According to the most recent estimates, the average cost of raising a child in the US is $241, 080. Since a lot of the costs are built into the rest of your spending (e.g.: food) we’ll focus on costs that apply just to the kids.

Until kids are in their teens, set up or join a clothing swap so that clothes cost you nothing.

Buy school supplies when they’re on sale and check what you have at home first. Trim entertainment costs by doing fun things that cost nothing – the library, parks, visiting friends – instead of expensive alternatives. Look for low-cost after-school alternatives and see if you can get family or friends to help with childcare, possibly switching off with another couple every weekend to save on babysitting.

Talk to your kids about money. Explain that the whole family is cutting back-not just them. Depending on their age, involve them in the process of cutting costs and reward their efforts-make it fun.