plumber,the service fees was killing me.
One time my auntie told me to use any of these methods:
1.Put the One Shot and could be bought in any supermarket.
2.She told me to ask my husband if I can not undo the u-bend myself.However, she advised me to wear gloves and goggles.
4.She told me that I could also use caustic soda but I should wear long sleeves or rubber gloves.
5.Lastly she told me that I could pour a can of baking soda in plug hole and pour the white vinegar and when the foams start coming I should pour boiling water down the plug.
I have used One Shot and it works wonders for me.I have not tried other methods though.
My son decided to cycle to work as he resides 20 kms from his work place.His first intention was to exercise as the gym fees near him was very expensive not realizing that he was going to save equivalent of $200 per month on gas or petrol.
In the end he saves on the gym fees and on petrol.
There is a time when my teeth got very brown as I was drinking a lot of coffee.
I visited a dentist and he gave me a quotation which blew my hair off.
I decided to go to a Natural Health Medicine Shop to ask how I could whiten my teeth naturally.I really did not have money not even a half of the quotation the dentist gave me.
I was lucky to ask a lady in this store who has actually tried these methods.I tried all of them once and I really got good results.
These are the tips:
1.She sold me activated charcoal in powder and told me to use it for brushing with my tooth brush.You can also get it in capsule form.It can also be bought online.
2.She also advised me to peel an orange and use the inside part to rub on my teeth.
3.She also advised me to use baking soda mixed with coconut oil.Some people, understand ,mixes baking soda with any toothpaste.
4.She also told me to eat apples more often.
5.I was always brushing my teeth twice a day and that was also her advice.
I applied all of them as they were cheap as compared to the dentist fees.My teeth became whiter and whiter.
I thought that in this economic crisis,this could be an experience to share.Some medical schemes do not pay for dental cosmetics.
Five years ago I realized that I spend a lot of money on juices as nearly everyone who comes to my house and the whole of my family like juices.
I started finding out ways to save on juices and this is what I do:
1. Buying juices from manufacturers as it is much cheaper than buying them from supermarkets.
2.Looking for supermarket weekly fliers for juice sales.
3.Buying bottles of juices which have to be diluted to supplement fresh juices.
4.Sometimes I make fresh juices at home.
5.Buying new brands of juices as they tend to be on sale as marketing strategy.
6.My twins like juice cubes. We put them on cube trays and freeze them .They put cubes in the glass and add some water.
The question of why we should save money was asked in a small community meeting which I attended last week. The chairperson of the session wanted to know our priority number one. As always I want to share my experiences with everyone.
These were the answers from different community members:
1.I save so that I have enough money for my retirement.
2.I save to enjoy holidays when I am still young.
3.I save to enjoy holidays in my old age.
4.I save so that I can save others who are needy.
5.I save to buy a very nice car in two years.
6.I save for emergencies.
7.I save so that even if my pay is late ,I do not borrow money.
8.I save for the rainy day.
9.I save to educate my children.
10.I save to finish paying my house off.
I found it very interesting as different people had different priories why they save
I have friends who spend thousands of dollars on their children birthdays.
I do not have that type of money and I am going to share with you how we enjoy my children birthdays on a minimum budget.
1.I sit with my twin boys and we discuss what we need for the party. From the beginning I tell them that my budget is very limited and we should only spend when we have to.
2.I do not use credit cards and I advise that it is not a good idea at all. I spend a little on my savings.
3.I make their birthday cakes at home plus cup cakes and biscuits.
4.I buy cheap paper cups and plates.
5.Children like their faces painted although it is wise to ask parents first in case of allergies. I have a 19 year old nephew and he does that task.
6.We normally have their party in a park as it is free.
7.I have a sister you is a primary teacher and she organizes different themes for the invited children. She is really very good. You can ask a friend or good neighbor to do it for you for free.
8.A friend helps me to design invitation cards and she also makes some banners for me. If you are good at it it is even better. She prints all from the computer.
9.Children might talk about many friends but I encourage my boys to limit the number as a small party is cheaper. Normally we list those who have invited them first but I am just cautious as friendship of children is very fragile sometimes.
Please if you have more tips, I will be happy to tell me.
I was determined to visit Uganda and see gorilla Monkeys.
I saved for two years and I made a trip to Uganda.
Uganda is a beautiful country with friendly people.
