Most of the moms who are reading this article are bound to be millennial moms. Who is a millennial mom? Though there are many definitions floating around for who all exactly falls under the 'millennials' tag, millennials are basically anyone who was born after 1980 and would become adults around the millennial mark of the year 2000.
Wondering what's the reason for this distinction? Because anyone born before that had a childhood free of internet, smartphones and especially the world of social media. They were introduced to smart technology after they were already adults. On the other hand, millennials have seen how the technology and media evolved in front of them. Anyone who was born after them don’t remember a time before Angry Birds or Snapchat.
Millennial moms are a very special category! You can count on them to handle anything! Multitasking and parallel processing are their strong points, and they successfully venture into many things at the same time. Give them a smartphone and some time, and they can probably come up with a solution to the most complex puzzle in your life!
Millennial moms are a unique marketing segment, too. The way they manage their life and work is quite amazing. They know where to spend, how to spend and how to save also. With soaring college debts and job recession, most millennials are struggling financially. Learning to live frugally is an important part of survival and having a better future. Here are 20 frugal ways a millennial mom can money for the betterment and the enjoyment of her family!
20 Multitasking with Technology
We have all witnessed a fast-paced advancement in technology, especially in the world of computers and mobile phones. The introduction of smartphones has especially changed the way we live. Understanding how to use such technology helps many tasks to be done in a more simple and effective way.
Hats off to the wonderful smart appliances that have become so handy for us. With the help of these aids and a smartphone, we can nurse a baby, wash our dishes, do laundry, answer an email, make an appointment, plan a meal and balance the budget, all at the same time. wow! That's taking the term multitasking to a whole new level! This not only has cut costs, but also has increased the effectiveness and efficiency of a mom and the system as a whole. After all, time is money and finishing off these tasks gives even busy moms more time to venture into money making hobbies such as blogging.
19 Cloth Diapers for the Little Ones
Cloth diapering is back and it is the trend now! Many of you might think that it is difficult and disposable diapers are a better choice. But believe me, it is quite easy to use cloth diapers instead and save yourself a big chunk of money in the process. Millennial moms believe in this and have successfully put this mantra into practice. Reusable diapers end up saving hundreds of dollars a year compared to the use and throw ones.
Cloth diapers have many other advantages, too. They are gentle on your baby’s skin. You need not worry about allergic reactions to diapers, as these are more common with synthetic diapers. It is good for the environment, too. According to mamanatural.com, it would take between 250 and 500 years for a single disposable diaper to break down in a landfill, whereas the cloth ones will take hardly 5 months to degrade. Just imagine how you are contributing to a greener world!
18 Breastfeeding is the best!
Breastfeeding is the best, not only for its nutritional value but for its cost effectiveness, too. It is absolutely free! Breast milk is the nature’s perfect food and it should not be denied to babies. Smart millennial moms know that breastmilk contains antibodies that equip their babies to fight against many diseases.
According to Webmd.com, breastfeeding protects the moms from many diseases as well by lowering the risks of ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, and heart disease. Who doesn’t want so many advantages? Breastfeeding time is a wonderful way to bond with babies, too, as millennial moms tend to be busybodies who don’t usually get all 24 hours to spend with their babies. So, breastfeeding is a win-win situation for both the babies and their moms.
17 Planned Shopping Lists to Reduce Impulse Purchases
Grocery bills are something that racks up your budget unexpectedly, especially due to impulse buys. Millennial moms plan their shopping beforehand. They budget everything and they know what to buy and how much to buy. This will cut down the costs drastically. There are plenty of mobile apps for this very purpose.
Millennial moms would try not to stop and buy whatever fancy item that catches their eye. They prefer to buy items that are on sale and also items according to their seasonal availability. This would definitely save you a lot of dollars. It is also a good idea not to go buy name brands and try to buy generic items, instead.
16 Pay yourself first
This is an age-old advice but millennial moms have taken it into their hearts. It is actually not just for parents only, anyone can follow this simple rule. It is simple but powerful. How?
Ella Newman, founder of Ella In Style and a stylist for the Doncaster Collection advises to “Pay yourself first, 5 to 10 percent” for each and everything. It would be very small in chunks but later on add up to a handsome amount. Millennials are smart enough to invest the funds too. They invest it in stock index funds or ETFs through a discount brokerage account. Great idea!
15 Accepting Hand-me-downs Graciously
Gone are the times when moms wanted to see their little munchkins in branded clothes only and, that too, brand new ones. Kids outgrow their dresses and spending tons of money on expensive outfits is a sheer waste. Moms are very well aware how much extra dollars it would cost to insist on brand new clothes every single time!
