It is no secret that we are all holding on to our dollars a little bit tighter these days. Everything we read seems to be advice on how to save money, cut corners and shop smart, so how does this all play into shopping for your kids? Instead of thinking that you should no longer spend money (which is actually considered the incorrect way to handle a tight budget) you just have to change the way you spend it.
When it comes to kids furniture like cribs, beds, desks, and other essential décor pieces, you have to look for items that will serve multiple purposes and have flexibility for use a few years down the road. Gone are the days of buying a custom carriage bed for your toddler that she will inevitably grow out of or not like in a few years. Now we look for the quality pieces of furniture that can be used throughout childhood and into the tween and even teen years. A convertible crib will grow with your child and many of the bedroom pieces convert as well, from changing table to dresser by simply removing the changing tray. For a bed, looking at a simple frame and color will allow you to get more life out of your furniture pieces and possibly even pass them on to another child or use in a guestroom if needed. That may sound boring, but you can always customize by focusing on changing out the bedding at different stages even if just the sheets, because a little bit of change for a child goes a long way. Along with this, you should be sure to really shop for what fits your family, not what everyone seems to be buying. For example, we have two girls, so for us to buy a bedroom set that is very feminine and “girly” makes sense because we know that we will definitely get plenty of use out of each piece. However, if you have a girl and a boy, it makes sense to go with a more “gender neutral” set that can be passed from one child to the next. The only ones who will ever know are mom and dad, and if in the end it saves you a few hundred dollars, I say it’s well worth it. Even décor can be looked at in a slightly different way in order to save a buck. I wrote before about how far memo, chalk, and corkboards have come…these are now beautiful pieces of customizable décor that are also useful in your child’s daily routine, so you have essentially made your dollar go further.
When it comes to birthdays and holidays, instead of buying toys that will inevitably get thrown into the pile with all the other “favorites” from years prior, what if you use these days as an opportunity to decorate as well? For instance, hanging wall letters would be such a sweet gift to give your little girl, and she will love them because it is so personal and truly a gift that no one else has. A custom toy box for a little boy is wonderful because it allows him to store all his favorite things in one place and again, is not what every other child has. Plus, the added bonus of storage and the organization that comes with it are great for mom and dad! Why not use these gift-giving days to purchase things that your child may really need: a new bedroom set, new or updated bedding, a fun and decorative clock or bookends? Then, each time your child studies or jumps into bed for the night, they will be reminded of how much fun they had on their special day.
Even though your budget may be a little tighter, and your spending a little less often than it used to be, there is still plenty of opportunity to decorate for your kids and give them both fun and essential pieces that they need. I am including some of the best “multi purpose” pieces and gift ideas that can be found on RosenberryRooms.com to further inspire you. By being a little more creative you will shop smarter and in the end actually save a buck or two.