18 January 2013

Raising kids for free

I like this article about raising kids for free.

We even did it for a while, when Jack was born. Pretty much everything he wore was from a second hand shop, or knitted by my mother, and the toys were op-shopped.

As far as we were concerned, there couldn't have been a cuter or happier baby.

In some ways it's easier to live that way now; websites like Trade Me have made second-hand buying - particularly of quality items - so much easier. But as the children have got older, although they no longer need nappies high chairs sippy cups buggies portacots etc, they need/want/get music, sport and dancing lessons and the clothing and equipment that matches these things, not to mention school fees, stationery, art supplies, skateboards, scooters, bikes etc.

Today, for example, I spent nearly $50 taking three children to the movies, and that was with just a $2-3 snack each and free parking! We do it just once each school holidays.

Right now they're outside when they should be in bed, playing with their home-made wooden swords. (Tomorrow, however, we're off to a market where Jack is planning a purchase from a sword-maker who I bought some weapons from before Christmas; this is his Trade Me site and I can totally recommend his products for top-quality wooden craftsmanship, not to mention reasonable prices.)

Nevertheless, I still enjoy searching for ways to live simply and frugally. And I love the fact that living that way means I don't have to go to work!

(I'd better go: the blokes in the photo above are complaining that while the children are having a good time, they're not and the children MUST go to bed.)

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