Most millennial moms are happy seeing their kids in comfy, cute clothes rather than branded dresses. Hand-downs from friends or relatives are accepted graciously by millennial moms. This will not only make your bond stronger with them, but also your wardrobe will be stuffed with a colorful wide range of kids’ clothes to select from! This also teaches your children to be environmentally conscious and appreciate the value of things as well as relationships.
14 Homemakers With Thriving Careers
This is the new norm. Millennial moms are generally career oriented, and they are just not ready to sacrifice their career dreams in the name of a baby. It does not mean that they are forgetting their family. So how does this match? The Internet has become the biggest savior here too.
Many companies now allow their female employees to work from home. So hats off to the new gen employers, too. There are so many online job opportunities for those who want to work from home. More and more companies are looking for remote employees. It is this broader vision that has enabled the ladies to manage a better work-life balance. So many millennial moms are able to be home all day but with a fixed monthly income. Not bad!!
13 A Well-Stocked Pantry
This seems expensive, but it actually is the other way around. Having a well-stocked pantry gives moms enough freedom to choose from and make easy decisions for their meal planning. This also means fewer trips to the grocery store for missing ingredients when you decide on a recipe for tonight's dinner. Many times, it is the unavailability of ingredients that makes you step back from cooking something healthy for your family.
Making a list of the items that you use more frequently can help you with this process. Try to include all items you generally need for your meal prep in the list. Then, step out and stock up your pantry. This also saves money in terms of eating at home more often. Eating out too often eats into your budget. This is one other gimmick smart millennial moms do to save their pennies.
12 Sales, Discount Sales and in Bulk!!
When I said to stock up your pantry, did I tell how to time your shopping? Well, millennial moms are perfect on their timing. They make their major purchases of clothing as well as groceries during off-season sales or when some kind of discount or sale is happening. Buying items in bulk is another way to reduce costs. Frequently used items, such as floor cleaners, detergents, etc, can all be bought in bulk and stored up for later use.
Stephanie Nelson, the curator of couponmom.com, has some great advice on how to make the most of grocery store coupons. “Don’t throw away money paying full price for expensive grocery items that go on sale for half price every other week. Just buy twice as much as you need during sale weeks and you’ll save hundreds of dollars a year with very little efforts.” Sounds cool, right? Nelson recommends that chicken, meat, pork, and cereals offer the best bulk value.
11 Reselling Kids’ Stuff
Sheiresa Ngo, who provides personal finance advice at ‘The Cheat Sheet,’ recommends this tried and tested method to win some dollars. Being moms, we often come across our kids’ old books, toys or clothes which are in very good condition but is of no more use to our kids. They may have outgrown it or lost interest in it.
Instead of piling them up in your basement, garage or in the garbage can, it is better to set up a garage sale or sell it online to other moms in need, at a fraction of the cost. Amazon, eBay, swap.com, Olx are some online sites where you can advertise your old stuff and try to sell them. Millennial moms are smart in utilizing such opportunities.
10 DIY Accomplishments
Millennials believe and practice this. Smart moms nowadays are not ready to shell out their hard earned cash. When your kid needs a working project model or if you need a handy device, DIYs are the best resource. With the advent of mobile apps and numerous how-to instructional videos, you can have a walk-through on anything. Be it reupholstering an antique chair or creating a to-scale solar system diorama, plenty of DIY help videos and guides are available.
The only thing you need is the right attitude. When you are on a mission of saving money for a better cause, putting some effort on a project for your kids will not be difficult. After all, just think about the accolades you may receive when others see such a stunning, handmade project!
9 Gender Neutrality, Hurray!
Yes, this is another attitude that helps save money. Believe it, ladies. The tradition of girls adorned with pink frocks or boys with blue shirts are no more than old-fashioned now. Kids wear anything and everything these days. Son plays with dolls, daughter plays with trucks, and as long as you don't have a problem, don't give a second thought to what others may think.
It is quite okay for a girl to wear her sibling’s T-shirt or for a little boy to wear his sister's hand me down pink pajamas. When you finally discard it, you can be happy that you are disposing of an item after its thorough use! Many clothing stores carry unisex sections where there are no stereotypes of girls dresses and boys dresses. Super comfortable for the parents’ pocket!