Gorilla trekking was interesting and it took us 5 km to see some of them.I went with my husband.
We also visited Kibale National Park where we could see some more species.Actually Kibale National Park has 13 species in total which include chimpanzee,red colobus monkey,black and white colobus,red tailed monkey,bush baby and potto,blue monkey and grey cheeked mangabey.
Our expenditure on our savings was worth it.
My twin boys are now eight years. When they were five years, I made four boxes for them .The two were for spending money and the other two were for saving.
I needed them to understand the value of money and the importance of saving so that they do not end up in debts as I once ended up with debts.
I would tell them to take their plates or cups in the kitchen after eating and to clean up the table. I would give then $2 a week so that they spend $1.50 and save 50 cents.
When they turned 6 years, I set some more chores for them. They could help with house cleaning with meat eight years now, they also help granny to clean her room.
I now give them $2.50 per week. They spend $1.50; they save 50 cents and donate 50 cents in church.
By simple arithmetic, each one has got now $ 780 in savings in three years. That is the power of saving.
When they need something, we discuss how much they will contribute on it and how much I will add on. These are the advantages I have realized:
1.They now know that you earn money and you are not just given money. Some parents give money to children if they get good grades and that is very fine. I cannot use that method as my boys are twins in the same grade and one is very good in his studies and one is a bit poor. It will cause dangerous competition.
2.It has made them to develop some life skills.
3.It has taught them to manage and buy from their money
4.They know that we have to donate money to Church.
5.They have learned to make decisions with their own money.
6.Since they are helping granny to clean her room, they have become even closer to their granny.
7.It has made me to be open to them about the importance of saving. Please note that they are still being guided by me to make sure that they save that money.
8.It has made me realize that one is very good with wanting to save his money and the other one has to be guided more as he is a spender.
The disadvantage is that they need far more guidance in spending so that they do not end up just buying junk food including a lot of sweets.
Most people enjoy their glass of wine at home or when they are out for a meal.
However ,you could like to enjoy your glass when you have not spent a lot.
These are some of the tips to reduce your cost on wines:
1.When you are two or more,and you are in a restaurant,buying a bottle is much cheaper than glasses. Restaurants make a lot of profit on wine ordered by glass.It is also good to note that many restaurants allow customers to take left overs in the bottle.
2.Buy wine online but compare prices.This will give you a chance to buy wines in other countries.Select stores where shipping is free.
3.If there is a type of wine you like as a family,why not even buy a case.It will be much cheaper.
4.Go for wine tests on wine farms and buy the best you have liked in bulk from them.It is much cheaper.
5.Look for deals or sales especially on new wines.You might be surprised that you might even enjoy new ones on market than the old ones.Supermarkets and stores always have sales on particular wines.
5. House wines always tend to be cheaper everywhere.
6.Buy wine crack so that you could stock your wines as you go buying those on sale.
Your love and affection to someone is not reflected on the amount of money you spend on the gift of someone .This is true in all situations e.g. birthdays ,weddings ,wedding anniversaries and so on.
Hence we should always feel free to budget the amount of money we can afford to buy our beloved ones gifts.
These are some of the tips of how to save money on wedding gifts:
1.Budget and save for the wedding gift within two to four months and do not strain your budget to please someone.
2.You can decide on a group gift with common friends or relatives. This also works out cheaper. You can also afford an expensive gift on the wedding registry.
3.There are wedding registries with inexpensive items but you might be the unlucky one to be invited at a wedding with expensive items on the registry. This happened to me once and I could not afford any of those items. I just decided to buy a gift card in one of the shops which were part of the wedding registry. This was a wedding of my friend. You cannot image how the couple was very grateful as they realized that they could buy a table cloth from my gift card. They were not thinking of very expensive things.
4.Think of making something with the skills you have. People appreciate
handmade things. I was given a handmade fruit basket on my wedding and I appreciated it a lot. There are people who are good at knitted table cloths.
5.Think of small gifts which can last long e.g. wine glasses ,candle sticks ,shopping totes ,serving bowls ,kitchen towels ,Music CDs if you know the type of music they like .There is always a need for kitchen items so think around that idea too..
6.You are invited to a wedding shower, bachelor’s party and wedding, buy very small gifts for each occasion. Otherwise you do not have to go to all of them .You can go to all of them but offer your services for what you are good at e.g. catering, organizing the venue, cleaning up etc--.It will be appreciated.
