We knew that having kids would limit us when it came to some of life’s luxuries and truth is they are (mostly) worth the sacrifice. Kids cost money, a lot of it when you add it all up : the clothes, the food, the schooling, the unforeseen extras that very often don’t make it onto our monthly budget spreadsheets.
But we have always wanted to try our best to ensure that holidays were a priority and that with some discipline and planning, the odd overseas holiday was in our reach. And this is exactly what Gumtree are trying to encourage with their #Moneysmartmoms initiative. They are trying to encourage moms to think more wisely when it comes to money and how we spend it.
Before falling pregnant with Hunter we started talking about making our dream overseas family holiday a reality and thinking what we would have to do to get there. We knew that for us it would entail planning and saving and being a little more smart with our buck.
We started making small changes when it came to lifestyle and tightening our belts a little here and there was inevitable.
I took it upon myself to start shopping smarter when it came to groceries, although let’s be honest, food is just expensive fullstops right? What I really have become good at it doubling up meals and making them stretch. So, often I’m only required to make three home made-meals a week, stretched over 6 nights. Friday nights we usually have takeaways and even those were sometime replaced with home-cooked meals in the effort to save. Instead of buying burgers or Pizza we would make them ourselves which also really helped save in the long run. I worked it out that take-out nights would cost us anything between R280- R400, whereas making take-away style food ourselves cost us as little as R120!! (And I’m sure I could even cut costs down more if I tired!)
Being mindful when it came to purchasing gifts for our kids also played a part. For Noah’s birthday this year we bought him second-hand golf clubs off Gumtree instead of buying them new and saved at least R1000. Selling old baby goods we were no longer using also allowed us to put money back into things we needed instead of breaking the bank or dipping into our holiday savings.
And despite the fact that we added another baby to the mix since we opened up this conversation, we were able to make our dream a reality last month as we jetted off to Mauritius to enjoy our first international holiday as a family of five! Never in my wildest dreams did I think two years ago that it was possible. And let me tell you, there is no price tag that could be put on our trip, where we created memories that will last us a lifetime!
It was a reminder that sacrifice and being smart when it comes to money, can have its rewards! A reminder that with planning, saving, determination and will-power (saying no to things that you don’t REALLY need!) pays off and that those things that can seem impossible are actually in arms reach. I think so often we give-up before we have actually even tried and saving for family holidays, even if it takes years, shouldn’t be put on the back burner. Make your dreams a reality! We did!
This post was written in collaboration with Gumtree South Africa