8 Blogger, Lifestyle Coach, Food Columnist, Etc.
A side income is always welcome, but this is the challenge of most stay at home moms. Millennial moms that are able to monetize blogging more easily nowadays. Be it a travel blog, a food blog of recipes, parenting blogs, health and wellness coaching - mom bloggers make their presence felt in every niche.
The traffic they generate to their site, Adsense by Google, other paid ads, affiliate earnings - everything sums up to a good amount at the end. If the site is popular, then you are a celebrity! People follow you and your advice valuable! Millennials know this and it seems they are on the right track. If you take a survey, you can see the endless list of new sites propping up each day.
7 Sharing and Caring
We know all moms share and care. But new gen moms are one step ahead. They share cabs and opt for an economy rides using on-demand apps. Uber Share is such an example. It will not only save you money but also gets you good friends if you are lucky enough!
Carpooling is yet another method for saving money on transportation. If you know three or four colleagues are staying at your premises and you all need to be at the office at the same time, the best option is to form a carpool. Children in a locality often go to the same school, so moms can take turns to form a carpool for dropping kids off to school.
You are saving your money, your time and also be free of driving tensions and related struggles daily. Think about the fuel you save- it means less pollution too!
6 Wise Decisions Even Before Motherhood
Millennial moms tend to be deep wells of positive energy. They love to plan for the future and act accordingly. I have many friends who had planned their careers well ahead of time and acted accordingly. They are more financially prepared to have a family and children.
Medical experts say that it is better to be a mom before 30 for minimal risks in the developing fetus. But now, women are having children in their forties and fifties, thanks to the advancements in medical technology and the freezing of eggs. Being financially stable before having kids and the advancements in reproductive technology equip millennials to be mothers whenever they wish to be. This means that they can delay having kids till they are ready.
5 Price Matching and Coupons
Price matching of items you want to buy is possible anywhere, from grocery stores to department stores. This is quite amazing. Many brick and mortar shops are ready to meet online prices of products, which tend to be lower than the marked MRP. A mother, philanthropist, designer and cast member of VH1′s “Atlanta Exes,” Tameka J Raymond believes that price-matching is one of the best available, cheap money savers.
Coupons are a millennial's best friends. It is cheaper for us to buy something using coupons or promo codes while shopping online or in the actual shops. You can cut out coupons from newspapers or print out promo codes from online sites to use in your shopping sprees. No wonder why they call millennial moms a unique marketing segment.
4 Online Shopping
Millennials are online 24/7. Mobiles are their second set of hands. It seems as if that's a body part too, always attached on. The way they browse and nurse their babies is something the old generation look with envy as well as disapproval. They are much ahead in technological knowledge even if they are working women and quite skilled in using computers and smartphones.
They love online shopping and know where to find the best promotional offers. Just think about driving your car, taking your babies along with you, and going store after store in search of something! Online shopping can be done within your comfort zone with no trouble from kids. It also saves time and energy. You don’t have to travel and this cuts down the fuel cost too.
3 Apps to the Rescue
Since mobiles have become an indispensable part of millennials’ daily life, various Apps play a significant role in their lives. Chime, Digit, Qapital, Clarity Money etc. are some of them to name.
According to entrepreneur.com, an app called Digit can do the thinking and acting of saving money for you. It may even do a better job. This app looks at your current income and expenditures. It then calculates what you can save and puts that amount aside in an FDIC-insured Digit account. The app does this analysis 2-3 times a week to stay on track.
A millennial mom surely will have at least such an App installed in her mobile. Financial planning done successfully!
2 Get The Kids To Participate
Older generations never wanted their children to be bothered about their finances. They wanted their children not to have or know their financial troubles, so that kids can have a happy childhood. This idea of parenting has changed. Now the millennial moms want their kids to have a clear picture about the money they make or spend.
According to Nicole Sherrod, TD Ameritrade Managing Director, personal finance education should start at home, and there are plenty of money lessons kids can learn from an early age. She said, “The sharpest adults I’ve come across tell me it was their parents who triggered their passion and interest in the markets and initiated their financial education.” Millennials are aware of this!
1 A Minimalist Lifestyle
This is a general term which includes many things. Decluttering your homes to remove stuff and sell them off to make money, discarding duplicates, buying fewer things are all various steps of this lifestyle. Millennial moms know that it's important to declutter stuff that doesn't add value to their life.
They prefer to spend on experiences rather than on accumulating stuff. Rather than buying many toys, a picnic at the playground costs far less. The basic concept of minimalism is to discard any item that has not been used in the last 60 or 90 days. Having fewer things means you can live in a smaller apartment, which in turn means lesser utility bills.