7.There was a time when I was invited to a wedding shower of my friend. We had gone for camping before she got married. We took many pictures. I decided to compile some pictures for her in one of my old albums. She was really appreciative. On the wedding I bought her a cheap gift from the wedding registry .I have a friend of mine who gave me a wedding card she had designed from dry leaves and she put it in grass designed fruit basket. It was great.
8.If you have a relative or friend who is wedding and he or she is very far or abroad, why not load a phone card and talk for about twenty minutes and congratulate him or her. That person will appreciate it a lot.
9.Send a gift even if you might not manage to make it because of transport costs.
10.Offer any service to the wedding arrangement e.g. photographing if you are good at it, flower arrangements or anything which will cut the wedding cost of your friend or relative.
Two years ago I made a trip with my husband to Europe.It was quite expensive but we had saved for it for about ten years.
When we were left with one day,we realized that we did not have a digital camera which could be very handy when taking many pictures.
I ran to town and one of the studios sold me a Sony cyber-short DSC-W620 at $80.
These are some of the photos although we are not good at photographing at all.We have photos for our memories taken by a cheap camera and we saved instead of going for very expensive cameras.
Golf is one of the most expensive games to play. However, you can find ways of minimizing the costs while still enjoying the game.
These are some of the ways my husband has used and they have made him reduce his costs by $350 a year.
1. He is a member of a country club and he pays a flat rate which is much cheaper than before when he was just visiting clubs to play.
2. He found out shops which are normally on sale during winter which sell golf gear. Find out in your country the time when these sports shops which sell golf gear go on sell.
3. He buys cheap golf balls or he goes for second hand.
4. He takes walks and do not go for jolly rides and that is enough exercise. He does not have to pay for gyms.
5. He takes his own snacks and drinks instead of buying them at the country club restaurant.
6. He enjoys the game because he does not have stress of playing a very expensive game hence it keeps him healthy and even save more on medical expenses.
In this economical crisis, most people are looking for more economical cars to save money on gas or petrol. Hybrid and electric cars are the most economic .However; they are still very expensive buying them in some countries like South Africa.
In USA, these are some of the economical cars:
1.Toyota Prius c -7.2cents per mile
2.Ford Fusion Hybrid-7.6 cents per mile
3.Ford C-MAX Hybrid-7.6 cents per mile
4.Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid-8 cents per mile
5.Lincoln MKZ Hybrid-8 cents per mile
In Europe some of the economical cars are:
1. smart fortwo coupe 0.8 cdi pure softip DPD- 3.4litres per Km
2. Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi Econetic DPF-3.7 liters per Km
3. Seat 1 biza 1.4 TDI Ecomotive DPF -3.7 liters per km
4.VW Polo 1.6 TDI Blue Motion-3.7 liters per km
5. Toyota Prius 1.8 Hybrid-3.9 liters per Km
In South Africa,some of the economical cars are:
1. Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDC i Ambiente-5 liters per 100Km
2. Peugeot 107 -5 liters per 100km
3. Toyota Yaris Hybrid-3.8 liters per 100km
4. Volkswagen Golf Blue Motion-3.2 liters of diesel per 100km
5. Toyota Aygo-4.6 liters per 100km
In India,some of the economical cars are:
1. Tata Indica Vista-19.5 kmpl
2. Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 2012 lx1 CNG-19.6 kmpl
3. Hyundai Sautro 2012 GL plus-20.2 kmpl
4. Tata Nano 2013 LX-20.85kmpl
5. Tata Nano 2013 STD-20.85kmpl.
Save money on Electricity from Solar Power
In most African developing countries, electricity is very expensive to maintain and it is also very expensive for the public sector to connect it in rural areas. Hence most households especially in Africa use candles for lighting and children read on these candles.
Most of these countries have sunlight almost around the year and sunlight is free. Hence solar power is the answer. Solar panels convert the sun radiation directly into electricity with no pollution or damage to the environment. The panels can generate enough power to run stoves, pump water ,light clinics and power televisions
The cost to install for a typical house ranges between $500 to $1000 in most African countries.
Since the maintenance cost is very low, businesses can also be boosted in rural areas e.g. grinding mills.
Mobile phones are now used widely in both developed and under developed countries for their convenience.
