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Financial Tips for New Parents - #2 Join Social Networks

Being a part of a mom's / parents' social network may not seem like a financial decision at first, but there are actually a lot of potential financial benefits to it. Moms love to share their experience or advice with other moms and are a great resource for anything from recommendations for pediatricians, babysitters, plumbers, contractors, to huge sales / free events that are going on in the area. 

You can join moms groups on Facebook or look for other email groups for families in the neighborhood. When my sister lived in Brooklyn, she was part of a family neighborhood network with thousands of families. She got an excellent realtor that someone in the network referred, and benefited from free bags of clothing that other parents were giving away. It's like Craigslist but more reliable because the families are actually your neighbors. Some church communities have a clothes swap system in place for young children. Members donate their kids' clothing after they outgrow them, and the clothes are then separated by size and put into bags. The bags of clothes rotate around to families that have kids in that age range. With this type of "sharing" system, you may not need to buy more than a couple of outfits each season for your children the first few years! 

It's also a great way to give back to the community after you've had a few years of experience as parents yourselves. And who knows, you may meet some lifelong friends or good play dates for your kids while you're at it.