However they can be very expensive. I have found that some of these tips have helped me to reduce costs on my mobile phone.
1. Take advantage of time when calls are free according to your service provider
2. Always check your balance and start reducing calls if you are approaching your monthly phone budget. In most times we spend air time laughing or spending five minutes on a point which could have taken one minute.
3. Prepaid is better as you can control it.
4. Use sms bundles
5. Use same service provider as your friends and family. Many service providers offer talk free minutes if you are phoning the same service provider number.
6. Use sms more that phoning as it is cheaper.
7. If you are travelling abroad, do not use roaming as it is very expensive. It is much cheaper to buy SIM card in the country you are visiting unless you do not plan to phone or be phoned. Many people prefer their quite holiday or use internet telephone services e.g. Skype or even e mail system.
8. International calling cards are also cheaper to use if you have friends and families abroad or if you are on holiday or business abroad.
One cannot stress the importance of having a holiday especially out of your normal environment and preferably in another country. An advantage of going to another country is learning new things, getting new friends, learning new cultures and relaxing more as you will be very far from everyone.
The biggest challenge is the high cost of overseas trips. Since this article will give you some tips to keep your costs low.
1.Make a budget which should include your transport costs ,accommodation ,catering ,shopping etc-
2.Book your flights as early as possible. The flights are cheaper if you book them early than when you book them late.
3.If you are going to fly internally in your country and in the country you are visiting, book the budget airlines as they are cheaper .However, check in online as they charge high costs when you check in physically.
4.Book for self catering accommodation as they are much cheaper.
5.Make your own travel size toiletries. Get small bottles and fill them with the creams you normally use. This is much cheaper and your creams you normally use might not be in small quantities.
6.If you plan to shop, pack few items so that you leave space. Over weight is very expensive.
7.Be aware of car hire pricey excess insurance.
8.Use credit card to pay for your ticket for extra protection.
9.Compare shops before shopping and avoid impulse shopping
10.Turn off mobile 3G and data roaming as it can be very expensive. It is much cheaper to buy SIM Card in the country you are visiting.
Saving on whatever we spend on results in our life savings. Even is you save $5 a day that is very big saving if it is done for 20 years.
Groceries are our daily needs hence our daily expenditure. Once you learn to save on it, you have saved a lot on your life saving.
Check some ways of how you can save on groceries.
1.List your income and other monthly expenditures e.g. rental or mortgage, car installment, school fees ,committed savings etc
2.Estimate expenditure for your groceries and study your expenses for about three months. Stick to what you need not what you want by making a list of your groceries before going to shops.
3.After three months, you could be in a position to draw a budget of all income and expenditure including your groceries.
4.Buy in bulk as it is cheaper especially meats and toiletries.
5.Be on the lookout for Buy one and Get one Free.
6.Compare prices of items in different stores/supermarkets.
7.Buy fruits in season as they tend to be cheaper.
8.Do not hand around in shopping malls aimlessly as most impulse shopping results from that.
9.Plant a garden or buy potted herbs. They are much cheaper than buying then in bundles.
10.Get store cards as you gain points which can be converted into cash.
11.Look for sales
12.Buy what your family favors to avoid wasting food.
13.If possible leave children home as they influence you to spend unnecessarily
14.Buy a freezer or fridge for keeping your bulk meat packs.
15.Bottled water is expensive if there is clear treated water in your environment
16.Buy budget prices goodies within different brands.
17.Avoid premade foods as they are very expensive.
18.Make healthy choice by buying foods which are balanced. This reduces your cost of foods drastically.
19.Shop late in the day as some items are reduced prices e .g bread.
20.Take back any food product you are not happy with. Most supermarket managers will be more than helpful.
21.Most people suggest eating before you shop but I have a friend of mine who told me that that formula does not work in her case. When I was spending extravagantly, I also doubt whether it made an impact but when I started managing my finances better, it still does not matter whether I eat or not. I still buy my groceries according to the budget.
22.Investigate from supermarket supervisors about different brands. This has helped me a lot as some even show you cheaper brands than the two you were asking about.
23.Always check your pay slips as shop attendants/cashier are also people who can make mistakes and always count your money twice before giving it the shop attendant/cashier. There was a time when I paid in more money and the attendant was kind enough to give me the extra money back.
24.Do not throw away left over’s as your dogs or cats can enjoy some of that food. You can also keep it in the fridge and eat it the following day.
25.If you are a couple, and one is good at saving while the other is a spender, it is better to do the shopping list and the shopping both of you .This is likely to result in some common understanding which will make both of you save on spending.
It can be very stressful when buying a new car. This car could be new or second hand car. Like any business the car dealers want to make as much profit as they can and they are likely to play all tricks to get the best profit out of you.
I thought these tips; some from my personal experience will help you on your next buy or your first buy.
1. First decide on your needs and then decide the type of the car you need to buy according to those needs. For example, take into account the size of your family or desired size of your family, your type of work, the distance between your work place and where you stay as this has implication of gas/petrol cost.
2. After deciding on the type of the car, do some window shopping among different dealers. Compare prices while doing some tricks on them indirectly. Show them that you are going to other dealers .e.g. get your note book where you have listed other prices. It is better to do this in the first three weeks of the month.
3. When you going to trade in. Do the same by visiting different car dealers and comparing prices. You need to be patient as this is the first rule of the game .At this stage do not mention to them that you are going to buy a new car.
4. Do not concentrate on monthly installment but total cost of the car.
5. Monthly installments can be achieved according to your monthly budget by increasing payment period which increases your interest drastically.Be aware of this trick.
6. Know that a vehicle is not an investment .Its value depreciates in two years from about 20% to 45%.You could also consider a very good second hand car of about two years instead of a new one.
7. Meanwhile shop around for your own financing .Compare interest rates.
8. After doing those preparations and by this time you know the most reasonable car dealer you are going to buy your car, it is better to go for the final deal in the last week of the month .Salesmen are chasing for their monthly quota so they are likely to give you a very good deal. For those who are trading in, negotiate the final deal first and after that tell them that you are now going to buy a car. This can be tricky and it depends on where you live. Your car might be very old and can be rejected by most car dealers unless when they know that you are going to buy another car from them. You can gauge that as you are shopping around .Remember, patience is the first rule of buying a car.
9. Bargaining a car on internet is cheaper and you can show up during test driving.
10. Timing is very important as I have already mentioned that it is best to buy a car in the last week of the month but it is also the best to buy a car in December, around Christmas time as most show rooms are not busy. Most people are busy spending on Christmas. It is also important to note when the new cars have arrived .Salesmen tend to give better prices when introducing new cars on market and they also sell demo-cars which have run few kilometers/miles very cheaply.
11. Avoid dealer adds-on as they are not very useful and they increase the price of the car drastically e.g. extended warranty ,over the top-alarm systems ,extended service contracts ,rust proofing.
12. Be aware and do not trust car dealers. One time I was going to pay far more on the car when the salesman told me that the car was going to be more expensive as it was going to be ordered in the factory. I found out this late as I was shopping around with another car dealer.
13. Do not sign the contract without noting the above mentioned adds-on costs and the price should include fees and charges. Remember the car insurance costs.
14. Pay as much as you can on deposit. Cash is the best but in most cases it is impossible to buy car cash.
I hope that some of those tips will help someone.
The situation of one partner being a spender and not a saver and the other one being a saver and not a spender is very common .I guess the opposites tend to attract each other.
However, this situation brings a lot of misunderstands and in some cases couples could even divorce.
These are some tips to handle a spouse who is a big spender and not a saver.
• Discuss with your partner openly and in a relaxed environment every month about your household income, the basic needs you have to pay for, how much to pay for your debts (if you have debts) and how much you have to save.
• If both of you are getting income, discuss each one’s contribution towards the budget
• Try to do shopping together as per budget and I could recommend the saver to have the responsibility of paying for utility bills as the spender could use this money for other things.
• If you have debts, both of you could be involved when paying them.
• Discuss your long term goals and discuss together how to save towards them. e.g. retirement years ,healthy problems and education of children.
• Every two or three months include some reasonable amount of money depending on your income to spoil yourselves. The saver might not spend his or her money; instead that money might be saved but that it fine.
• Alternatively, set one combined account to pay for the basics and also each individual account for each one to spend on some items independently instead of always being judged on your spending.
• Both the spender and the saver should keep a cool head as there are likely to be accusations and counter accusations and there should not be any finger pointing.
• In your budget discussions focus on the future and not the past.
Lastly communication and regular communication is very important in any relationship .Even if you have spoiled yourself, share it with your spouse
Please note that this blog is from my website:
I had twins at a time when I was undergoing some financial problems and this resulted in my desperation finding out all possible ways where I can save on twins. I ended up spending far less than what I had spent on my single born children before.
Phase 1: Preparing for the birth of my twins.
When I was six months pregnant, I had started accepting that I was going to have twins and I have to find ways to support and feed them. It was a very difficult time for me as I was also recovering from many debts.
The first shopping I did for them was their baby clothing .I went for designer names and ended up using a credit card as I could not pay that full amount of equivalent of $500 cash.
This made me think twice as I was in the process of recovering from debts.
I decided to make a list of all the urgent things which I needed to have when going to hospital and after leaving hospital and how I would get them cheaply.
I was stark until after visiting my obstetrician at seven months of my pregnancy. On this visit, he advised me to join the South African Multiple Birth Association (SAMBA) and to also get in touch with the local members in my suburb in Durban.
I phoned SAMBA immediately and they sent me forms. I had to pay for equivalent of $15 as of now rate per year. This money saved me a lot of Rands/ dollars.
They immediately gave me contacts of about five members in my suburb and they started sending me their newsletters.
My first contact, gave me an appointment to go and have a cup of tea while discussing some of the challenges of bringing up twins and how one could address them.
After two days, we meet. It was a very relaxed environment .She had a pair of twins, one boy and one girl of five years. Hence I was bound to get the best advice at this stage of expecting twins.
While having a cup of coffee, she advised me on the following issues:
• To go for second hand things on things like sleeping baskets, prams, beds, toys etc--.She actually offered to sell me the double pram of her twins which I bought very cheaply.
• To organise a baby shower and ask everyone at least to bring a pack of diapers. You cannot believe that this was the best advice I got that day. I never imagined how expensive diapers where by that time as my younger child was about 10 years older than the twins.
• To always look at items where you buy one and get one free.
• To breast feed more especially in the first six months as it is free instead of baby milks.
These were very good tips and I had to put them into action. I had already got a second double pram from my first contact as mentioned above. I had to find out from some members of SAMBA or a charity shop in town which was selling second hand things for babies and children whether I could get some of the other items.
Fortunately, one SAMBA member had two bassinets and she also sold them to me at a very cheap price. By this time I had decided that the babies will stay in my bed room and I will delay to buy them baby cots. In any case they were going to be small until about four months.
In the charity shop, they were many second hand toys at cheap prices.
I decided to invite my friends for a baby shower and I asked each one to at least come with a pack of diapers.
This was a very exciting day. I had to buy some cool drinks, told my older children to help with decorations in the house. They all offered to bring a plate of eats as they were thinking about my expected expenses of the twins.
We ended up having a lot of eats and room was full of diapers plus a number of many baby items.
I did not realize by then than these diapers will get finished in two months.
I also realised that I spent a lot on my first shopping as most of the items I had bought were also bought by my friends.
I just did not have to spend any more money until the twins were delivered.
PHASE TWO: THE TWINS ARE BORN
Finally, I delivered my twins on 22 July 2006.I delivered them by Cesarean section at eight and a half months. The first one to be delivered was 2.4 kg and the second one was 2.2 kg .They were both very fine and we spend three nights in the hospital.
The first week at home was very rough in terms of feeding them in turns and also have different sleeping and waking up times. I was also just recovering from a cesarean section.
I decided to breast feed my twins full time as I was on a four month maternity leave.
I started realizing how the diapers were going down very fast .In the first two months all the diapers I got on the baby shower were finished.
I decided on the following measures:
• I had to shop around for the cheapest place to buy diapers and I was just going to use them at night or when we are travelling. I was going to start buying them in bulk as it was still much cheaper.
• I bought cloth diapers/nappies for everyday use.
• Since I was working, I decided to employ a full time maid. It is not very expensive in South Africa as compared to many developed countries. If you are in a country where house maids are very expensive, it is better to make arrangements with your relatives/grannies to help you on twins so that you have enough time to do the washing or even have time for shopping or just to relax a bit. You do not only have to save money on twins but also on your energy.
• I decided never to buy designer clothing for babies who do not even understand designers.
• I started asking for shops which had coupons. These coupons started helping me a lot.
When the twins were four months, I was planning to go back to work as my maternity leave was over. Their feeding patters had to change drastically as they demanded more solid food and I was not going to be at home full time to breast feed them.
I decided to buy a food processor so that I would prepare their food instead of pre made food in the stores as they are very expensive.
I started extracting my breast milk but by the age of six months that milk was very little.
Their patrician recommended that I should start them on the baby power milks. This was going to be an expense.
I decided to buy these milks in bulk and it turned out to be cheaper.
Being a member of SAMBA helped also a lot .There are shops where you present a member card and you get some discounts.
Some of the shops which offer discounts to SAMBA members include:
2.Babies R Us
For those in USA,they can get discounts at:
For those in different countries please find out from your local Multiple Birth Associations.
Through SAMBA,I also connected with three mothers who were having twins of nearly the same age as mine.
We started organizing diapers all together in a bigger bulk than individual bulk. This turned out even more cheaper.
One of the mothers advised me that I could even borrow some things from mothers who have bigger twins.
I did not want the idea of borrowing though.
As the twins were turning one year, they were a bit uncomfortable in their bassinets. I started contacting some mothers who are members of SAMBA to find out who was willing to sell baby cots.
One mother offered to borrow me her baby cots. I was hesitant but finally I agreed as I was really struggling to reduce my debts.
It is very surprising that the heavy burden you carry when you are told that you are expecting twins become very light by the support you get from everyone.
When my single born children were born very few people offered something.
PHASE THREE: TWINS AT AGE 2 TO 4
At age two the twins had become very active in the house. Some friends of mine advised to take them to a Day Care Center.
The nearest Day care center was about $ 100 per month. Since I had employed a full time nanny. I decided not to take the twins to the day care center at this stage. As I pointed out earlier, nannies are very expensive in developed countries. An alternative is to get free child care like grannies if they are still around or if they do not live very far from you.
There is a town, where I know that there are three non working mothers who are helping out other four working mothers to look after their twin kids up to noon at very cheap fees. They all have twins.
By age two they had also overgrown their clothes and shoes which most of them were given to them through baby shower. It was mum’s turn to buy more.
I decided on the following:
1.I would buy over size clothing in order to wear them longer. At two years, I was buying for three or four year old age.
2.I would buy them either very cheap toys on sale or second hand toys. I realized that kids get fed up with toys quickly so there was no need to spend very expensively on toys. I also had to train them to share toys so that they could play with different toys at the same time. Hence I could buy two different toys.
3.I was always at the lookout for discounts for multiple births.
4.I had to continue cutting down on my other expenditure e.g. we were eating at home more often and I was buying most groceries in bulk and always looking for sales.
5.They could share their clothes hence I did not have to buy same clothes with same colour every time.
6.I had learnt to have two budgets, one for my house groceries and the second one for the twins which included their food, clothes ,diapers etc—
7.I could also use coupons where possible
8.There were twins’ club sales in Durban area. I acquired many cheap second hand items through these sales.
9.At the age of four years, I decided to take them to a nearby Day Care center which was very fair in prices. It was costing equivalent of $ 100 per month. Day care centers in developed countries are more expensive than this. The main reason why I decided to take them is to get used mixing with other children and to start getting used to holding pencils and crayons while colouring.
PHASE FOUR: THE TWINS ARE NOW FIVE AND SIX YEARS
According to the system of education in South Africa, it is imperative that by the age of five years, a child start preschool year to prepare to Primary one.
It was time for my twins to start preschool.
Fortunately the Day Care center they were attending at the age of four had the preschool facility. I was very lucky because it was very good and very reasonable in price. The prices varied if the kids were there for eight hours or if they were there for six hours. Since I had a nanny, I decided on the six hours to keep my costs low.
By this age they had started being interested in books and pictures. Books were very expensive in book shops especially the hard cover books. Hence I decided to buy second hand books and it was cheaper than buying new books. I could get a book of $0.50.
I also decided to be a member of three public municipal libraries in my area so that I could borrow books.
You cannot manage the saving I made instead of buying new books .I never thought about all these alternatives when my single born children were growing up at this age. I was just buying them new books. I really spend far more on them than the twins.
The other measures I took included:
1.Signing up with Amazon to go for sales on clothes
2.Check for sales on Baby Gear for big toys
3.Sign up with eBay and check on sales on educational toys and sales on second hand items.
4.The charity shop in my area should also sell some good second hand educational toys.
5.I would buy t- shirts or pajamas where you buy one and get one free.
At the age of six they were ready to start formal schooling in Primary one. I selected a school which was not far from my work place to save on petrol/gas.
I would drop them on my way to work and pick them up on my way home. The school fees were also very reasonable.
The school had a second hand shop selling old uniforms. I decided to mix the old and new things. This saved me some substantial amount of money.
In this school they separate twins to be in different streams. This helped me a lot as one of them was always dominating the other one.
Each one had their lunch boxes and I could prepare them their sandwiches, drink and at least one fruit.
There was a truck shop at school but it was very expensive so I could give them pocket money for at least one day in a week to buy something in the tuck shop.
It was also not healthy for them to feed on snacks from the tuck shop everyday.
This routine has continued up until this year, 2013 when they are in Primary Two.
In conclusion, this eBook was outlining my personal experience of how I managed to keep my costs low on twins. However there are other methods which I might not have applied but I discovered later or other methods which could be used when residing in different countries.
In my conclusion, I am going to outline the various methods which could be applied broadly by parents even living in different countries.
The following are:
1.Create a monthly budget for food ,clothes ,baby milk ,diapers etc--
2.Buy in bulk
3.Do not go by expensive brands as babies and kids do not know the difference
4.Compare prices of different stores and go for sales
5.Borrow or swap items
6.With boy/girl twins, buy unisex clothes when they are still young
7.Join multiple births Association in your country, state or province as this membership will expose you to shops which offer discounts to sales, other mothers with multiples in your community where you could exchange items or buy second hand things.
8.Check for sales on baby gear for members of multiple births associations.
9.In the above interaction with other mothers of multiple births you can form a local club where you can buy items in bulk especially diapers.
10.Buy cloth diapers/nappies to use during day time. Only use diapers at night or when travelling.
11.Find out about stores or shops which has sales or coupons
12.Organize free child care e.g. grannies
13.Do not buy whatever you need once. Buy items of urgent need at a time .E.g. when the twins are still babies, they can sleep in bassinets and when they grow more, and you can then buy baby cots.
14.Organize a baby shower and do not buy anything until you know what they have not given you. Please you can ask each you at least to give you a pack of diapers.
15.Register with stores e.g eBay or Amazon and look out for sales or second hand items.
•Visit your nearest charity second hand shop which sales babies or kids things.
•In the first six months, breast feed your babies mostly. It is more health and it is free.
•Whenever you see sales especially on diapers buy in bulk and stock pile.
16.They are mothers who buy packs of chux and cut them in pieces and wet them with water. They use them as wipes instead of buying wipes or only using them at night or travelling.
17.Always look out for clothes where you see buy one and get one free.
18.Buy the twins different things or at least colours and as they grow up encourage them to share clothes.
19.Buy them different toys so that they share and first check in second hand charity shops or any sales.
20. As they turn the age of four years start buying them books but go to second hand shops. They sell the second hand books very cheaply in most countries.
21.Join public municipality libraries and borrow their books there instead of buying.
22.Take them more for picnics instead of restaurants and when you want to take them to restaurants take them on week days than weekend as some restaurants have specials during week days where they can even offer them free toys.
23.When they start eating solid foods, buy food processor and prepare their food as it is much cheaper than buying premade foods in the stores.
24.Pay close attention to any possible tax deductions that you may be eligible depending on where you live.
25Always browse newspapers ads for special bargains.
26.When the twins start attending school, look for second hand uniforms if that possibility is there.
27.During holidays if the baby gear cannot fit in your car, you can contact members of the multiple birth associations of where you are going to borrow one for some days. You will be surprised about the support and help you will get from these mothers whenever you are.
28.Teach your twins to put their needs first before wants and they should always stick to basics.
29.Generally on your side as parents of twins you should cut on your expenses and start saving for the education of your twins. Start the education insurance of your twins as early as they are immediately born. Most tertiary education facilities are very expensive worldwide.
I hope that my experience and some of these tips will help the future multiple births mothers to prepare better for their bundles of joy with less any stress and less surprises.
For the present multiple births mothers, I hope that they could pick some few tips which will help them to save some money and be able to put those savings on the upbringing and education of their loved children.